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Dilemmas of Brazilian Grand Strategy

Dilemmas of Brazilian Grand Strategy

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This monograph analyzes Brazilian grand strategy under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. During Lula’s nearly 8 years in office, he has pursued a multi-tiered grand strategy aimed at hastening the transition from unipolarity to a multipolar order in which international rules, norms, and institutions are more favorable to Brazilian interests. Lula has done so by emphasizing three diplomatic strategies: soft-balancing, coalition-building, and seeking to position Brazil as the leader of a more united South America. This strategy has successfully raised Brazil’s profile and increased its diplomatic flexibility, but it has also exposed the country to four potent strategic dilemmas that could complicate or undermine its ascent. These dilemmas touch on issues ranging from anemic macroeconomic performance to rising tensions in Brazil’s relationship with the United States. In the future, the efficacy of Brazilian grand strategy—and its implications for U.S. interests and the global system—will be contingent on how Lula’s successors address these dilemmas.
This monograph analyzes Brazilian grand strategy under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. During Lula’s nearly 8 years in office, he has pursued a multi-tiered grand strategy aimed at hastening the transition from unipolarity to a multipolar order in which international rules, norms, and institutions are more favorable to Brazilian interests. Lula has done so by emphasizing three diplomatic strategies: soft-balancing, coalition-building, and seeking to position Brazil as the leader of a more united South America. This strategy has successfully raised Brazil’s profile and increased its diplomatic flexibility, but it has also exposed the country to four potent strategic dilemmas that could complicate or undermine its ascent. These dilemmas touch on issues ranging from anemic macroeconomic performance to rising tensions in Brazil’s relationship with the United States. In the future, the efficacy of Brazilian grand strategy—and its implications for U.S. interests and the global system—will be contingent on how Lula’s successors address these dilemmas.

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STRATEGICSTUDIESINSTITUTE
The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) is part of the U.S. Army WarCollege and is the strategic level study agent for issues related tonational security and military strategy with emphasis on geostrate-gic analysis.The mission of SSI is to use independent analysis to conduct strategicstudies that develop policy recommendations on:• Strategy, planning and policy for joint and combinedemployment of military forces;• Regional strategic appraisals;• The nature of land warfare;• Matters affecting the Army’s future;• The concepts, philosophy, and theory of strategy; and• Other issues of importance to the leadership of the Army.Studies produced by civilian and military analysts concern topicshaving strategic implications for the Army, the Department of De-fense, and the larger national security community.In addition to its studies, SSI publishes special reports on topics ofspecial or immediate interest. These include edited proceedings ofconferences and topically-oriented roundtables, expanded trip re-ports, and quick reaction responses to senior Army leaders.The Institute provides a valuable analytical capability within theArmy to address strategic and other issues in support of Army par-ticipation in national security policy formulation.
 
Strategic Studies Institute MonographDILEMMAS OF BRAZILIAN GRAND STRATEGYHal BrandsAugust 2010
The views expressed in this report are those of the author and donot necessarily reect the ofcial policy or position of the Depart-ment of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Gov-ernment. Authors of Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) publicationsenjoy full academic freedom, provided they do not disclose clas-sied information, jeopardize operations security, or misrepre-sent ofcial U.S. policy. Such academic freedom empowers themto offer new and sometimes controversial perspectives in the in-terest of furthering debate on key issues. This report is cleared forpublic release; distribution is unlimited.*****This publication is subject to Title 17, United States Code, Sec-tions 101 and 105. It is in the public domain and may not be copy-righted.
Visit our website for other free publicationdownloadshttp://www.StrategicStudiesInstitute.army.mil/
 
ii*****Comments pertaining to this report are invited and shouldbe forwarded to: Director, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. ArmyWar College, 122 Forbes Ave, Carlisle, PA 17013-5244.*****This manuscript was funded by the U.S. Army War CollegeExternal Research Associates Program. Information on this pro-gram is available on our website,
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ISBN 1-58487-462-7

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