Search

 

Cablegate: Carrier Strike Group 8 Visits Brazil, Strengthens

VZCZCXRO1947
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #0638/01 1331421
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 121421Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1621
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
INFO RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5508
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 4088
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 7362
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0327
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 8024
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6142
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 2047
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL//SCJ2-I/J5/HSE/DIA REP//
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 000638

SIPDIS

STATE FOR PM AND WHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/07/2018
TAGS: PREL MOPS BR
SUBJECT: CARRIER STRIKE GROUP 8 VISITS BRAZIL, STRENGTHENS
MIL-MIL TIES, IGNORED BY POLITICAL LEADERS

Classified By: Ambassador Clifford Sobel. Reason 1.5 (D)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Carrier Strike Group Eight (CSG8),
centered on the USS George Washington, visited Brazilian
waters April 16-May 2. While in Brazilian waters to
participate in the UNITAS 08 exercise, the priority objective
for the visit was to enhance the strategic partnership
between the U.S. and Brazil and to lay the groundwork for
more robust mil-mil engagement between U.S. and Brazilian
naval forces. Drawing on themes from both State and DoD
policy statements, Strike Group Commander Rear Admiral Philip
Cullom delivered a strong message to Brazilian visitors that
the U.S. and Brazil share an interest in preserving maritime
security against an array of non-traditional threats. The
visit was well received by members of Brazil's business
community and by the press but generated little interest
among Brazilian political leaders. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Carrier Strike Group Eight, consisting of the USS
George Washington, USS Farragut, USS Kaufman and USCGC
Northland, visited Brazil April 16 to May 2 for this year's
Atlantic phase of the forty-ninth annual UNITAS exercise.
During the exercise, U.S., Brazilian and Argentine ships
practiced a range of possible operations, including search
and rescue, maritime interdications and detection of WMD
smuggling. The participants expressed satisfaction with the
exercises, which U.S. Navy leadership described as "at a
higher level of complexity than previous UNITAS." In after
action reports, participating navies identified communication
difficulties and not enough overall exercise time as areas
for improvement.

3. (C) Consistent with Mission and USSOUTHCOM goals, CSG8
made it a priority to use its presence to enhance military to
military contacts with the Brazilian navy and underline the
need for bilateral engagement in light of the current
maritime security environment. Brazilian liaison officers
were embarked in Norfolk to prepare for the CSG's stay in
Brazilian waters, and more than fifty Brazilian personnel
were stationed on U.S. ships during the exercise. Each of
the Brazilians was assigned to a U.S. counterpart to allow
for sharing of best practices as the Brazilians observed how
the U.S. Navy worked. The inclusiveness shown to the
Brazilians drew hugely positive reviews and was reagarded as
important at a time when Brazil is struggling to return its
own aircraft carrier to active service.

4. (C) With input from Embassy Brasilia and Consulates
Recife, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the CSG Strategic
Communication team drew up an extensive distinguished
visitors program that would highlight U.S.-Brazil partnership
and our common interests in preserving maritime security.
Visitors got to spend a day on the carrier, witness flight
operations and see how Brazilian personnel were integrated
with the U.S. crew. Strike Group Commander Rear Admiral
Philip Cullom began each visit with a presentation
highlighting the importance of sea transport to global
prosperity and maritime forces' role in preserving this. He
also noted the importance of cooperative approaches between
nations with common interests in ensuring maritime security.
Visitors were drawn primarily from the Brazilian military and
business communities and drew a strongly positive response.
Unfortunately, none of Brazil's political leaders who were
invited attended.

5. (C) The April 28 visit by members of the Brazilian press
resulted in generally positive coverage. Leading Brazilian
commentator William Waack filed two reports for O Globo on
the visit that reflected the importance the U.S. places on
partnership with Brazil. Press coverage also focused on the
expense of the carrier and its operations, an important point
as Brazil seeks to modernize its own defense. The real scoop
for several reporters was the presences of
Brazilian-Americans in the crew in positions of
responsibility. This contrasts with the popular image of
Brazilian emmigrants getting only low-skill, low paying jobs.
Quoting several crew members saying that they felt at home
in both countries probably did more to advance the idea of
partnership than the demonstrations of air power.


BRASILIA 00000638 002 OF 002


6. (C) COMMENT. The Navy's effort to coordinate with the
Embassy and engage in public outreach added value to the
annual exercises. In comments to Embassy personnel,
Brazilian visitors consistently mentioned that the Navy's
emphasis on humanitarian assistance, drug interdiction and
cooperation with friendly states gave a more positive
impression than the usual Brazilian images of the U.S.
military bombing Middle Eastern states. Admiral Cullom's
comment to a group of Brazilian business leaders that while
an aircraft carrier is expensive, it is a cost that the USG
believes is worthwhile in terms of its value to safeguarding
global prosperity received nods and at least one offhand
comment that the Brazilian government could learn from this.
While the lack of Brazilian government attendance was
disappointing, we should still look for opportunities to make
the point that the U.S. and Brazil are natural security
partners. Defense Minister Jobim missed the carrier visit
because he was out of the country. As a next step, we should
try to arrange a visit for him to a U.S. carrier when he
visits SOUTHCOM this summer.
SOBEL

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC