sábado, 31 de julho de 2010

Mergulhadores de Combate da Marinha simulam retomada de plataforma

Share Ação, perigo e muita adrenalina. Foi nesse ritmo que os Mergulhadores de Combate (MEC) da Marinha se infiltraram na Plataforma de Petróleo P-43, da Petrobrás, na Bacia de Campos, litoral norte do Rio. A missão era retomar o local, dominado por terroristas, e resgatar os reféns com vida.

Mesmo se tratando de uma simulação preparada especialmente para a Operação Atlântico II, a ousadia das ações do Grupo Especial de Retomada e Resgate (GERRMEC), impressionou pela veracidade e precisão das manobras.

A operação foi apoiada por duas aeronaves “Super Puma”, também da Marinha, que efetuaram a aproximação, cumprindo requisitos de apoio mútuo. Enquanto uma delas efetuava o lançamento dos militares, a outra permanecia em posição propícia para efetuar a cobertura e proteção, no momento crucial da ação, a descida por fast rope.

Por este método, o grupo especial desce por um cabo fixado na aeronave e se posiciona para efetuar o reconhecimento da área.

Após a descida, a aeronave se afasta e os MEC iniciam a busca pelos elementos hostis e seus reféns, até encontrá-los, dois conveses abaixo do heliponto da plataforma.

O Comandante do Grupamento de Mergulhadores de Combate (GRUMEC), Capitão-de-Fragata Carlos Eduardo Horta Arentz, descreve as atividades realizadas pelos mergulhadores, “nós fazemos operações em ambientes de risco elevado, empregamos táticas e equipamentos não convencionais, além de utilizarmos vários tipos de armamentos". Segundo o Comandante, os militares também passam por muitas provações físicas e psicológicas, durante os adestramentos, a fim de exercitar o autocontrole e o domínio emocional.

Ele considera que os MEC utilizam seu entusiasmo, para, com patriotismo, manter elevada a chama da motivação, pela pátria e pela nação.

Mergulhador de Combate há 20 anos, o Primeiro-Sargento Heleno é o líder da equipe de assalto do GERRMEC. Orgulhoso, ele revela como se tornou um MEC, “para se transformar num mergulhador de combate é preciso ter muita determinação, companheirismo e paixão pelo que faz”, conclui.

Fonte: MArinha Do Brasil

segunda-feira, 26 de julho de 2010

Inside the world's most advanced submarine

Wes Schlauder, the skipper of the U.S. Navy's Virginia class nuclear submarine North Carolina, demonstrates how the sub's all-new electronic command center--including the state-of-the-art digital visualization of the view from the periscope--has taken the capabilities of undersea warfare into the 21st century.

(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

GROTON, Conn.--If you've ever wondered what it's like aboard the most advanced submarine in the world, I'm here to tell you all about it.

To be specific, that submarine is the North Carolina, a Virginia class nuclear attack sub based at the Naval Submarine Base New London here, and it is truly a technological marvel.

To begin with, forget all about those romantic images of a dimly lighted sonar room where a captain squints into the eyepiece of the periscope in order to try to see what's going on outside. Those days are long gone. Aboard the North Carolina, at least.

This is the 21st century, after all, and while much in the military is legacy equipment designed to last decades, the North Carolina is an example of what happens when planners take into account the latest available technologies and apply them to age-old problems.

Click here for a full photo gallery from the Virginia class submarine, the North Carolina.

The sonar room, then, has gone the way of the rotary phone and has been replaced by an all-electronic, nearly paperless, control room that is fully lighted, is completely networked, and which displays imagery gathered from the periscope on large, clear digital monitors. Indeed, should the sub's commander need to see something through the periscope while he's taking a nap in his quarters, no problem: the imagery can be piped in wirelessly to his computer, and he can peruse at will.

Welcome to the future of undersea warfare.

The Navy and Road Trip
Different regions of the United States are dominated by different military services. Last year, on Road Trip 2009, I traveled throughout the Rocky Mountain region, and nearly everywhere I went, there was the U.S. Air Force. This year, on Road Trip 2010, I'm traveling through the Northeast, and in this region, its the U.S. Navy that has been nearly ubiquitous.

Already, I've hit places like the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Md.; the Wallops Island Flight Facility in Virginia--shared by NASA and the Navy; and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, in Newport News, Va., where the most advanced aircraft carrier ever is currently being built.

And now, as part of Road Trip 2010, I've come here, to one of the Navy's most important submarine bases--its submarine school is located here, as are a significant number of other subs (see video below), and I've been invited aboard the North Carolina for a personal tour of the boat by its commander, Wes Schlauder.

It turns out--by coincidence of planning, I promise--that the North Carolina also came out of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News in 2007, meaning that that facility will likely be one of the very biggest benefactors to Road Trip 2010.

On board
The North Carolina is 377 feet long and has a diameter of 34 feet. When submerged, it weighs 7,841 tons, and can do more than 25 knots at depths below 800 feet. The vessel can carry 38 weapons, including Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes, Tomahawk cruise missiles, and mines, and it is also set up to carry batteries of special operations forces. It normally has a crew of 134. For now, they're all men, but the Navy is changing its ways and may soon have some female officers aboard some of its subs. But we're not there yet.

Where we are is at the dawn of the age of the IT-based submarine. The Navy has embraced technology, and there are plenty of examples of it spread around the North Carolina. There's even a computer room packed tight with racks of servers that are feeding data throughout the sub via its wired and wireless networks.

Click here for a full photo gallery on escape training at the Submarine School at the Naval Submarine Base New London, as well as on the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered vessel of any kind.

According to Schlauder, the North Carolina has also been outfitted with the very latest set of submarine-ready imaging technologies, including infrared cameras, laser-range finders, and digital camera. The infrared may be the most important from the perspective of a sub commander tasked with tracking potential enemies. "Now, I can not just see a surface ship's running lights," Schlauder told me. "Now I have IR capabilities, so I can [actually] see the ship, what it is, and how it's moving. That's never been available to me previously."

But perhaps the most clear-cut sign that the North Carolina is the standard-bearer of the Navy's move to an IT environment is its integration of a fiber optic backbone and a network of networks on board the vessel.

Supercomputing capabilities
As Schlauder put it, Virginia class submarines are designed to take advantage of all the information technology capabilities of the 21st century.

In the past, submarines featured both a sonar room, where the crew could track "contacts," and a separate area for combat systems. Today, that paradigm is no more. On the North Carolina, the two areas have been combined into one large control room that is packed with networked systems.

That means that in the control room, sonar is set up on the port side, while combat systems are on the starboard side. The idea is to easily share information and optimize information flow, said Schlauder, with the goal of building the best-possible situational awareness and providing the most accurate and complete information to the decision maker, be it the officer of the deck or the commander himself.

Because sonar and combat systems are now in the same space (see video below), it's easy for the two to share data, and for crew members manning the two areas to talk between themselves as information develops. "They can see what's going on and hear what's going on," Schlauder said, "and take advantage of all that information flow.

In total, the control room is packing hundreds of terabytes of processing power, Schlauder said, which is ultimately being used to help crunch data and arrive at the most complete picture of what any identified contact is and is doing.

With sonar, he explained, it's all about listening passively. The crew members continually watch screens where all acoustic data is coming in, screens that would look familiar to anyone who has seen "The Matrix."

Schlauder said the never-ending supply of green symbols on the screen, which are developing, top to bottom--"water falling down," like a waterfall--are examined in search of contacts. Any kind of anomaly in the patterns could be a vessel of some kind, and as the anomalies move right to left or left to right on the screen, the crew can apply a series of fire-control algorithms and analyze what they're seeing. The idea is that they can quickly determine what they're looking at, track its movement and, if it's wartime and it's an enemy vessel, create a profile for putting a torpedo on it.

The system is so sensitive, Schlauder said, that not only can the sonar crew tell if a contact is a ship, but they can also determine how many blades its propeller has, whether a blade has some sort of dent, and figure out if it has a diesel engine, or a gas turbine. They could even tell if someone was working a winch on its deck by hearing the banging of chains. It's about "breaking down the noise and telling us what that contact is doing," Schlauder said.

The periscope
As noted above, the periscope is another part of the North Carolina that's moved beyond the worn-out images of the past.

To begin with, there's no longer any eyepieces. Instead, the entire system is computer based and all visuals projected on any of a number of digital displays. The control? It's done using a joystick--"it's like playing an Xbox," Schlauder said. The Virginia class is the first to move to this kind of system.

On a screen, there is a large cross-hairs splitting the view into four quadrants. The top of the screen is in front of the sub, while the bottom is the rear. On the screen, there is always a green wedge outline that represents where on a 360-degree view you're looking and how wide the view is. If the image is zoomed in, the wedge is very narrow, while it would be wide if the view is normal range.

The North Carolina, the fourth Virginia class nuclear submarine, rests at its berth at the Naval Submarine Base New London, in Groton, Connecticut.

(Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET)

I got a chance to play with the system, and after getting the hang of it, I was looking through the periscope--again, on a computer screen--at the old Nautilus, which is now a museum here--about a mile away. The imagery was so good that I could see the faces of people walking on and off that boat.

The sensors
The North Carolina is packed full of the latest and greatest sensors (see video below) designed to help it do its job. And because the vessel was designed for the post-Cold War environment--meaning we're not rehashing the U.S. versus Soviet Union dynamic of "The Hunt for Red October," the sub is optimized for working in shallow waters near shore.

The first main sensor, Schlauder said, is a large spherical array that is the primary hull-mounted sensor, and which is capable of looking nearly 360 degrees around the ship. It can listen passively--which is its primary role--but can also transmit actively, including sending out pings into the water.

There are also high-frequency active arrays that are shorter-range, higher-resolution arrays that can passively listen or actively transmit. One is mounted underneath the North Carolina and is intended for looking down and mapping the bottom, especially near shore where the submarine might be trying to avoid dangers like mines. In addition, there is one on the sub's sail that looks up, mainly for safety in the sense of avoiding sailboats or surface ships, but which can also be used underwater to track another submarine.

And on the side of the boat, Schlauder continued, there are three wide-aperture arrays--acoustic panels--that give those on the sub the ability to look up and down its side. The main purpose here to passively survey a ship, and to be able, without transmitting anything in the water, listen to a contact and compute its range.

Finally, he said, there's two towed arrays that can be deployed off the boat and trailed behind to survey its surroundings.

Rare opportunity
Getting to tour a nuclear submarine is an unlikely enough opportunity. Getting a tour of what the Navy calls the most advanced sub on Earth is even less likely. And having that tour be led by the boat's commander seems entirely improbable.

With that in mind, I am still buzzing a bit at having gotten a chance for that experience, particularly because it might be something I never get to do again.

It's a sobering feeling being below decks on such a vessel, knowing what it was designed for. The world has changed a lot since the Cold War, and it's not entirely clear what roles submarines will play in America's new geopolitical environment, but there's no doubt the Navy thinks it's worth investing huge sums of money on them.

Having been aboard now, I can't tell you what I think any outcomes might be. But I do feel that the systems the North Carolina, at least, is equipped with give its commander and crew the best possible chance of emerging from any encounter with the upper hand.

Daniel Terdiman is a staff writer at CNET News covering games, Net culture, and everything in between. E-mail Daniel.

quarta-feira, 7 de julho de 2010

Recados via Forças Armadas Brasileiras
ao Continente Bolivariano

Nelson Düring


Recados via Forças Armadas Brasileiras ao Continente Bolivariano

17ª Brigada de Infantaria de Selva realiza “Operação volta para casa”

SISDABREX - Militares realizam treinamento de artilharia antiaérea em Boa Vista

DNTV - Esclarecedora vídeo-entrevista do Maj-Brig Machado descrevendo a operação SISDABREX.

Em dois movimentos, distantes mais de 2300km entre si, está ocorrendo a mais importante e contundente ação de Diplomacia Militar Brasileira até o momento.

O primeiro movimento ocorreu pela 17ª Brigada de Infantaria de Selva (17 Bda Inf Sl), sede em Porto Velho (Rondônia),vinculada ao Comando Militar da Amazônia (CMA), nos dias 19 e 24 de Junho passado. Foi a chamada “Operação volta para casa.

O texto colocado na página de internet da 17ª Bda Inf Sl, e depois republicado no Noticiário do Exército, edição 02 Julho, é técnico e pode passar desapercebido para o leitor não iniciado na terminologia”(ver matéria no link

O conceito está baseado no disposto no Decreto Nº 6.592, de 02 Outubro 2008. Ele regulamenta o disposto na Lei nº 11.631, de 27 de dezembro de 2007, que dispõe sobre a Mobilização Nacional e cria o Sistema Nacional de Mobilização - SINAMOB.

Nele há um artigo excepcional. DefesaNet comentou assim na oportunidade: “artigo, que pela primeira vez na história republicana e em especial pós-segunda Guerra Mundial, mostra uma nova postura, que pode mudar a Política Externa Brasileira e afasta sua imagem de país pacifista, o que terá reflexos no futuro do país e na forma como vem tratando seus interesses.”

O capítulo I, Artigo 3 ao qualificar os parâmetros de agressão estrangeira para acionar o SINAMOB explicita:

“São parâmetros para a qualificação da expressão agressão estrangeira, dentre outros, ameaças ou atos lesivos à soberania nacional, à integridade territorial, ao povo brasileiro ou às instituições nacionais, ainda que não signifiquem invasão ao território nacional.”


Matéria relacionadas

400 famílias serão repatriadas da Bolívia - A Tribuna - Abril 2010

Comentário Gelio Fregapani – Na Bolívia os brasileiros estão sendo deportados pela força militar, sob a coordenação da Organização Internacional para Migrações (OIM).

País abre hoje diálogo com a Bolívia sobre impasse dos brasileiros ilegais – Setembro 2009

O que a 17ª Bda Inf Selva realizou é exatamente o que preconiza o decreto, e sua ação foi de dispor os comandos de Fronteira Acre e Rondônia em apoio aos cidadãos Brasileiros, que estão ameaçados, podendo ser nas ações de recebê-los ou ativamente estabelecer corredores de proteção em território estrangeiro para a evacuação ao Brasil.

O Comando Militar do Oeste (CMO), realizou uma ampla operação no ano de 2008, em que previa uma profunda intervenção fora do país, com a criação e proteção de vários corredores de proteção aos brasileiros e descendentes que retornavam ao país, segundo fontes informaram a DefesaNet. Porém na época o objetivo da operação não foi divulgada como agora a realizada pelo Comando Militar da Amazônia (CMA).

O segundo movimento é composto por três operações realizadas pela Força Aérea Brasileira(FAB), sendo uma em conjunto com o Exército, a mais de 2300 km da área de atuação da 17ª Bda Inf Sl, porém ainda dentro do Teatro de Operações da Amazônia. E as três têm o objetivo de enviarem ruídos para serem ouvidos em várias partes do continente.

As três operações realizadas na região da Base Aérea de Boa Vista (BABV), Roraima, são:

1 – SISDABREX – Exercício do Sistema de Defesa Aeroespacial Brasileiro realizado sob o Comando do Comando de Defesa Aeroespacial Brasileiro (COMDABRA).

O Exercício tem o objetivo de propiciar o treinamento e o aperfeiçoamento dos meios da 1ª Brigada de Artilharia Antiaérea (Bda AAA) do Exército Brasileiro na defesa de um Ponto Sensível para o Poder Militar Brasileiro, neste caso o aeródromo da Base Aérea de Boa Vista (BABV).
2 – SABRE - Exercício no qual as UAE realizarão missões das Tarefas de Superioridade Aérea, Interdição e Sustentação ao Combate. Tendo em vista o escopo do Exercício ser o treinamento das equipagens para o Exercício CRUZEX V, não haverá montagem de cenário tático Toda a comunicação tática será realizada em inglês. O aprimoramento da Célula de Validação de Resultados é um dos objetivos do exercício, de modo a que se obtenha treinamento o mais próximo possível do real.

3 – TAC – Torneio de Aviação de Caça – No qual representações de TODOS os esquadrões de caça e ataque da FAB estarão presentes.

As Operações SISDABREX e SABRE incorporaram o que de mais atual a FAB e Exército possuem no âmbito de defesa anti-aérea. Estão sendo usados pelas duas forças o Míssil Anti-Aéreo Portátil (MANPADS) IGLA-S recebidos no primeiro semestre da Rússia. Equipes do Exército e FAB estiveram na Rússia por várias semanas recebendo treinamento no emprego, manutenção e operação dos sistemas de simulação adquiridos. Também está sendo empregado o radar SABER, desenvolvimento conjunto entre a empresa ORBISAT e o Centro de Tecnológico do Exército (CTEx).

Membros da 1ª Brigada de Artilharia Antiaérea (Bda AAA) do
Exército Brasileiro operam um reparo duplo do missil Igla-S

Na SISDABREX sobre as ordens do comando do Comando de Defesa Aeroespacial Brasileiro (COMDABRA) oxercício tem o objetivo de propiciar o treinamento e o aperfeiçoamento dos meios da 1ª Brigada de Artilharia Antiaérea (Bda AAA) do Exército Brasileiro na defesa de um Ponto Sensível para o Poder Militar Brasileiro, neste caso o aeródromo da Base Aérea de Boa Vista (BABV). Veja esclarecedora vídeo-entrevista do Maj-Brig Machado descrevendo a operação SISDABREX. (

As operações SABRE e o tradicional Torneio da Aviação de Caça também são um aquecimento e preparação final para a quinta edição da Operação multinacional Cruzeiro do Sul, CRUZEX V, que acontecerá na região nordeste em outubro-novembro desse ano.

Mesmo com a presença, confirmada até esta data, da Força Aérea Bolivariana na CRUZEX V, a presença de tal quantidade de aviões, pilotos e equipes de terra próximos à fronteira com a Venezuela tem a clara intenção de mostrar a presença do Estado Brasileiro e também mandar sinais à Caracas.

É sintomático que a primeira operação onde são empregados os mísseis IGLA-S, praticamente retirando-os das caixas nas quais vieram da Rússia, foi junto à fronteira com a Venezuela.

Lembramos ao leitor, que em Abril de 2009, o Tenente-Coronel Hugo Chávez realizou uma apresentação, que causou muito impacto nos meios militares brasileiros. Foi a demonstração da 1ª Unidade Missilística de Defesa Anti-Aérea de Combatentes a Pé (Infantaria).
Veja vídeo e matéria (

Os fatos paralelos demonstram a importância das ações da Diplomacia Militar atualmente em curso. Primeiro o Ministro da Defesa está em providencial férias. Segundo e mais importante, o Senhor Presidente da República está a mais de 10.000 km de distância do Brasil, na África.

Representações de TODOS os esquadrões da FAB estão na
Base Aérea de Boa Vista (BABV). Um amplo aquecimento para a CRUZEX V


Governo brasileiro emite alerta ao continente – DefesaNet – 08 Outubro 2008

Decreto Nº 6.592. Regulamenta o disposto na Lei nº 11.631, de 27 de dezembro de 2007

LEI Nº 11.631, DE 27 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - Dispõe sobre a Mobilização Nacional e cria o Sistema Nacional de Mobilização - SINAMOB.

Operação Fronteira Sul 2008 Presença e Dissuasão - Entrevista com o Comandante Militar do Sul - Gen Ex José Elito Carvalho Siqueira

El plan de infiltración de Chávez se desarrolla y consolida en Paraguay

O caso dos Brasilianos e Brasiguaios

Brasil quer contrapartida por anistia a bolivianos – OESP - Setembro 2009

Comentário Gelio Fregapani – Na Bolívia os brasileiros estão sendo deportados pela força militar, sob a coordenação da Organização Internacional para Migrações (OIM).

País abre hoje diálogo com a Bolívia sobre impasse dos brasileiros ilegais – Setembro 2009

400 famílias serão repatriadas da Bolívia

Sabres na Amazônia - Poder Militar na Amazônia

Brasil quer contrapartida por anistia a boliviano - Governo de Evo Morales concedeu título de cidadania a apenas seis brasileiros até agora João Domingos, BRASÍLIA OESP - 28 Setembro 2010

Entreguismo no Centro-Oeste - Hiram Reis e Silva

General faz relatório sobre tensões no MS - Lula pediu análise do conflito, ligado à pasta da Justiça - OESP

Chávez presentó sus armas antiaéreas“dispara y olvídate” DefesaNet – Abril 2009


The Caucasus Cauldron

The Caucasus Cauldron

By George Friedman

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited some interesting spots over the July 4 weekend. Her itinerary included Poland and Ukraine, both intriguing choices in light of the recent Obama-Medvedev talks in Washington. But she also traveled to a region that has not been on the American radar screen much in the last two years — namely, the Caucasus — visiting Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The stop in Poland coincided with the signing of a new agreement on ballistic missile defense and was designed to sustain U.S.-Polish relations in the face of the German-Russian discussions we have discussed. The stop in Ukraine was meant simply to show the flag in a country rapidly moving into the Russian orbit. In both cases, the trip was about the Russians. Regardless of how warm the atmospherics are between the United States and Russia, the fact is that the Russians are continuing to rebuild their regional influence and are taking advantage of European disequilibrium to build new relationships there, too. The United States, still focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, has limited surplus capacity to apply to resisting the Russians. No amount of atmospherics can hide that fact, certainly not from the Poles or the Ukrainians. Therefore, if not a substantial contribution, the secretary of state’s visit was a symbolic one. But when there is little of substance, symbols matter.

That the Poland and Ukraine stops so obviously were about the Russians makes the stops in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia all the more interesting. Clinton’s statements during the Caucasian leg of her visit were positive, as one would expect. She expressed her support for Georgia without committing the United States to any arms shipments for Georgia to resist the Russians, who currently are stationed inside Georgia’s northern secessionist regions. In Azerbaijan and Armenia, she called on both countries to settle the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed region within western Azerbaijan proper. Armenia took control of the region by force following the Soviet collapse. For Azerbaijan, the return of Nagorno-Karabakh under a U.N. resolution is fundamental to its national security and political strategy. For Armenia, retreat is not politically possible.

This means Clinton’s call for negotiations and her offer of U.S. help are not particularly significant, especially since the call was for Washington to help under the guise of international, not bilateral, negotiations. This is particularly true after Clinton seemed to indicate that the collapse in Turkish-Armenian talks was Turkey’s responsibility and that it was up to Turkey to make the next move. Given that her visit to the region seems on the surface to have achieved little — and indeed, little seems to have been intended — it is worth taking time to understand why she went there in the first place, and the region’s strategic significance.

The Strategic Significance of the Caucasus

The Caucasus is the point where Russia, Iran and Turkey meet. For most of the 19th century, the three powers dueled for dominance of the region. This dispute froze during the Soviet period but is certainly in motion again. With none of these primary powers directly controlling the region, there are secondary competitions involving Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, both among these secondary powers and between the secondary powers and the major powers. And given that the region involves the Russians, Iranians and Turks, it is inevitable that the global power would have an interest as well — hence, Hillary Clinton’s visit.

Of all the regions of the world, this one is among the most potentially explosive. It is the most likely to draw in major powers and the most likely to involve the United States. It is quiet now — but like the Balkans in 1990, quiet does not necessarily reassure any of the players. Therefore, seven players are involved in a very small space. Think of it as a cauldron framed by Russia, Iran and Turkey, occasionally stirred by Washington, for whom each of the other three major powers poses special challenges of varying degrees.

The Caucasus Cauldron

The Caucasus region dominates a land bridge between the Black and Caspian seas. The bridge connects Turkey and Iran to the south with Russia in the north. The region is divided between two mountain ranges, the Greater Caucasus to the north and the Lesser Caucasus in the south; and two plains divided from one another, one in Western Georgia on the Black Sea and another, larger plain in the east in Azerbaijan along the Kura River. A narrow river valley cuts through Georgia, connecting the two plains.

The Greater Caucasus Mountains serve as the southern frontier of Russia. To the north of these mountains, running east to west, lies the Russian agricultural heartland, flat and without any natural barriers. Thus, ever since the beginning of the 19th century, Russia has fought for a significant portion of the Caucasus to block any ambitions by the Turkish or Persian empires. The Caucasus mountains are so difficult to traverse by major military forces that as long as Russia maintains a hold somewhere in the Caucasus, its southern frontier is secure. During the latter part of the 19th century and for most of the Soviet period (except a brief time at the beginning of the era), the Soviet position in the Caucasus ran along the frontier with Turkey and Persia (later Iran). Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia were incorporated into the Soviet Union, giving the Soviets a deep penetration of the Caucasus and, along with this, security.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the three Caucasian republics broke free of Moscow, pushing Russia’s frontier north by between about 160 to 320 kilometers (100-200 miles). The Russians still maintained a position in the Caucasus, but their position was not secure. The northern portion of the Caucasus consisted of Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan and others, all of which had significant Islamist insurgencies under way. If the Russians abandoned the northeastern Caucasus, their position was breached. But if they stood, they faced an interminable fight.

Georgia borders most of the Russian frontier. In the chaos of the fall of the Soviet Union, various Georgian regions attempted to secede from Georgia with Russian encouragement. From the Georgian point of view, Russia represented a threat. But from the Russian point of view, Georgia represented a double threat. First, the Russians suspected the Georgians of supporting Chechen rebels in the 1990s — a charge the Georgians deny. The more important threat was that the United States selected Georgia as its main ally in the region. The choice made sense if the United States was conducting an encirclement strategy of Russia, which Washington was doing in the 1990s (though it became somewhat distracted from this strategy after 2001). In response to what it saw as U.S. pressure around its periphery, the Russians countered in Georgia in 2008 to demonstrate U.S. impotence in the region.

The Russians also maintained a close relationship with Armenia, where they continue to station more than 3,000 troops. The Armenians are deeply hostile to the Turks over demands that Turkey admit to massacres of large number of Armenians in 1915-16. The Armenians and Turks were recently involved in negotiations over the normalization of relations, but these talks collapsed — in our view, because of Russian interference. The issue was further complicated when a U.S. congressional committee passed a resolution in March condemning Turkey for committing genocide, infuriating the Turks.

One of the countercharges against Armenia is that it has conducted its own massacres of Azerbaijanis. Around the time of the Soviet breakup, it conducted a war against Azerbaijan, replete with the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in a region known as Nagorno-Karabakh in western Azerbaijan, leaving Azerbaijan with a massive refugee problem. While the U.N. Security Council condemned the invasion, the conflict has been frozen, to use the jargon of diplomats.

The Importance of Azerbaijan

For its part, Azerbaijan cannot afford to fight a war against Russian troops in Armenia while it also shares a northern border with Russia. Azerbaijan also faces a significant Iranian problem. There are more Azerbaijanis living in Iran than in Azerbaijan; Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is a prominent Azerbaijani-Iranian. The Soviets occupied all of Azerbaijan during World War II but were forced to retreat under British and American pressure after the war, leaving most of Azerbaijan inside Iran. The remainder became a Soviet republic and then an independent state.

The Azerbaijanis are deeply concerned about the Iranians. Azerbaijan is profoundly different from Iran. It is Muslim but heavily secular. It maintains close and formal relations with Israel. It has supported the war in Afghanistan and made logistical facilities available to the United States. The Azerbaijanis claim that Iran is sending clerics north to build Shiite schools that threaten the regime. Obviously, Iran also operates an intelligence network there.

Adding to the complexity, Azerbaijan has long been a major producer of oil and has recently become an exporter of natural gas near the capital of Baku, exporting it to Turkey via a pipeline passing through Georgia. From the Turkish point of view, this provides alternative sources of energy to Russia and Iran, something that obviously pleases the United States. It is also an obvious reason why Russia sees Azerbaijan as undermining its position as the region’s dominant energy exporter.

The Russians have an interest, demonstrated in 2008, to move southward into Georgia. Obviously, if they were able to do this — preferably by a change in government and policy in Tbilisi — they would link up with their position in Armenia, becoming a force both on the Turkish border and facing Azerbaijan. The Russians would like to be able to integrate Azerbaijan’s exports into its broader energy policy, which would concentrate power in Russian hands and increase Russian influence on Russia’s periphery. This was made clear by Russia’s recent offer to buy all of Azerbaijan’s natural gas at European-level prices. The Turks would obviously oppose this for the same reason the Russians would want it. Hence, the Turks must support Georgia.

Iran, which should be viewed as an Azerbaijani country as well as a Persian one, has two reasons to want to dominate Azerbaijan. First, it would give Tehran access to Baku oil, and second, it would give Tehran strategic bargaining power with the Russians, something it does not currently have. In addition, talk of present unrest in Iran notwithstanding, Iran’s single most vulnerable point in the long term is the potential for Azerbaijanis living in Iran to want to unite with an independent Azerbaijani state. This is not in the offing, but if any critical vulnerability exists in the Iranian polity, this is it.

Consider this from the American side. When we look at the map, we notice that Azerbaijan borders both Russia and Iran. That strategic position alone makes it a major asset to the United States. Add to it oil in Baku and investment by U.S. companies, and Azerbaijan becomes even more attractive. Add to this that its oil exports support Turkey and weaken Russian influence, and its value goes up again. Finally, add to it that Turkey infuriated Azerbaijan by negotiating with Armenia without tying the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh to any Turkish-Armenian settlement. Altogether, the United States has the opportunity to forge a beneficial relationship with Azerbaijan that would put U.S. hands on one of Turkey’s sources of oil. At a time when the Turks recognize a declining dependence on the United States, anything that could increase that dependence helps Washington. Moreover, Azerbaijan is a platform from which Washington could make the Iranians uncomfortable, or from which to conduct negotiations with Iran.

An American strategy should include Georgia, but Georgia is always going to be weaker than Russia, and unless the United States is prepared to commit major forces there, the Russians can act, overtly and covertly, at their discretion. A Georgian strategy requires a strong rear base, which Azerbaijan provides, not only strategically but also as a source of capital for Georgia. Georgian-Azerbaijani relations are good, and in the long run so is Turkey’s relation with these two countries.

For Azerbaijan, the burning issue is Nagorno-Karabakh. This is not a burning issue for the United States, but the creation of a stable platform in the region is. Armenia, by far the weakest country economically, is allied with the Russians, and it has Russian troops on its territory. Given that the United States has no interest in who governs Nagorno-Karabakh and there is a U.N. resolution on the table favoring Azerbaijan that serves as cover, it is difficult to understand why the United States is effectively neutral. If the United States is committed to Georgia, which is official policy, then it follows that satisfying Azerbaijan and bringing it into a close relationship to the United States would be beneficial to Washington’s ability to manage relations with Russia, Iran and Turkey.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Azerbaijan a month ago and Clinton visited this weekend. As complex as the politics of this region are to outsiders, they are clearly increasing in importance to the United States. We could put it this way: Bosnia and Kosovo were obscure concepts to the world until they blew up. Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are equally obscure now. They will not remain obscure unless strategic measures are taken. It is not clear to us that Clinton was simply making a courtesy call or had strategy on her mind. But the logic of the American position is that it should think strategically about the Caucasus, and in doing so, logic and regional dynamics point to a strong relationship with Azerbaijan.

sábado, 3 de julho de 2010

‘Barroso’ em Angola

‘Barroso’ em Angola

O navio da Marinha de Guerra do Brasil, Corveta Barroso, um dos mais modernos da esquadra brasileira, encontra-se atracado desde a passada sexta-feira, no Porto de Luanda. O comandante Luiz Roberto Cavalcanti Valicente disse, ao Jornal de Angola, que a estadia no país serve para reforçar os laços de cooperação entre a marinha dos dois países.

O Corveta Barroso, com 103,4 metros de comprimento, com uma tripulação que pode ser gerida durante 30 dias, está aberto a visitas. Luiz Roberto Valicente considerou um grande prazer estar em águas angolanas, “porque é uma nação irmã dos brasileiros”.

O comandante do navio disse que o objectivo da marinha brasileira em África é estreitar os laços de cooperação e amizade entre as marinhas. “Já estivemos em Walvis Bay, na Namíbia, agora em Angola, estaremos também na Guiné Equatorial, São Tomé e Príncipie, Nigéria e Ghana, onde vamos exercer várias actividades de cooperação”, salientou o comandante.

Para o brasileiro, o navio de guerra é o solo brasileiro, mesmo em terras angolanas, “porque tem a capacidade de levar em todo mundo o prazer da nossa pátria, e aqui em Luanda vamos organizar um simpósio das marinhas de guerra da CPLP”.

A construção da Corveta Barroso começou em 1994, no Arsenal da Marinha do Rio de Janeiro. O seu lançamento ocorreu a 20 de Dezembro de 2002, foi incorporada na armada a 19 de Agosto de 2008, e transferida para o sector operativo, tornando-se o mais moderno navio da esquadra brasileira. É o quinto navio a ostentar este nome, em homenagem ao Almirante Barroso, barão do Amazonas.

A Corveta Barroso apresenta sistemas com elevado grau de complexidade técnica desenvolvida no Brasil. Destacam-se os sistemas de controlo e monitorização da propulsão, auxiliares e de controlo de avarias, sistema de lançamento de torpedos, sistema de lançamento de despistadores de mísseis e sistema de governo do navio.

A construção da Corveta Barroso representa, para a Marinha do Brasil, a consolidação da obtenção de todas as etapas de uma tecnologia que poucas nações possuem, que inclui a especificação de requisitos técnicos e operacionais. A concepção, o projecto, a avaliação operacional e de engenharia, a revisão do projecto original em função dos resultados obtidos nessa avaliação obedece aos requisitos para a construção de uma nova classe de modernos navios de guerra.

A Corveta Barroso possui no armamento canhões, sistema de lançamento de mísseis, de torpedos e de despistadores. Nas operações aéreas tem a aeronave orgânica, que pode ser armada com míssil ar-superfície, torpedo Mk-46, bomba de profundidade Mk-9, indicador visual estabilizado de rampa de aproximação. Nos sensores existem quatro radares, um de busca combinada, de superfície, de direcção de tiro e de navegação, possui também alça optrónica e óptica, sonar de casco, sistema de navegação inercial, hodômetro, anemómetro e ecobatímetro.

FONTE: Jornal de Angola


O GT composto pela Corveta Barroso (V-34) e o Navio Tanque Gastão Motta (G-23) chegou ao porto da capital angolana na sexta-feira, 25 de junho às 9:00 da manhã. Esta é segunda parada da sua viagem à costa oeste da África. Os dois navios brasileiros deixaram Walvis Bay, na Namíbia, na manhã da segunda-feira, dia 21. Esta comissão é, simultaneamente, a primeira viagem da Barroso ao exterior e também sua primeira viagem de longa duração para fora do Rio de Janeiro. Antes de vir para cá o Gastão Motta acompanhava os navios da MB que participavam do exercício Fraterno ao largo da cidade de Rio Grande, no Rio Grande do Sul. No final desta comissão ele cruzou o Atlântico para poder encontrar a Cv Barroso em Walvis Bay. Ambos os navios deverão visitar juntos Luanda, Malabo (Guiné Equatorial), São Tomé, Lagos (Nigéria) e Accra (Gana). A parada na cidade de Praia, que seria a parada final desta importante viagem, em Cabo Verde, acabou sendo cancelado na última hora.

Cada um destes países visitados representa um potencial parceiro para o Brasil, na área naval, no continente africano. Na Namíbia a passagem dos navios brasileiros gerou muito interesse dos locais inclusive com a visita à Barroso do Almirante Nghipandua da marinha local. A Emgepron, empresa responsável por ofertar os serviços e os produtos da Marinha do Brasil pelo mundo, montou um display dentro do hangar da Barroso, exibindo todos os produtos e serviços que a empresa oferece. A ênfase maior deste esforço comercial está, como se é de esperar, nos Navios Patrulha de 200 toneladas (Classe Grajaú), nos novos navios de 500 toneladas (Classe Macaé) e até mesmo em novas unidades de corvetas da Classe Barroso.

A Corveta Barroso é o navio mais recente da Marinha do Brasil e, passo a passo, vem revelando um leque boas surpresas. Por exemplo, os onze dias do cruzamento do Atlântico serviram para que o Departamento de Máquinas do navio pudesse experimentar diversas combinações de motorização e de potência. Estes testes indicaram que a configuração mais econômica seria usando apenas um dos motores diesel e operando a uma carga de 55% do máximo. O navio com esta configuração apresenta uma autonomia máxima de 18 dias com seus tanques de óleo cheios. Este número impressionou a todos por ser quase o dobro do parâmetro de referencia previsto para esta nova classe.

Na próxima edição do BaseMilitar Web Magazine, nosso correspondente embarcado na Barroso contará, com exclusividade e com todos os detalhes, tudo que ocorreu entre as paradas de Walvis Bay e São Tomé. Fiquem antenados!