The United States officially designated Brazil on Wednesday as an extra-NATO priority ally, fulfilling Donald Trump’s promise to President Jair Bolsonaro in March.
The act brings the two countries militarily together and facilitates the acquisition of weapons by Brazil. Only Argentina had this title previously in Latin America. In all, 17 countries received this rating from the US government.
Roberto Godoy, a journalist specializing in military affairs, said in an interview that there are advantages to being classified in this way by the US government.
Godoy explained that by becoming a non-NATO priority ally, Brazil manages to become a preferred buyer of US military equipment and technology, participate in auctions organized by the Pentagon to sell military products, and gain priority in promoting military training with the US Armed Forces.
“An extra-NATO defense partner has shortened paths to any request, reduces bureaucracy,” Godoy said.
On the other hand, the journalist said that by being given extra-NATO priority ally status and aligning with US foreign policy, Brazil let the United States be influential in the South Atlantic.
“From a strictly geopolitical point of view I see a problem there. We must not forget that NATO has been defending NATO’s expansion to the South Atlantic for at least 15 years. This idea was torpedoed by the Brazilian position in 2010 at a NATO meeting in Lisbon,” said Marcelo Godoy.
“The then Minister of Defense said that the South Atlantic is not only a matter for South Americans, but it is a strategic area of Brazil and, therefore, we are not talking about any other situation,” he added.
NATO was founded in 1949, early in the Cold War, as a military pact of countries aligned with the United States. Nowadays, it has 29 countries and guarantees the principle of collective defense, that is, an eventual attack on one or more members of the group will be seen as an aggression against all other members.