In April of 2003, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, decided to cancel the process of auction for the purchase of 36 combat airplanes for the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
In the height of his popularity, Lula used the project “Fome Zero” (in a literal translation, “Zero Hunger”) to justify the measure.
It was a demagogic speech, without any doubts.
Well, Lula said, so it is said.
FAB was left without fighters and, later, had to be content with used airplanes of France.
But, what will be done about the FX2?
It will become a process not transparent at all and contaminated by political interests.
The Air Force, divided, was incompetent in building consensus around one model.
The politicians negotiated in accordance with their interests and not always in function of the strategic necessities of the country.
It is possible that FAB gets disappointed.
In September of last year, Lula announced that Brazil would buy the Rafale, model manufactured in France.
He tried to contradict what he had said and “the correction was worse than the sonnet”.
Just like Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Lula might decide that the best is to leave the decision for the near government.
For that, the electoral process fits perfectly.
Of course it is a way to minimize the problems that he would have with Frenchmen, Swedish and North American, whichever the choice was.
Marcelo Rech is a journalist, editor of the InfoRel and specialist in International Relations, Strategies and Policies of Defense and Terrorism, Counter-Insurgency. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org