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December 16, 2016
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December 13, 2004
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March 3, 1972
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Approved For Release 2005/01/11 CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 Secret 25X1 DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE WEEKLY.. SUMMARY Special Report Arms and Security in Latin A :!erica CIA DOCUMENT Secret SERVICES BR,04w.ll FILE CcW N? 608 00 3T~March '8=?~qff1972 Approve o eleD TCIA-RDP85T00875R00150V0'40~072B 25X1 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008- SECRET 25X1 In the Juror over the alleged arms race in Latin America, there is much hypocrisy, maneuvering and trickery. And a good close of foolishness in the repeti- tion of disarmatnent cliches wit/tout much attention to the facts.... AThere o L!eras Carmargo / ormer secretary genera! oJ'the OAS Latin America spends less on arms than any otter part of tie world. In fact, in the past 20 tears, defense budgets as a proportion of 'total expenditures have dropped 50 percent. Sol Linowit: Former US envoy to the OAS During the past five years, South American countries have purcl,dsed more than a billion dollars worth of armaments from Western Europe and Canada with deliveries scheduled through the mid-seventies. While this amount is admittedly small in comparison with the acquisitions of major world powers, it reflects a growing interest in modern weapons systems and a movement away Trom traditional US suppliers. Nevertheless, no single European seller has cornered the arms market. Most of the Latin American countries continue to show a preference for US military missions. Arms control efforts have been thwarted by political, economic, and institutional factors as well as by the way major Latin American governments view potential threats to their security. There is little danger, however, of a serious arms race since internal security and patrol of territorial seas continue to be the main focus of military operations. Armament inventories will continue to expand, but there is no indication of a d,-amatic increase in total military expenditures. Approved For Release 2005/01~t1C1 1 DP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/1,~Ee I P85T00875ROO1500040008-0 Background During World War II, the US replaced Europe as "ie main source of military assistance and materiel for Latin America. Military equip- ment from the US, provided at first through lend- lease aid, was supplied to the major South American forces at relatively low cost through surplus sales or loans. The sales of new armaments to South America consisted mainly of trainer and transport aircraft, helicopters, and small arms. After the war, the US continued to domi- ildte the Latin American arms market for many years. A little West European equipment was purc;,ased, largely surplus warships, jet tactical aircraft, and tanks. These items the US was reluc- tant or unwilling to supply. While the smaller Latin American military establishments, along with Mexico, generally have welcomed the US emphasis on internal security and arms limitations, the leading South American forces have been less receptive. In part, this re- flects important differences among Latin Ameri- can military organizations. Those in the larger South American countries are characterized by a high degree of specialization, adherence to dis- cipline. and a hierarchical structure. They are relatively cohesive, and have well-organized com- mand, staff, and school systems. They are not receptive to US attempts to limit their arms sup- plies. Since the mid-1960s, the six major South American countries-Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela-which account for 80 percent of Latin American military spend- ing, have turned increasingly to non-US suppliers for major combat equipment. The smaller Latin American countries, however, generally lack the economic resources and technical expertise needed to suppor~ professional military in- stitutions, and the acquisition of modern arms is not a matter of such intense national pride. Arms Purchases from Europe In Latin America, as in other areas of the world, weapons procurement is often dictated by Special Report 25X1 economic and political forces rather than by the strategic realities or by missions created to cope with those realities. In the 1960s, military leaders in the major South American countries began to express concern about the state of their military equipment. Their inventories dated from World War II or earlier and were in poor condition. Replacement parts were in short supply and tech- nica! skills lacking. In planning to modernize their holdings of combat equipment, the major South American services were inclined to set higher goals than were suggested by their US advisers. The advisers emphasized low cost and utility factors, while the Latin military wanted badly to stay abreast of contemporary military tech- nology. The US stress on internal security, par- ticularly, clashed with the nationalistic attitudes of leaders of the larger South American sere ces. Before the current round of arms moderni; ition began, some military commanders compllined that their outmoded equipment made it dificult to attract officer candidates. In the late 1960s, the larger South American countries were benefiting from better economic conditions, and in many of them military govern- ments were determining the allocation of funds. These factors favored a more generous attitude toward military re-equipment programs. Brazil, the country that accounts for about 40 percent of current arms purchases, is particularly flush as a result of rapid industrial growth and increased government revenues. With more cash available and under pressures to expand and replace aging inventories, military buyers were willing to !ook beyond the US for new equipment. Another factor promoting the sale of non- US arms to Latin America has been US legislative restrictions on military assistance to foreign coun- tries,, particularly the Symington and Conte-Long amendments to the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1967. These amendments call for a reduction or termination of US economic assistance to coun- tries that make "unnecessary military expendi- tureit" or purchase sophisticated equipment. To most Latin American leaders, this was an unac- ceptable challenge to their national sovereignty Approved For Release 2005/01/1,' -LR?P85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 LATI N AAiNILIZICAN PRODUCTS French AMX-I3 (ank assembled in Argentina. Italian designed Acrmacchi 326 jet aircraft produced in Brasil. British Mark I() frigate, Nvhich Brasil plans It, huild next vear. Approved For Release 2005/01M ,( A--i bP85T00875R001500040008-0 Approved For Release 2005/01/11 : CIA-RDP85T00875R001500040008-0 SECRE J.' Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and Colombia (in that order). Venezuela's large foreign exchange earn- ings have allowed it recently to increase its mili- tary expenditures at a record pace. Major equip- ment purchases, however, have been made to refurbish an antiquated weapons inventory. The naval services used to account for the bulk of Latin armament acquisitions, but air and ground forces have greatly increased their share over the past several years. Latin American navies are buying the usual mix of principal combatant 22.0+ 5.8 90.7 307.0 117.0 Argentina 5.5 16.7 6.4 21.0+ Brazil 6.8 47.2 60.5 52.0 Chile 1.6 5.9 Colombia Ecuador 0.6 Mexico 2.5 Paraguay 0.4 Uruguay Venezuela and prestige, and they preferred to accept eco- nomic aid cuts rather than abandon their military modernization programs. European countries, on the other hand, have been less inhibited by such political reservations and have exported arms to Latin America for economic reasons. In many cases in West Europe, the export of arms helps to sustain armament industries, which would not be economically viable without a si