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Chile sets out its defence strategy targets emphasizing global cooperation

Saturday, July 7th 2012 - 05:18 UTC
Full article 28 comments
President Piñera making the presentation of ENSYD President Piñera making the presentation of ENSYD

The Chilean government released its new 2012-2024 National Defence and Security Strategy (ENSYD) this week which promises to address “new threats” to Chilean security in an international context.

The strategy, presented by President Sebastián Piñera and Defence Minister Andrés Allamand, would be implemented upon the approval of Allamand’s proposed military funding modification.

“Chilean integration into the international scene gives us a lot of opportunities, but also presents more threats,” Piñera said. “Security today goes beyond the traditional scope of defence, which is the protection of sovereignty, independence and the land and sea of our country. The emergence of new threats extends to non-traditional issues including arms trafficking; drug trafficking, organized crime, piracy and much more.”

Allamand said the new defence strategy’s international outlook stresses a need for “broad security.”

“We need to be able to protect our national interests,” he said. “But to do that nowadays, you have to look at the international context and cooperate with other countries.”

Piñera pointed to the steps Chile’s defence policy has already made on the international stage. Besides from leading international humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, such as the UN mission in Haiti, Chile has also signed upwards of 80 bilateral and multilateral defence agreements worldwide.

Looking forward, Allamand spoke of plans to increase and diversify military training in order to strengthen “military abilities without increasing military forces or military measures.”

Opposition Socialist Party Senator and President of the Senate Camilo Escalona voiced his concern over increased military activity at the strategy’s presentation.

“The Latin American experience of military forces’ involvement in security tasks has been widely negative, and at a very high social cost, especially concerning narcotics trafficking,” Escalona told the press.

Escalona also took issue with the fact that the new strategy depends on Allamand’s recent proposal to reform military spending, which has not yet been passed in the Senate.

“(This new defence strategy) assumes – possibly incorrectly – that the new (military spending) law will be passed,” Escalona said. “I would also like to clarify that I do not agree with this document.”

Allamand’s proposal would repeal Chile’s so-called “copper law” which ties Chile’s military funding proportionally to state-owned copper company Codelco’s annual sales. It would instead subject the military budget to Congressional approval, with a minimum funding limit. The proposal passed unanimously through the Chamber of Deputies in early June.

Piñera hailed the smooth progress of the bill through the Chamber, and expressed hope that it will also “pass quickly” through the Senate.

By Angus McNeice & Maria Giulia Agostini  - The Santiago Times

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • GeoffWard2

    Defence in Chile.

    Who is Chile 'afraid of' ?............... I can understand world UN peace-keeping contribution, trafficking and organised crime,

    but is there a REAL defence need ... a real threat?

    Nations/people from overseas?
    Adjacent nations?
    Its own people?

    Each of these three needs a different strategy, with different procurements.
    Is there evidence from the procurements in place and planned, as to which is/are the REAL defence threat(s)?

    This is just one of the ways that we can look behind the words of politicians and their media mouthpieces, to see where the fears for their nation REALLY lay.

    Jul 07th, 2012 - 08:32 am 0
  • PirateLove

    @1 i wonder if it has anything to do with Argentinas defence agreement with china that was recently announced. coincidental??
    could this be a new cold front where east meets west?

    Jul 07th, 2012 - 10:25 am 0
  • Conqueror

    @1 A number of “options” are possible:
    1. argieland. Almost certainly has its (greedy) eyes still fixed on the remainder of Patagonia. Another step toward another invasion of the Falklands. And once Patagonia is completely argieland's, why not slurp up the rest of Chile?
    2. Bolivia. Morales would love to see the argie forces moving up from the south. Ready for the “fraternal” assistance toward Bolivia's access to the Pacific.
    3. Shortly before Bolivia's “annexation” by argieland. Given the argie forces moving up through “ex-Chile”, argie forces on the border and Brazilian forces approaching through “ex Paraguay”.

    Will it be “peaceful”? Or can we watch them all killing each other? Even if it is “peaceful”, we can look forward to the rebellion of the “ordinary” people once they realise what Chavez, CFK and Rousseff intend. Serfdom!

    Jul 07th, 2012 - 01:53 pm 0
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