Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chile and Russia

Russia's presence in Latin America continues to generate interesting tidbits. In a previous post, a commenter (O Iconoclasta) mentioned the regional interest in Russian weapons. Now J.C. Arancibia at Chile's Defense and Military notes that the Chilean military, which has never sought deals with Russia, is close to buying helicopters.

They are for air force search and rescue missions, so won't be viewed as threatening by neighboring countries. In general, however, having a new weapons supplier potentially means even more money shifted to defense purchases at a time when most governments can ill afford to do so.


boz 9:08 AM  

At least Chile is buying something that is strategically useful this time and not wasting their money on tanks.

Greg Weeks 9:28 AM  

It would be interesting to make a list of the most useless weapons that Latin American countries have bought.

boz 2:55 PM  

Somewhere among my unpublished drafts I look at various countries strategic needs and what sorts of weapons purchases make sense. I may get back to it in the new year.

Chile makes a lot of poor decisions. Given its geography and strategic needs, along with its huge defense budget, it could do a whole lot better (and yes, it could also divert some of that money to education and social spending). Peru then spends way too much trying to keep up with Chile's military, which makes little sense in the modern world.

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