Argentine Defense Minister Agustín Rossi met his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim and agreed to incorporate all South American countries in their bilateral treaty on cyber-defense. The decision was made after several reports indicated the United States engaged in espionage activities against the countries in the region.
Two months ago, both ministers met in Buenos Aires to discuss the situation and in this last meeting in Brasilia they again discussed the same topic: how to promote cooperation in order to fight potential cyber threats, such as the espionage carried out by the US National Security Agency, which was unveiled by Edward Snowden, the former US agency contractor.
“I think that the UNASUR bloc has a common defense strategy” said Argentine minister Rossi in conversations with journalists after meeting Amorim. Rossi also called the rest of the countries in the southern end of South America to enroll in this cyber-defense strategy.
“In order to preserve the region’s progress, we should consider this policy,” he added.
According to Rossi, the organization in charge of discussing this proposal should be UNASUR’s Defense Council. Defense ministers are supposed to meet and define joint actions regarding security.
Amorim regretted that the Council has not met since the espionage scandal started with Snowden’s accusation, adding that it would be fundamental to debate the issue in the next meeting.
“However, while we wait until joint decisions are made in the South American sphere, we can work bilaterally as we are doing with Argentina” indicated Amorim.
To maintain that cooperation, Rossi said that the country will be sending a group of military officers to Brazil Superior War Academy to train in “cyber-war.” Meanwhile, Brazilian officers will be travelling to Buenos Aires to do a masters in the Army’s University Institute.
Rossi was also invited to visit the Brazilian Army’s Communications and Electronic War Centre to learn about the defense actions carried out in Brazil. Rossi and Amorim did not detail any other measures that both countries will be taking on jointly.