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Brazil Military Power : Army of half a million men, nuclear subs, new hi tech arms buying program.

Brazilian Army soldiers during the Independence Day Parade in Brasília.

Brazil is on course to have a standing army of half a million men and women as part of its military regeneration program that includes commissioning a nuclear-powered submarine.

Plans for increasing the country’s voluntary force from about 300,000 at present to 500,000 are being pursued as part of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s vision of Brazil asserting its presence as an influential regional power.

Lula has set sights on implementing the program before he hands over power to a new head of state, possibly his hand-picked candidate Dilma Rousseff, after the Oct. 3 general election.

Lula’s plans are backed by the country’s intelligentsia who are already behind the president’s National Defense Strategy, unveiled in 2008.

The newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo said Brazil’s defense spending rose 44.5 percent in real terms over the past five years. Further budget increases are likely as the country revives its defense manufacturing industries, which were almost abandoned with the 1980s’ switch to democracy from military rule.

The government has also embarked on an active overseas arms buying program, complex military technology transfer deals and long-term defense procurement strategies that are likely to be carried into the next presidency. READ MORE HERE.

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