Issued by LTC Miguel Angel Salguero –Argentine Army
May someone be astonished contemplating the large prairies, vastplantations, unlimited water sources, immensely rich well fed cattle, productive oil wells, and a wide array of mining opportunities throughout South American countries. As those assets start toscarce in some others regions in the world, it is also possible to witness in the coming years, an increasing interest in obtaining benefits from those unknown, distant, and sometimes unfairly ignorednations. However, these commodities may raise the ambition of some desperate countries in extreme need of vital natural goods.
Preserve and defend natural resources is an imperative for sovereigncountries, that pride themselves of being free from any foreign domination. During the last decade, South American countries took taking into account that former threats to their own security alreadydisappeared, or are on the way to vanish.
This article intends to establish connections between the need of protecting natural resources and the chances of raising defense budgets throughout LatinAmerican countries. Since the raise in power of socialist, or more accurately defined, populist administrations throughout the southern subcontinent, it has been increasingly difficult to hold conflicthypothesis based upon traditional threats. Neither those administrations accept to agree to develop overseas military capabilities nor easily withstand local pressures while embracing new nontraditionalsecurity threats. Thence, it became easier to blame intangible, generic, potential foes and, in line with that tread, develop also generic capabilities, requesting their defense systems to be modular,multifunctional, and capable of displaying multiple skills. However, the strategic assets, like natural resources still are quite sensitive among highest level planners and decision makers.