South American defence
Speak fraternally but carry a stick
May 29th 2008 | CARACAS, SANTIAGO AND SÃO PAULO
From The Economist print edition
2008年5月29日 / 加拉加斯、圣地亚哥、圣保罗
Is there a new arms race—or just overdue retooling of armies?
GIVE or take the odd border raid and attempt to undermine a neighbour, fraternal feeling abounds in South America. Many countries are governed by people who were once leftist soul-mates. They talk of ever-greater integration. This rhetoric abounded on May 23rd, when 12 leaders met in Brasília and formally set up a Union of South American Nations. Yet like many such initiatives in the region, ambition ran far ahead of reality.
虽然偶有边界摩擦和以邻为壑的事件发生，但是南美各国间向来是称兄道弟。在许多国家，那些曾经同是左派同志的人正在当政，他们大 谈进一步的融合。就在5月23号南美12国领导人齐聚巴西利亚正式建立南美国家联盟时，这种外交辞令不绝于耳。但是就像这个地区的许多类似动议一样，这次 同样是理想大大高于现实。
Unasur (or Unasul in Portuguese) replaces a South American Community declared in 2004 and supposed to unite two existing free-trade areas, Mercosur and the Andean Community. That proved too difficult—and is likely to remain so. The new group will have the appearance of purposefulness, including a secretariat in Ecuador and a parliament in Bolivia, but not much more than that.
The leaders also discussed setting up a South American Defence Council as a forum to talk about defence and security. Brazil has been pushing for this. Its diplomats thought that they had an agreement to make it happen. Yet they were thwarted when Colombia declined to join because of its neighbours’ equivocal attitude to its FARC guerrillas.
Even as its leaders talk, Latin America is re-arming—or rather some South American countries are. In the broader region, including Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, total defence spending shot up to $38 billion in 2007 from $25 billion in 2003, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a London think-tank. The military budgets of the biggest spenders—Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Venezuela—have been rising faster. Brazil announced a rise of 50% (or $10 billion) in its spending on hardware for 2008-11.
拉 丁美洲正在重新武装起来，至少南美洲是这样，领导人们对此并不避讳。在更广的区域内，包括墨西哥，中美洲和加勒比地区，根据伦敦国际战略研究所的测算，总 防务开支由2003年的250亿美元上升至2007年的380亿美元。军费开支最多的几个国家是巴西，哥伦比亚，智利和委内瑞拉，他们的军费开支增长速度 也比较快。巴西宣布从2008年到2011年硬件开支要增长50%。
Two things are driving the spending increases. First, military budgets were cut after many Latin American nations turned their back on military rule in the 1980s. In many countries, equipment is now ancient and dilapidated. Replacing it is a sign of more normal relations between civilian governments and their armies. Venezuela is the exception: although its leftist president, Hugo Chávez, is elected, he is a former army officer and his power base lies partly in the barracks. Venezuela’s recent purchase of two dozen Sukhoi-30 fighter aircraft and 50 military helicopters from Russia may have been presented as a show of strength to the imperialists in Washington, but it was also designed to shore up support from the generals at home.
有两件事促使开支增长。第一，自上世纪80年代许多拉美国家摆脱军人统治 后，军费有所削减。许多国家的武器装备年老失修，更换装备显示了民选政府与军方更加正常的关系。委内瑞拉是个例外：虽然其左派总统查韦斯是经民选产生的， 但他曾是军方高官，而且其权力基础仍部分依靠军方。委内瑞拉最近从俄罗斯购买了20架苏-30战斗机和50架军用直升机。或许这一方面为了向华盛顿的帝国 主义者展示实力，另一方面是为了获取国内军方将领的支持。
The second reason is that after four years of faster economic growth, partly induced by high prices for commodity exports, governments have more money to spend. In Chile, the link between commodity prices and arms is written into law: the armed forces get 10% of the export revenues of Codelco, the state copper producer—a sum that amounted to $1.4 billion in 2007—for capital spending. Over the past dozen years this money has bought 340 German tanks, eight frigates, two new submarines and 28 F-16 fighters.
第二个原因 是：部分由于原材料出口价格上涨，经济持续四年快速增长，政府手中有钱可花。在智利，军费与原材料价格联动被写入法律：军方可得到国有铜厂 Codelco10%的年收入，2007年这个数字达到14亿美元。在过去十年，军方用这笔钱购买了340辆德国坦克，8艘护卫舰，两艘新潜艇和28架F -16战斗机。
Chile’s appetite for new kit is a worry for both Bolivia and Peru, which dispute its land and maritime borders respectively and which were the losers in a 19th-century war. In early May Alan García, Peru’s president, urged his peers in the region to stop buying weapons and to concentrate instead on fighting poverty. At a day-to-day level, however, relations between Chile and its neighbours are less tense than they were three decades ago when all were ruled by generals.
智利对新装备的渴 望源于其对玻利维亚和秘鲁的担忧，他们与智利分别有陆地和海洋边界纠纷，在19世纪的战争中他们都输给了智利。5月初秘鲁总统阿兰.哥西卡敦促其邻国停止 采购武器，并把精力集中于铲除贫困。但是在日常水平上，智利与邻国的关系比起三十年前三国都被军人统治的时代已经缓和了很多。
Similarly, Brazil’s arms build-up, which includes plans for a nuclear-powered submarine and new jet fighters, has not alarmed its neighbours much. Economic stability and growth, and an increasingly solid democracy, have recently made Brazilian governments more confident about acting as the regional superpower—but through diplomacy. Some Brazilian officials look askance at Colombia, whose military build-up against the FARC has the backing of the United States. But the main threat to Brazil’s ambition is Mr Chávez, who has sought to develop a network of clients in the region, dependent on his gifts of cheap oil and cash.
与智利类似，巴西的军力建设，包括核潜艇和新式战斗机采购计划，并未让邻国过于惊恐。经济稳定并持续增长和日渐稳固的民主使巴西政府近来更自信的充当地区超级大国——但不 是靠军力而是靠外交。一些巴西官员对哥伦比亚不无担忧，哥伦比亚为了对付其国内的革命武装力量游击队而进行的军力建设有美国的支持。但对巴西野心的主要威 胁是查韦斯，他依靠便宜的石油和金钱，在这个地区大肆编织代理人网络。
Venezuela’s arms purchases alarm several of its neighbours. Mr Chávez this month said airily that more tanks for Venezuela “shouldn’t worry anybody”. He promised that he would place yet more orders for Russian weapons on a planned trip to Moscow in July. What for? The president says that he would prevent the United States from setting up a military base near Venezuela’s border “whatever the cost”. He has also said that demands for greater autonomy in eastern Bolivia could lead Venezuela to intervene in support of the socialist government there.
但委内瑞拉的军购却让它的邻国有所警觉。这个月查韦斯说委内瑞拉拥有更多坦克“不应让任 何人感到担心”。他还非常肯定的说7月份访问莫斯科时，他会订购更多的武器。要这么多武器干什么呢？总统说他是为了防止美国在委内瑞拉周边建立军事基地， “不论成本有多高”。他还说玻利维亚东部想要更高水平的自治，这让委内瑞拉有机会支持那里的社会主义政权。
Mr Chávez seems to have his eye mainly on Colombia. He resents its alliance with the United States, and has expressed sympathy for the FARC. Captured guerrilla documents suggest that Venezuelan military and intelligence officers have actively helped the guerrillas. Mr Chávez responded to Colombia’s cross-border raid into Ecuador in March (which killed a FARC leader) by briefly ordering tanks to the border. “Look at the evidence and [you] conclude that Venezuela is arming for war with Colombia,” says Rocío San Miguel, a defence analyst in Caracas. It recently bought 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles (more than its total number of regular troops). These are to replace ancient Belgian rifles. But the ammunition they fire is compatible with guns used by the FARC.
查韦斯看起来 把目光主要放在哥伦比亚身上，他对哥伦比亚与美国的盟友关系非常不满，而且已经向哥伦比亚革命武装力量游击队表示了同情。被截获的游击队文件暗示委内瑞拉 军事和情报官员曾积极帮助游击队。在哥伦比亚跨过国界进入厄瓜多尔境内追捕游击队成员时（此次行动杀死了一名游击队领导人），查韦斯把坦克短暂调往哥委边 界。加拉加斯的防务分析家Rocío San Miguel说“看到这些证据，你可以得出结论：委内瑞拉是为了与哥伦比亚打仗而更新装备。“最近委内瑞拉采购了100000支（比起常规部队总人数还 多）卡拉什尼科夫来福枪用以替换老式的比利时来福枪。但是它采购的弹药却与革命武装力量游击队所用的枪支一致。
Hitherto Colombia’s military build-up has been wholly focused on counter-insurgency. But in what appears to be a defensive response to Mr Chávez, it has placed an order with Israel for Kfir fighter jets. According to Mark Bromley of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Colombia has also been talking to Sweden about buying an airborne early-warning system and a tanker plane.
Take into account the weakened dollar as well as economic growth, and in many countries the arms spending looks less threatening. At least until 2006, defence spending in Latin America as a whole was running at only 1.3% of GDP, according to the IISS. Only the non-NATO European countries spend less. Some of the recent spending in South America involves retooling armies that used to repress their own populations for new roles, such as peacekeeping or Amazonian surveillance. Nevertheless, some of the recent purchases are cause for concern—especially given that so much talk of South American unity is just that.
考虑到疲软的美元，虚弱的经济增长，以及许多国家的军费开支看起来没有什么威胁，因此根据伦敦国际战略研究所的研究，至少在 2006年，整个拉丁美洲的军费开支只占GDP的1.3%，只有欧洲的非北约国家比它们花的更少。最近南美国家的部分军费开支，包括更新装备，是为了在国 内事务上扮演新角色，比如维和或是亚马逊雨林监控。然而还有一些最近的军购值得引起关注——尤其是考虑到最近南美国家正在大谈团结。