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Derico
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US Military In Paraguay Thru 2006: Why?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:38 am

"According to Paraguayan Vicepresident Luis Castiglioni, the more 'permanent' presence of US military units, besides to participate in joint training operations with the Paraguayan military, is due to the 'instability' of certain countries in the region, and (in perhaps the most stunning statement of all), because of the increased hostility of some governments to the Bush administration.

Castiglioni also commented in his evaluation of US secretary of Defense D. Rummsfeld's visit to the country, that the United States said to them that it wants Paraguay as a strategic ally by 'radiating stability from Paraguay to other countries in the region, with US collaboration'.

Rummsfeld visit, along with approval by the Paraguayan congress (very quietly at night it should be said) of a law granting immunity from prosecution to US troops operating in any part of the country's territory, have increased speculation that the United States is seeking to establish a military base in Paraguay, which critics claim is an attempt to control the Southern Cone, historically an area somewhat outside the US sphere of influence. Paraguay and the United States deny any such plans."

The Paraguayan vicepresident said that the relationship is that of 'equals', and that the ultimate plan is to give Paraguay more internal security, border security, and security in it's airspace, to make the region and continent more secure."


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Well, a few things. First I agree with the last statement... But it's Argentina that needs to be made secure from things like Paraguayan infiltration of cattle which in the past has infected cattle in the Province of Formosa with Foot&Mouth, or from hundreds and hundreds of intrusions of Argentine air space from Paraguay by drug dealers shipping drugs south, and from illegal immigrants coming from Paraguay. If all those things will be decreased with US troops there, then that's great. But this is not the point of the thread.

Why does the United States need such a military presence in Paraguay of all places? I guess it could be said that Paraguay may have requested it, but somehow I don't think that is the case. US military leaders would not have come down to Paraguay if that was the case.

Finally, many people in the US ask themelves why their country is disliked so much around the world. Many times I've sided with Americans in saying that 'jealousy' of US power is part of the reason. However, another major reason is that the US government opens it's mouth way too much where it does not warrant, which eventually has led to such dislike. For example, according to sources, US officials said that 'they are worried about the instability in Ecuador, which has had 8 different governments in 9 years, the constant instability in Bolivia, and even Brazil which is going thru a significant political crisis'.

Why the he!! does the US need to comment on internal Bolivian affairs? Or better yet, why does it have to comment on internal Brazilian political affairs? Af far as I can see there is no 'instability' in Brazil. Would the US appreciate it if countries made comments of US 'instability' during the political impeachment of Clinton? Or of the 'instability' during the election crisis a few years ago? Most Americans would be both offended and dismissive if France, China, Italy, England, Russia, Brazil or anyone else made such comments. And of course most countries did make fun of the election problems in Florida, but after years and years of US 'holier than thou' attitudes towards other countries and their processes, that was to be expected was it not...

The US makes uncalled for comments such as that almost daily somewhere in the world, perhaps that is a reason the popularity of the US is so low?

'Political' instability as a reason for a US military presence in Paraguay will no doubt fuel the fire of speculation even further...
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Lt-AWACS
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RE: US Military In Paraguay Thru 2006: Why?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:09 am

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
For example, according to sources, US officials said that 'they are worried about the instability in Ecuador, which has had 8 different governments in 9 years

But we have a big base in Ecuador at Manta (nice place btw). Stability is not always the first issue.

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PPVRA
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RE: US Military In Paraguay Thru 2006: Why?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:59 am

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
Or better yet, why does it have to comment on internal Brazilian political affairs?

It's a political scandal, corruption etc. the usual sh*t. There is no political crisis like there is in Bolivia for example.

That's why they are there:

Paraguay has been a counterterrorist champion in the unruly "tri-border region," where its borders converge with those of Argentina and Brazil. A senior defense official traveling with Rumsfeld described this area as a center not only for trade, but also for smuggling and other illicit activities. Rumsfeld noted the solid cooperation being demonstrated in the region as Paraguay and other nations work together to counter problems ranging from hostage taking to drug trafficking and gangs.

Rumsfeld and Frutos also discussed concerns about growing Cuban and Venezuelan influence in Bolivia, Paraguay's neighbor to the west. Cuba's aggressive foreign policy agenda, bankrolled by Venezuelan dollars, is having an "unhelpful" influence in the region, the secretary said. "Countries like Paraguay and other neighbors are all interested in being able to grow and function in a manner that's free of external influence," he said.

"This is a concern to all the neighbors (of Bolivia)," a senior defense official told reporters. The challenge, not only for Paraguay or the United States but for the inter-American system as a whole, is to help the Bolivians steer this situation to a democratic outcome, he said.


Link to the whole article:

http://www.defesanet.com.br/intel/crise_al_18.htm

It's a mini-cold war. Plus the tri-border terrorism thing.

Also, several article on here:

http://www.defesanet.com.br/

Go through the list, many of them are in English and Portuguese (and a few in Spanish).

Cheers,
PPVRA
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
cannibalz3
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RE: US Military In Paraguay Thru 2006: Why?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:25 am

What happens in South America is very important to the United States. Instability there would throw off.....well, lots of things in this country. I spent several months in Bolivia, and I know the government there to get significant aid from the US for anti-drug programs. Significant US interests in Bolivia include the exploitation of natural gas and mining in the region, anti-drug programs, and ensuring that instability doesn't collapse not only Bolivia, but lead to more significant problems in Peru and Ecuador. Not to mention compromising the huge levels of trade coming from Chile, Brazil, and Argentina.
This is only the way I see things, this does not in any way mean my endorsement of these policies or how they're applied.

Just out of question, what kind of resources does the US keep in Manta?

By the way, every single government has positions on what is happening in South America right now. Only some positions make the news. Why do you think that is?
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looneytoon
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RE: US Military In Paraguay Thru 2006: Why?

Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:20 am

Well first of all, I am surprised that several of you actually know about Rumsfeld's "secret" visit to Paraguay... Here, it was kept on the down-low by American officials and many people only knew the meeting happened after he left.

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
US military leaders would not have come down to Paraguay if that was the case.

Why do you say this? Paraguay is at the dead center of South America and directly borders two very influential countries in South America that have very potential economies and more. It also borders Bolivia which is a major world producer of cocaine.

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
And of course most countries did make fun of the election problems in Florida, but after years and years of US 'holier than thou' attitudes towards other countries and their processes, that was to be expected was it not..

what??

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
The US makes uncalled for comments such as that almost daily somewhere in the world, perhaps that is a reason the popularity of the US is so low?

Can you get any more general?

Quoting Derico (Thread starter):
The Paraguayan vicepresident said that the relationship is that of 'equals', and that the ultimate plan is to give Paraguay more internal security, border security, and security in it's airspace, to make the region and continent more secure."

That is something along the lines that the press here said about the meetings held with Rumsfeld. What was also mentioned to the press was the fact that Venezuela's with its money and oil power and Cuba's aggressive foreign policy are trying to push countries in South America away from the United States' influence and trade. Venezuela plays a major role in Paraguayan oil sales.

Paraguay hasn't had a single radar at any airport since the last one broke about 15 years ago. The government just can't come up with several million dollars to purchase, install, and run a radar system. The skies over Paraguay are practically un protected hence the easiness to carry illegal goods.

If any of you have been to Paraguay, you would know how EASY it is to get away with anything. One can cross into Argentina, Brasil, and Bolivia illegally and even worse, carrying illegal products. To sum it up, the borders are pretty much open.

The tri-border area has been known to have safe-housed several terrorist organizations as well as have been the 'base' of terrorist activity in Southern America. Money laundering and piracy are common in this area.

The Paraguayan police force and army in lay-man's words, just plain sucks. They are known for taking bribes and stealing money. Frutos is trying his best to end this type of corruption aside from ending internal government corruption.

Paraguay still recovering from the effect of dictatorship and years of extremely corrupt governments. Countries such as Cuba and rebel groups such as the FARC in Colombia are very influential in a country such as Paraguay. It almost resembles a senior picking on a very vulnerable 6 year old. Paraguayans don't know what to believe yet and whether or not to trust the new government because in the past, the governments were not trustable and caused fear.

And as said before, what happens in South America greatly affects the United States. The United States has invested millions perhaps billions of dollars into developing democracy and trade in South America aside from trying to end drug wars and trafficking and piracy. Right now several countries in South America are on the brim of being stable and collapsing. If one South American nation collapses to rebels, more could follow. Paraguay under the leadership of Duarte Frutos, is still trying to pick itself up after decades of dictatorship and horrible corruption. If anything, Rumsfeld's plans with Paraguay will benefit both countries and would greatly help Paraguay become more stable.

[Edited 2005-08-23 04:27:58]

[Edited 2005-08-23 04:29:49]

[Edited 2005-08-23 04:43:43]
LooneyToon

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