"How Peaceful is the South Atlantic?"
W. Alejandro Sanchez
Center for International Maritime Security
February 17, 2016
Originally published: http://cimsec.org/21903-2/21903
In a , I argued that South America was involved in an arms race. The situation has changed in 2016, particularly among the South Atlantic states. For example, the Brazilian Navy continues with its ambitious programs, in spite of its economic woes, which include the construction of a nuclear-powered submarine, four Scorpene subs, and repairing its Sao Paulo carrier. Furthermore, in late 2015 Brazil purchased the multipurpose vessel – it has been renamed the Nevertheless, these purchases have not made Brazil’s neighbors perceive it as a security threat, as Uruguay’s Navy has not carried out major purchases in years while Argentina has only repaired the submarine and purchased four Russian vessels that will be utilized for search and rescue operations and Antarctic research. Neither Montevideo nor Buenos Aires appear to expect an invasion from the Portuguese-speaking giant.
Nevertheless, warships from the global powers routinely cross the South Atlantic; just this past April 2015, the USS Spearhead arrived in Gabon and carried out exercises with the local navy as part of the. “During our visit, we’ll conduct marine-to-marine training along with medical subject matter expert exchanges, thus helping build a stronger Global Network of Navies,” said Commander Matthew Flemming. In May of the same year, the docked in Cape Town. As for the other side of the Atlantic, the visited Brazil in 2014 while the aforementioned docked in Uruguay in mid-February 2016. Furthermore, apart from the Falklands, London also controls South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands. Moreover, the British-controlled Ascension Island was a strategically important stopover for British warships and transport vessels during the Falklands War.