Order and progress? the evolution of Brazilian defense strategy
Robinson, Corey J.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Trinkunas, Harold A.
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Most literature about civil-military relations focuses on civilian control of the military in order to thwart future coup attempts. The debate centers on what factors help or hinder this democratic civilian control of the military. This thesis departs from the standard civilian versus military debate and posits that cogent defense policy is the product of effective civil-military relations and actually facilitates its consolidation. This thesis will focus on the consolidation of civil-military relations in Brazil from the standpoint of defense policy. The question of why the Ministry of Defense (MOD) published a national defense strategy (NDS) in 2008 lies in why Brazil established a MOD in 1999, 14 years after its return to democracy. After examining factors such as civilian knowledge, incentives, military prerogatives, and institution-building, one factor emerges as the catalyst for defense policy in contemporary Brazil: executive leadership. Just as the leadership and vision of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso prompted the establishment of the Ministry of Defense in 1999, President Lula da Silva ordered his MOD to publish its first NDS in 2008, legitimizing Brazil's desire to be not only a Latin American power, but also an international powerhouse.
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