Introduction


Having destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center - the financial heart that gave order to the world economic system - and part of the Pentagon - the seat and central nervous system of the major military power on our planet at the present time - a triple terrorist act that has changed the features of international relations and the schemes of world security once and for all. The tragic events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated that the most powerful army in the world, together with their "intelligent" missiles, and sophisticated nuclear shield are impotent in the face of the suicidal decisions of the terrorist commando.

Eric de La Maisonneuve /E. de La Maisonneuve, La violence que vient, Paris, 1997/ maintained that the Gulf War demonstrated that no state could defend its sovereignty by relying on conventional arms when it affects the interests of hegemonic power. Under these circumstances, in his opinion, there are two possibilities for leveling the forces of two countries in the course of war: firstly, the demonstration of a real nuclear threat in the case that a country has nuclear weapons or, secondly, the sub-classical war, guerrilla and terrorism for those countries that have no nuclear capability. Paradoxically, this contention was corroborated tragically by these terrorist attacks. The great defense expenditures of the leading World Power were sufficient for the prevention of any adventurism by any other World Power, but they could not hide the vulnerability of the country in the face of the bomb, and of panic, that was delivered by an enemy who acted without territory and frontiers, without scenes of battle or any front lines. The social cohesion and integrity of that most powerful state have been put in jeopardy.

This mega-state that successfully kept its territory from the sanguinary wars of the twentieth century and which began to enjoy the absolute power of the greatest empire constructed in the history of the world, at last and suddenly completely understood its own tragic empiric experience that no one can be invulnerable to the pitiless fury of terror in the type of world which the United States has helped to shape with such great energy. There is no need for the enemy to disembark a huge army or to mobilize great masses of men, or to launch warheads of intercontinental missiles. It is necessary only to buy a first class ticket on an aircraft of any national airline and have as a weapon the full tanks of highly combustible aviation fuel required for long journeys. It is sufficient for this enemy to have the firm conviction that his death will not be in vain but a glorious and sacred act. He does not attempt to take power in his hands, but intends to destabilize his enemy by means of panic, collapsing the social fabric and undermining the foundations of the state. The leveling power of terror has made all nations, be it nuclear or non-nuclear ones, prisoners of fear, trembling in the face of the eminence of being potentially the next victim. So the theme of terrorism has been added to the list of preoccupations of central gravity in debates on defense and worldwide security.

The participants of the symposium "International relations and armies in Latin America" that took place during the X Congress of the International Federation on Studies of Latin America and Caribbean (Moscow, 25-29 June, 2001), having anticipated rather more extensive discussions of this theme on the world forums, considered some aspects of international terrorism. The Symposium which I was asked to preside was premonitory in many aspects. The participants warned about some tendencies that are threats to the tranquility and security of nations, so anticipating today's headlines of all news bulletins. Although at that moment no one could forecast the tragic destiny of New York, the scholars who met there agreed to point to international terrorism as one of the principal objects for attention when studying international relations and strategies of defense and security, primarily because of its capacity to alter the correlation of forces in the world. Despite the fact that terrorism was pointed to as one of the threats in our discussions, we could not predict or imagine the magnitude of the criminal assaults that would shake the world. But our anxiety concerning the alternatives that the emergency of this new international phenomenon brought in the configuration of international forces, anticipated with impeccable consistency the consequences that would succeed after this barbaric act of terrorism: that is; the effect of their assault on the relations between civilians and the military; the new mission and duties of the army that can be attributed to it in containing this threat; the need for effective training for the new special tasks and role of the army; and the eventual alteration of the constitutional laws for the purpose of changing the role of the army, especially in the area of the intelligence services.

The book I present to the reader has arisen from an initiative put forward during this Symposium with the aim of maintaining the diversity of approaches and the themes discussed. In this way we offer the public in one volume a selection of points of view about the role of the armed forces and international relations. The quality and quantity of the works presented to our Symposium justified the initiative and encouraged our expectations to reach this aim. These expectations were satisfied, thanks to the efforts and zeal of Russian scholars and editors Evgeny Pashentsev and Constantine Miniar-Beloroutchev, uniting in the book a selection of papers presented to the Symposium, as well as reports of other scholars that could not be presented owing to circumstances at the conference, but who sent their papers to the editors. In the book are also included the investigations of specialists, who were invited expressly to add their reflections about areas that embrace not only Latin America. Thus the present book now has international dimensions. I take advantage here of congratulating not only professors Pashentsev and Miniar-Beloroutchev on the excellent results of their efforts as editors, but I thank also all the authors that placed at our disposal their well considered intellectual work.

I do not want to anticipate the contents of this book, but call the attention of the reader first of all to the diversity of countries and continents represented in this publication. This is not a usual situation among us, especially in the sphere of international relations and particularly in areas that study the armed forces and the relations between the military and civilians. But this aspect is not perhaps the most original one of this collective work. The criteria of academic seriousness and the quality of the papers dominated in the selecting process. It joined most different theoretical and methodological approaches without redounding to eclecticism, it confronted different ideological and cosmovisional positions without falling into relativism, and it presented an ample range of connected themes without descending into vagueness.

That is why the reader can enjoy himself with studies about civilian-military relations. There are theoretical and classification articles, for example the one written by Jesus de Andres (Spain), analyzing the dictators and transfer of power, and yours truly with co-author Dan Zirker about new forms of military participation in political power. In this book there are also case studies about Venezuela made by Venezuelan, Tania Delgado, and Orlando Perez of the United States. The problems of the military in Brazil are discussed in articles of Alexandre Fuccile and Rene Dreifuss (both Brazil), and those of India by Arun Mohanty. The peculiarities of development of the modern Russian military are investigated by Evgeny Pashentsev and Sergey Mozgovoy (both Russians). The reader can get acquainted with the historical sketches of Raanan Rein (Israel) about the Nazis in Argentina and of Victor Figeroa (Mexico) about industrial colonialism in Latin America. Adding more knowledge to the very interesting episodes of military history are the articles of Constantine Miniar-Beloroutchev on the Mexican-American War of nineteenth century and revealing work on the activities of the Bulgarian intelligence service in times of guerrilla actions in Central America by Bulgarian author Jordan Baev. Regional security is discussed in the comparative study of Klaus Bodemer (Germany) and in the panoramic and generalizing report on Latin America by Chilean-Cuban investigator Isabel Jaramillo Edwards. Different aspects of regional security in Asia, taking into account the economic and military-political weight and potential of China in the modern world, are reviewed in the papers of Russian scholars Vasily Mikheev and Michail Titarenko. Those readers who look for the materials on international relations and its history also find here the general work of David Kotz (USA) on globalization and neo-liberalism and more particular one of Katarzyna Krzywicka (Poland) on the evolution of the international role of Cuba in the Western Hemisphere. And in this manner Nidia Gale considers the Dominican crisis of 1964 (Argentina, the United States and the rest of Latin America). Other Argentineans Maria de Monserrat Llairo and Raimundo Siepe approach the role of the military in the Argentine's foreign policy of the sixties.

It is with great satisfaction that I present to the reader the most actual and opportune work that will be very useful for understanding of profound changes of the paradigms of international relations and the geometry of this alarming world. The attentive reader will certainly find all what he needs and will very likely be surprised with what he will meet throughout this book.

Dr. Hector Luis Saint-Pierre
Campinas, São Paulo, January 16, 2002



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