India - International Relations
The National Defense Plan: Brasília must look to New Delhi
Salvador Raza explains the convergence between the Economics of National Security and the Force Project. Nurturing a defense project without a force project only privileges the exports of low technology and tends to collapse. From Washington, DC.
Together, India and China are the two largest arms importers in the world. From 2001 to 2004, India consumed US$ 9 billion in defense material (1990 constant prices) for territorial protection against infiltration on national frontiers, taking care of treaty commitments, cooperation agreements and defense coalitions including participating in peace operations and protection against national disasters; defense against transnational threats, which includes anti-terrorism acts, drug trafficking and environmental depredation; protection of natural maritime resources in the exclusive zone; protection of access to assets, services and markets, including the guarantee of the energy matrix and vital agricultural resources; and maintenance of law and order and prevention against counter insurgencies.
According to Dr. Rajan Katoch, analyst of national security themes and ex-Secretary of the Indian Planning Commission, despite these expenses, the defense programs lack analytical rigor. National Indian leaders allocate defense resources critically with little or no conceptual reference constructed, either on a theoretical base with empirical evidence which construct the body of knowledge of the discipline of the National Security Economics, which deals with themes that analyze and guide the formulation of public policies in the seven security dimensions: territorial, human, energy, technological, environment, informational and business, occupying a sphere of preoccupation above the Defense Economics, the aims of which is more oriented to the application of economic principles in defense management.
The interests and objects of National Security Economics and National Defense Plans meet and converge in three areas: 1) in the quantitative and qualitative determination and evaluation of available national resources for security, in the present and projected future; 2) in the efficient forms and processes of allocation and use in prioritized programs and projects according to national defense interests; and 3) in the criteria whereby the results of these programs will be converted into economic variables of security and appraised against the purposes which justified their application in them and not in other defense programs for the achievement of the desired ends. The definitions elaborated in these three domains are mutually dependent and conditioned so that the degree of transparency and explicitation of this mutual determination will define the stage of maturity of planning and high level management of a country’s defense.
The debate and/or political exchange will occur in those three areas, with the participation of both analysts and businessmen. The analysts, with focus and responsibility on the definition of analytical models and decision criteria, while the businessmen will concentrate on the efficient conversion of political intentions into sustainable undertakings and are, in the ultimate analysis, in a market economy, the ones responsible for producing goods and services that will be translated into military capacity, since they will be incorporated into the arsenals and doctrines of the forces.
The debate and/or political exchange will occur in those three areas, with the participation of both analysts and businessmen.
While in India, the preoccupation is lodged in the application of analytical rigor in the construction of result evaluation criteria for defense, the object of phase 3 above, which fits into the control and supervision f defense themes, in Brazil we are going to depart to phase 2, with the National Defense Plan, without the other two dimensions being clearly defined or clearly approved according to national defense goals for providing security. If we do not put ourselves in the category of countries with planning maturity and high level defense management, then as a result, we will be placed in the list of countries where defense plans meet two aims: a) avoiding internal crises, giving the military what they want to keep them appeased and in their barracks without preceding and supporting it by a force; and b) nurture defense industry for export of subsystems or low tech systems.
Historical evidence shows that nurturing a defense project without a force project, initially, privileges exports of low technological complexity, in the form of defense materials, but that in the medium term tend to collapse. No defense industry can survive without national orders. No national order program has sustenance without a force project.
In this sense, nurturing a defense industry without a force project transforms the country into a “merchant of death”. Brazil may pay an enormous price if it commits this mistake. Economic interests are legitimate for businessmen of the defense technological-industrial complex. For governments, the nurturing of these activities of this complex must be aligned to the objects of security economy, making explicit, in the case of Brazil, the following questions: a) typology, dimension and temporality of international incidents capable of breaking national productive chains; b) mechanisms of concentration and dilution of technology, with the qualification of impact of the redistribution of benefits and income sustenance of the defense technological-industrial complex; c) modeling of the structure of relationships of the defense system and patterns of security consumption; d) mapping of asymmetry between the benefits of violence and defense costs.
India may offer excellent lessons for Brazil at this moment. With a budget of about US$ 11 billion, there was a moment in which it considered the construction of French submarines of the Scorpene type at a cost of US$ 3, 5 billion, with offset of US$ 1 billion in World Bank loans, to finance Bharat Nirman program of rural infrastructure improvements. This discussion was lodged in the alternative of financing the surface navy faced with the need to control maritime areas and protect natural resources.
India may offer excellent lessons for Brazil. With a budget of US$ 11 billion, it considered the construction of French submarines.
Another convergence point between the recent past Indian choices and those of Brazil today, may be seen in the decision of India to sustain a large army, instead of meeting badly the multiple programs of all three armed forces. The Indian army has 1, 3 million men and another 400,000 in support services. India imported, before the 11th Plurianual Defense Plan (2007-20012), around 70% of all the arms needed to take care of this army – in a limited way, according to some analysts. The new Indian force project, based on the recovery of the defense industry, with a strong commitment to offsets, foresees external investments of US$ 10 billion, with an estimate of reduction of import dependence to 22%.
A contract of US$ 20 million for the development of the Pinaka missile by Tata Power Industries and Larsen & Toubro is an example of this policy. Imagine what a similar resource allocation would not do for Brazilian national manufacturers.
Brazil will have to compete for these resources in the international markets to support its defense industry. If the National Defense Plan does not consider this type of convergence between the Economics of National Security and the Force Project, then effectively, we will be discussing how to pacify the military and some businessmen. The military lose, the businessmen lose and the country loses from wrong decisions, which ignore the link between Economics of National Security and the Force Project.