Delegations from the United States and Brazil attended the 4th Annual U.S.-Brazil Strategic Defense Talks, held December 14-15, 2021, in Brasília. Major General Himario Brandão Trinas, Brazilian Joint Staff Deputy Chief of International Affairs, and Daniel Erikson, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, co-chaired the event.
The Strategic Defense Talks represent a core component of the bilateral defense relationship and provide a strategic framework to guide security cooperation. This round of talks addressed several regional defense topics, including cross-border challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. The discussions also identified measures to deepen cooperation in the areas of space, cyber, and research and development.
The discussions also featured the importance that Brazil attaches to monitoring and patrolling its border regions (Brazil shares borders with 10 countries totaling 17,000 kilometers), its 7,500 km coastline and corresponding maritime territory, known as the Blue Amazon, and its vast airspace to combat transnational crimes, drug trafficking, and other related crimes.
A presentation on Operation Shelter to highlight aspects of the Brazilian Armed Forces’ work in support of Venezuelan refugees in Brazil was also made. The U.S. delegation expressed appreciation for Brazil’s contributions to regional security and its commitment to peacekeeping operations and humanitarian assistance, and recognized its important role as host of the upcoming Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in 2022.
As for the importance of the Strategic Defense Talks, Maj. Gen. Himário highlighted the historic link between Brazil and the United States in the area of defense. “It’s the country where Brazil has the largest number of military personnel involved in missions [courses, internships, operations, exchanges], and is within the ‘arc of knowledge’ from which the country seeks to acquire and share knowledge in the operational, technological, scientific, space, and cyber areas , among others,” the officer concluded.