Reasons for a military reform

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By MANUEL DOMINGOS NETO*

Overcoming the functional personality disorder that the State imposes on the military

As a boy, I heard about agrarian reform. In my youth, I debated university reform. I read about political reform, State reform, Judiciary reform, tax reform, but I don't know about proposals for military reform. In recent decades, policy, strategy and the White Paper on Defense have been revised without major changes in the Armed Forces.

When D. Pedro I left, the Army was reorganized, the National Guard was created. The changes were so significant that Adriana Barreto claims that the Army was born in 1831. Throughout the XNUMXth century, changes were registered in military education. After the bloodbath in Paraguay, reformist proposals circulated. At the beginning of the Republic, Benjamin Constant wanted to transform officials into preachers of the religion of humanity.

The last major military reform began before the First World War, when the Baron of Rio Branco and Marshal Hermes da Fonseca sent Army officers to train in Germany. They returned dazzled, claiming to be “apostles of patriotism and civility”.

Changes accelerated from 1919, under French guidance. The Army was transfigured. Military aviation made an impact. The advisees of the French reached the top of the hierarchy in 1928. I do not know the chronology of the modernization of the Navy. The fact is that, after spending a lot, Brazil was not prepared to face Hitler.

Some believe that, after the Second World War, with US influence, the novelty was the adoption of the national security doctrine, which prioritized the “internal enemy”. But since Independence, this “enemy” has been in the crosshairs. The Constitution of D. Pedro I recognized its existence and Caxias established its name by silencing “facinatory” Brazilians.

Today, changes in the way of war, social dynamics and care for democracy impose a military reform. In this troubled world, Brazil needs to be able to defend itself.

Military reform is necessary because there are too many generals and soldiers and they are poorly distributed in the territory. The concentration of troops in Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul is wasteful and meaningless. Brasilia is full of generals.

The reform is urgent because the supremacy of the land force does not match with a national defense that dissuades hostile foreigners. Protection of immense territory, vast sea and cyber space is not for rambos.

Reform is indispensable because military academies award diplomas to those who don't deserve it. The people pay for the education of those who do not respect them. Reform needs to happen so that children are not subjected to military training. We are in Brazil in the XNUMXst century, not in Macedonia or Sparta from earlier times. What does it contribute to the defense of Brazil, for children to learn castro postures and values?

Reform is necessary so that the ranks do not defend the colonial legacy in the XNUMXst century. The Constitution states: “men and women are equal in rights and obligations”. Why aren't there women at the top of the hierarchy?

The reform has to take place so that the officer's wife can have a stable profession and social insertion. The intense turnover in posts radicalizes the civil-military dichotomy.

The reform is imperative to give rise to the hierarchical rise of blacks. With blacks in command, I wanted to see Jair Bolsonaro and Hamilton Mourão disqualify people of African descent! With indigenous people at the top, the damage to the Amazon could be better contained. No barracks sycophant would complain about the smell of Indians.

Reform is indispensable to end endogeny. The honorable condition of a warrior must be extended to all men and women, without primacy for the descendants of officers. Poor young people need to have the right to reach the top.

The reform is fundamental to suppress the anachronistic obligation of military service.

Reform is necessary for the barracks to respect the left. O political pluralism underpins the Republic. The Charter says: “no one shall be deprived of rights on the grounds of religious belief or philosophical or political conviction”. The military tramples on the Charter and impoverishes the exchange of ideas when it repels the left. How is it possible to peremptorily jettison a large part of society for unreasonable prevention?

The reform is indispensable for the cohesion of Brazilians to be the main beam of national defense. The Charter determines “the dignity of the human person”. There are no open homosexuals in the Armed Forces, where homophobic demonstrations are commonplace. The reform must allow homosexuals to come out of the closet without fear. When the military denounces the “moral crisis” and the “tearing of the social fabric”, he slyly defends retrograde values. The Charter does not make the military the guardian of morality. Reform must eliminate the fear of behavioral changes.

Reform is needed to include corporations in socioeconomic development efforts. Universal experience indicates that development without the aid of soldiers and police is impossible. Reform will help industrialization. Corporations have to stop giving profit to the industrial complexes of powers that don't want the best for Brazilians. Armed Forces offices in the United States and Europe need to be closed.

There are more reasons. But I will end by saying that the reform will allow, who knows, to overcome the functional personality disorder that the State imposes on the military. This public servant will be able, perhaps, to target the covetous foreigner and get rid of tasks that should not fit him. He will finally be able to realize that Brazil is not a gift from the barracks.

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

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