National Security

President Trump Designates Brazil a ‘Major Non-NATO Ally’

On 8 May, President Trump notified policymakers of his designation of Brazil as a “Major Non-NATO Ally.”

In a letter to Congress, Trump wrote: “I am making this designation in recognition of the Government of Brazil’s recent commitments to increase defense cooperation with the United States, and in recognition of our own national interest in deepening our defense coordination with Brazil.”

This move should not be that surprising. Trump has been alluding to increasing defense cooperation with Brazil for some time. Two months ago, during Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to Washington, Trump told reporters at a joint press conference that he was taking steps to “greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries.”

The important point to consider here is the timing, and how Trump’s announcement coincides with the major challenge in the region, namely the Venezuelan crisis.

The Trump administration has been increasingly eluding to taking a path of intervention to put an end to the deepening catastrophe in Venezuela. Vice President Mike Pence recently stopped just short of threatening invasion by American forces. The thing is, while the United States as well as the rest of the free world want nothing more for Venezuela than for the fall of the Maduro regime, there is a realistic recognition that such an outcome cannot and should not be brought about by U.S. troops. Any aggressive intervention in the country would have to be at the hands of local nations, countries that are directly threatened and most strongly affected by a Venezuela in turmoil, Brazil being the strongest nation on the continent militarily speaking. It is in America’s interests, now more than ever, to solidify strong defense ties. Trump has no doubt been working on the effort for some time. A partnership with Brasilia will be a key asset in efforts to bring about real change for the Venezuelan people.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Samuel Siskind

Samuel Siskind studied intelligence research at the American Military University in West Virginia. He served as a squad commander in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) Corp of Combat Engineers, in the Corps' ground battalions and later in its Intelligence Wing at regional and divisional stations. For the past five years, Samuel has worked as a consultant and researcher on physical and information security issues for private and governmental institutions, in the US, Africa, India, and Israel. He currently lives in Jerusalem.

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