Command of the Armed Forces



Heads of State either frame power apparatuses or will be framed by them

Commanding corporations presupposes establishing guidelines for them and choosing those responsible for their implementation. Corporate autonomy must be granted within the limits of fulfilling the missions received. I reiterate the universal and timeless teaching: heads of State, or frame power apparatuses or will be framed by them. Heads of State do not serve the ranks; the ranks must serve them.

Lula needs to take command of the Armed Forces. In this environment of redefinition of international hegemony, war announcements grow. Brazil will be affected and national defense cannot be improvised.

Furthermore, there is no other way to contain the aberrant political activism of the ranks than by assigning them challenging missions. Busy with their professional duties, generals will have less time for political militancy. They will not engage in madness, such as using an unspeakable to rise to command and implement their propositions.

The collection I recently put together, Comments on a militaristic delusion, shows the perversity that politicians in uniform planned for Brazil. A narrow electoral defeat hindered the implementation of his plans.

Scared, Lula took his first steps towards command. In the vilification of January 8, the President did not count on the Armed Forces to restore order. He acknowledged that he does not exercise command. It was the first step to overcome a glaring unconstitutionality.

In the second step, Lula signed an unappealable preliminary, declaring that the Armed Forces do not constitute a moderating power. The third step was the dismissal of the Army commander. The most suitable time for such a decision would have been on the infamous Sunday. Brazilians and the whole world abhorred the vandalism of the extreme right. Lula had, then, the maximum legitimacy to act. Military summits would not affront him.

General Júlio César de Arruda and his men were either accomplices or failed to defend the national symbols they swore to defend. If they had a feeling of military honor, they would have resigned on Sunday night.

I do not know Lula's reasons for appointing General Tomás Miguel Miné Ribeiro Paiva as the new commander. I was never with that general. It occurred to me that choosing a more modern officer would better signal presidential authority. But I thought the weightings favorable to the chosen one were sensible.

Furthermore, the choice of the new commander is of limited importance: there are no substantial differences between the members of the high hierarchy. By action or omission, everyone participated in the game that resulted in the most sinister government in republican history. All passed through the same political-ideological sieve to ascend hierarchically. All were steeped in ultraconservatism. All assimilated the history written from the perspective of the barracks. All reject social changes that affect the organic and functional structures of their corporations. Everyone wants a society to their liking.

Democrats applauded General Tomás Miguel Miné Ribeiro Paiva's speech before his troops. Nor did they know that this soldier disciplinedly reproduced the position of Commander Júlio César de Arruda. For me, General Tomás Miné Paiva should have kept quiet. It is not appropriate to naturalize political speeches by armed officials.

Furthermore, the speech of the current Army commander was incoherent: he referred to the “political earthquake” as if he had nothing to do with it. It is difficult to classify as a “legalist” anyone who supported challenges to the electoral process and sheltered coup leaders in the security perimeters of the barracks under his command.

Lula's next steps towards commanding the Armed Forces will be difficult. The list of members of the “military family” involved in attacks on democracy is extensive. How will the Army commander react when he sees his people reporting to the police?

However, the definitive step for Lula to assume command will be the establishment of guidelines for National Defense. In this matter, corporations have always pontificated and failed. Despite the large volume of public resources employed over centuries, we do not have the capacity to protect our territorial, maritime, air and cybernetic space from greedy foreigners.

Lula wants to “take care of the Brazilian people”. Care includes National Defense. This is a public policy that, due to its scope and complexity, cannot be handed over to those who are preparing for combat. It is an eminently political matter. It involves all areas of the State and society. It deserves the convening of a national conference.

Breaking the military monopoly in defining the initiatives required for Defense would lengthen Lula's list of novelties. No other democratically elected president has managed to command the Armed Forces. In this matter, all obeyed the military commands.

Summoning political leaders, parliamentarians, scientists, businessmen, diplomats, journalists, prosecutors, delegates, military police, representatives of native peoples and community leaders to check National Defense and offer suggestions will be Lula's decisive step to assume command of the Armed Forces.

The generals will be grateful, as they have always complained about society's lack of involvement in defense matters.

*Manuel Domingos Neto is a retired UFC professor, former president of the Brazilian Defense Studies Association (ABED) and former vice president of CNPq.


The A Terra é Redonda website exists thanks to our readers and supporters.
Help us keep this idea going.
Click here and find how 

See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • A look at the 2024 federal strikelula haddad 20/06/2024 By IAEL DE SOUZA: A few months into government, Lula's electoral fraud was proven, accompanied by his “faithful henchman”, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich