Argentina and Chile on Alert for New US Military Plans

Telma Luzzani
The speed of international changes is precipitating (as a necessity and, at the same time, as a pretext) a thorough acceleration of the plans that the US already had in the pipeline to preserve its role as the only global hegemon.

Europe and Asia are not the only ones included in the new military plans of the United States. At the last Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas (Brasilia from July 25 to 28, 2022), the Pentagon sought to impose the dangerous concept of “integrated deterrence” as part of the strategy of our Armed Forces. Argentina and Chile took distance and proposed to think about it.

The speed of international changes is precipitating (as a necessity and, at the same time, as a pretext) a thorough acceleration of the plans that the US already had in the pipeline to preserve its role as the only global hegemon. Why? It is very possible that the US strategists did not foresee the magnitude that the “limitless” alliance between China and Russia was taking and that they also did not calculate the emergence of a new economic, commercial and financial structure in Asia that could put the reign of Russia at risk. of the dollar as a global exchange currency or that could make the US lose control of the finances carried out anywhere on Earth.

Yes, it is very likely that the hierarchs of the “deep state” have planned the military reaction of the Kremlin in Ukraine; the hypermassive sale of US weapons and the deterioration (via the energy crisis) of Europe. But surely it was not in his plans that 85% of the world population distance itself from the condemnations against Russia or that this country capitalize on the sanctions by revaluing the ruble and selling energy to Eurasia.

For the United States, times have become urgent and in this context the notion of “integrated deterrence” appears, mentioned, for the first time, by the head of the Pentagon, General Lloyd Austin, in April 2021 and included both in the doctrine of NATO as in the US National Defense Strategy 2022 (EDN 2022). It is important to remember that General Austin is on both sides of the counter: he is Minister of Defense and arms seller from his position as a shareholder of the Raytheon Company, one of the three most important defense contractors and arms manufacturers in the US.

What does integrated deterrence entail? The military strategy of deterrence -central during the Cold War- is based on the idea that an enormous nuclear power or a great destructive capacity makes the adversary desist from initiating an attack. The adjective “integrated” is even more dangerous. In the words of Colin Kahl, former security adviser to Joe Biden when he was Barack Obama’s vice president, “it means being integrated with our allies and partners, who are the true asymmetric advantage that the United States has over any other potential competitor or adversary.”

In short, the EDN 2022 proposes a deterrence based on the use of all dimensions of North American power, but involving our Armed Forces (and those of other countries) as participants and responsible for the military actions planned by the Pentagon according to their interests.

This was what Lloyd Austin proposed to our defense ministers at the Brasilia Conference, targeting Russia and, above all, China, with the same line of argument that the head of the Southern Command, Laura Richardson, put forward last May: Latin America it must beware of the pernicious “political and economic influence of China and its expansionist plans”.

For Carlos Raimundi, “the concept of ‘integrated deterrence’ responds to the traditional logic of the Monroe Doctrine. That is, consider that the challenges, threats and rivals of the United States have to be the same challenges, threats and rivals of all the other countries of the Americas”. Raimundi clarifies that this is “his personal point of view and that in no way compromises the official position of the Argentine State.”

In relation to the US objective of setting its sights on China and Russia, our current ambassador to the OAS explained that “this proposal is presented in a context of a very clear decrease in the global influence of the US and, in general, of the North Atlantic axis, both in the military and economic aspects, something that is sometimes difficult to admit for those who feed on or rely solely on information from the hegemonic press of the so-called ‘West’”.

And he adds: “Given this deterioration of the hegemony typical of the unipolar stage at the expense of Russia in military terms and of China in commercial and technological terms, the need arises to maintain control over what is usually called “the Americas”. In my opinion, the idea of ​​”the Americas” is a strictly geographical question, and not a political one. Politically, the interests of the most developed states in the Americas – Canada and the US, which also belong to the G-7 and NATO – do not coincide with the interests of the American states that belong to the global South. Why? Because our biggest challenge is not to contain the expansion of Russia and China. That is the challenge of globalized financial capital, not ours.

Our challenge is to develop autonomously, manage our natural resources, participate mainly in the income from our strategic resources, eradicate poverty and inequality. The defense interests of the States of South America are centered on the preservation and increase of our sovereignty. The interests of the States of the global North are attached to those of the large private corporations that precisely limit our sovereignty. That is why I believe that there cannot be a common defense strategy”.

Academics specialized in these issues, such as Rut Diamint, principal investigator at Conicet, and Juan Gabriel Tokatlián, vice-chancellor of the Torcuato Di Tella University, were also concerned about “integrated deterrence.” “Argentina and Chile are limited to considering the study of the issue in greater depth by the Inter-American Defense Board for a later assessment,” wrote Diamint in his article “Regional defense, apathy, ignorance or submission?”

The specialist warns that “assigning to the IADB the evaluation of the notion of integrated deterrence is another bias of the militarization of the region”, when democratization in Latin America considered essential to strengthen democratic civilian control of the armed forces. “At a time when several leaders resort to the uniformed to maintain their power, with the military dealing with public security scrutinizing their own citizens, the absence of a firm claim to enhance the voice of the civil, professional and democratic sector is worrying. The IADB cannot act independently of political guidelines”, says Diamint
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The issue of integrated deterrence as part of our guidelines has been very rarely touched on by the Argentine and regional press. Perhaps because there are issues that require more immediate solutions. However, the issue is pressing, it must be made public and studied in depth because it implies a military commitment to a highly warmongering power and, in the not too distant future, we could be sorry and suffer unexpected consequences.