Brazil's Nuclear Submarine and Journalistic Fictions
Brazil will spend US$160 million by the end of next year on the development of a nuclear-propelled submarine to protect the oil reserves found recently off its coast, the defense minister said Friday. The vessel — which officials hope to be complete by 2020 — would be the first nuclear-propelled submarine in Latin America. Brazil does not have nuclear weapons.The submarine is the highlight of the Brazil's new defense plan — to be made public on Sept. 7. [color emphasis added].
Brazil's strategic affairs minister said this week that Brazil is planning a 'significant increase' in defense spending. Roberto Mangabeira Unger told reporters Brazil wants to create a rapid deployment force and build a state-of-the-art weapons industry - one that would become an active exporter of arms. [color emphasis added]
The Economist noted Brazil's latest oil discovery could offset the regional influence of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. A Financial Times editorial suggested U.S. President George Bush—and his successor—should enhance ties with Brazil by reducing tariffs on its ethanol exports.
There is an even more obvious element to Brazil's rationale, of course. The Second-Largest Oil Field Discovered in the Past 20 Years - What better time would there ever be to justify an immense increase in defense spending than when a productive, natural resource
Some U.S. government reports have raised suspicions that Brazil's Triple Border region with Argentina and Paraguay is a haven for radical Islamic revenues.
Brazil’s Petrobras and Mexico’s Pemex also formed a strategic alliance last year. While Petrobras is a leading expert in deep and ultra-deepwater oil drilling— a technology Mexico lacks— Pemex is expert at deepwater gas exploration.
In any case, the AP seems to have misinformed us about the real purposes for building Brazil's nuclear submarine, as well as plans for building more.
Submarines are always silent and strange.