Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bossa Nova Bomb?

I struggle to understand why Brazil needs nuclear submarines. It's a country where the interior is extremely difficult to penetrate or control and where the coastal cities have horrifying slums controlled by gangs and where poverty is rampant. How real is the threat of invasion? How real is the desire to be the alpha dog of South America?

Of course one benefit of having nuclear powered subs is that the military can impose secrecy on the fissionable materials it stockpiles as fuel and in that secrecy can use it to make nuclear weapons. There are indications that this is just what they're doing or are about to do, with President Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva expressing irritation at the US monopoly on nuclear weapons in South America and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

So why the hell does Brazil, it's recovering economy notwithstanding, need the Bomb? I suppose it's because it simply feels it can -- and with the US busy chasing its own tail, hell bent on self-destruction and anarchy, who is to say it can't?

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