Brazilian Armed Forces
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The Brazilian Armed Forces (Portuguese: Forças Armadas Brasileiras) is the unified military organization comprising of the Brazilian Army (including the Brazilian Army Aviation), the Brazilian Navy (including the Brazilian Marine Corps and Brazilian Naval Aviation) and the Brazilian Air Force.
Brazil's armed forces are the largest in Latin America, with 350,000 active-duty troops and officers. With no serious external or internal threats, the armed forces are searching for a new role. They are expanding their presence in the Amazon under the Northern Corridor (Calha Norte) program. In 1994 Brazilian troops joined United Nations (UN) peacekeeping forces in five countries. Brazilian soldiers have been in Haiti since 2004 leading the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH).
The Brazilian military, especially the army, has become more involved in civic-action programs, education, health care, and constructing roads, bridges, and railroads across the nation. Although the 1988 constitution preserves the external and internal roles of the armed forces, it places the military under presidential authority. Thus, the new charter changed the manner in which the military could exercise its moderating power.
- Budget (2013): $46,841,800,000 USD (1.7% of GDP)
- Active Duty Personnel: 376,000
- Reserve Personnel: 1,340,000
- Military Age: 18-45 years of age for compulsory military service
- Conscription: 9 to 12 months
- Available for Military Service: 53,350,703 males, age 10-19; 53,433,919 females, age 10-19
- Fit for Military Service: 38,993,989 males, age 10-19; 44,841,661 females, age 10-19
- Commander in Chief: President Dilma Rousseff
- Minister of Defence: Celso Amorim
- Joint Staff of the Armed Forces: General José Carlos De Nardi
The Armed Forces of Brazil are divided into 3 branches:
- Brazilian Army
- Brazilian Navy
- Brazilian Air Force
The Military Police (state police) alongside the Military Firefighters Corps are described as an auxiliary and reserve force of the Army. All military branches are part of the Ministry of Defense.
The Brazilian Navy which is the oldest of the Brazilian Armed Forces, includes the Brazilian Marine Corps and the Brazilian Naval Aviation. Brazil has the most powerful military of South America, and so are each of its military branches.
Service Obligation and Manpower
21–45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 9 to 12 months; 17–45 years of age for voluntary service. An increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps.
Mission and Challenges
South America is a relatively peaceful continent in which wars are a rare event; as a result, Brazil hasn't had its territory invaded since year 1865 during the Paraguayan War. Additionally, Brazil has no contested territorial disputes with any of its neighbors and neither does it have rivalries, like Chile and Bolivia have with each other. However, Brazil is the only country besides China and Russia that has land borders with 10 or more nations. Moreover, Brazil has 16,880 kilometers (10,490 mi) of land borders and 7,367 km (4,578 mi) of coastline to be patrolled and defended. Overall, the Armed Forces have to defend 8.5 million km2 (around 3.2 million sq. mi.) of land and patrol 4.4 million km2 (around 1.7 million sq. mi.) of territorial waters - or Blue Amazon, as the Brazilian Navy calls them. In order to achieve this mission properly, significant quantities of both man power and funding have to be made available.