Manual 21363903

Manual 21363903
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
SOUTH AFRICA’S SECURITY RELATIONS WITH THE
MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
by
MOSES BONGANI KHANYILE
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree
DOCTOR PHILOSOPHIAE
(INTERNATIONAL POLITICS)
in the
FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA
August 2003
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues, friends and family who have
consistently provided me with much-needed academic and especially moral support during
the long-toiling hours of study. The steady and unwavering academic leadership and
meticulous guidance provided by Professor Mike Hough throughout the duration of this study
is reflected in the technical and conceptual quality of the product. I am particularly indebted
to my wife, children and parents whose understanding and support enabled me to reluctantly
scale down on my social and family life.
The financial assistance of the University of Pretoria and the National Research Foundation
of South Africa towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and
conclusions arrived at, are those of the author and cannot be attributed to these institutions.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
SUMMARY
SOUTH AFRICA’S SECURITY RELATIONS WITH THE MERCOSUR
COUNTRIES
by
MOSES BONGANI KHANYILE
LEADER
:
DEPARTMENT
DEGREE FOR WHICH
DISSERTATION IS
PRESENTED
:
:
PROF DR M. HOUGH
POLITICAL SCIENCES
DOCTOR PHILOSPHIAE
(INTERNATIONAL POLITICS)
The cementing of ties between South Africa and the Mercosur countries occurred at the time
when the Cold War had just ended. Characteristic of the post-Cold War environment is the
ascendance of socio-economic issues and the receding importance of military issues. Thus,
South Africa’s security relations with Mercosur are rooted in the socio-economic sphere with
limited military interaction which is designed to facilitate trade links and deal with potential
trans-oceanic criminal activities such as drug-trafficking, arms-smuggling, poaching and sea
piracy.
This is in stark contrast with the pre-1994 relations between South Africa and the South
American states. Given the fact that South Africa was regarded by the international
community as a pariah state owing to her unacceptable political system, it was only prudent
for South Africa to look for like-minded allies across the South Atlantic Ocean. From the
mid-sixties to the early eighties, most South American states were under military rule, thus
providing an ideal opportunity for possible allies for South Africa. At that stage, South
Africa’s motive for cementing ties with South American states, especially those that
eventually formed Mercosur, was not based on a genuine need for mutual protection and
complementarity of defence capabilities, but a quest for some semblance of acceptability by
the international community.
Despite the decreasing importance of military matters in international relations, South Africa
still maintains a significant exchange programme with the Mercosur military establishments.
While most of the exchanges are for diplomatic purposes, military establishments on both
sides of the South Atlantic Ocean conduct regular military exercises on both shores, in cooperation with extra-regional powers such as the US and the UK. These exercises serve the
purpose of ensuring interoperability of military equipment (such as operational
communication systems) and harmonising national policies and procedures, especially for
search-and-rescue operations, but also for ensuring the smooth operation of maritime traffic
on the South Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, there is always a perennial fear that, despite the
demise of the Cold War, the South Atlantic region may become a theatre of war in future.
This is particularly based on the analysis of possible resource-endowment in Antarctica,
which will fuel competition and intensify territorial claims. South Africa and some of the
Mercosur countries also have significant interests in Antarctica.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
Key words: Antarctica; Mercosur/Mercosul; military exercises; security relations; security
theory; South Atlantic states; zone of peace.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
SAMEVATTING
VEILIGHEIDSVERHOUDINGS TUSSEN SUID-AFRIKA EN
DIE MERCOSUR STATE
deur
MOSES BONGANI KHANYILE
LEIER
DEPARTEMENT
:
PROF DR M. HOUGH
:
POLITIEKE
WETENSKAPPE
GRAAD WAARVOOR
PROEFSKRIF
INGEDIEN IS
:
DOCTOR
PHILOSOPHIAE
(INTERNASIONALE
POLITIEK)
‘n Verdere ontwikkeling van bande tussen Suid-Afrika en Mercosur lidstate het aan die einde van die
Koue Oorlog ontstaan. Die kenmerke van die post-Koue Oorlog omgewing is die toenemende
belangrikheid van sosio-ekonomiese kwessies en die afname van militêre kwessies. Suid-Afrika se
veiligheidsverhoudings met Mercosur is dus gevestig in die sosio-ekonomiese sfeer met beperkte
militêre interaksie, wat ontwerp is om handelsbande te vestig en potensiële trans-oseaniese kriminele
aktiwiteite soos die smokkel van verdowingsmiddels en wapens, visstropery en seerowery, te bekamp.
Dit is in sterk kontras met die bande tussen Suid-Amerikaanse state en Suid-Afrika gedurende
die tydperk voor 1994. Gegewe die feit dat Suid-Afrika deur die internasionale gemeenskap
as ‘n verstote (“pariah”) staat beskou is as gevolg van ‘n onaanvaarbare politieke bestel, was
dit belangrik vir Suid-Afrika om soortgelyk-denkende bondgenote oor die Suid-Atlantiese
Oseaan te soek. Sedert die middel sestigerjare tot en met die vroeë tagtigerjare, was die
meeste Suid-Amerikaanse state onder militêre regerings en het daardeur die ideale geleentheid
geskep vir Suid-Afrika om moontlike bondgenootskappe te smee. Op daardie stadium, was
die motief om bondgenootskappe te smee met Suid-Amerikaanse state, veral dié wat
eventueel deel gevorm het van Mercosur, nie gebaseer op die werklike behoefte vir
onderlinge beskerming en aanvullende verdedigingsvermoëns nie, maar was dit ‘n poging om
‘n beeld van aanvaarbaarheid in die internasionale gemeenskap te skep.
Ondanks die afname van militêre kwessies in internasionale verhoudings, handhaaf SuidAfrika tog ‘n aansienlike wisselwerking met die militêre gemeenskap van Mercosur lande.
Alhoewel meeste van die wisselwerking vir diplomatieke doeleindes is, word militêre
oefeninge gereeld aan beide kante van die Suid-Atlantiese Oseaan, in samewerking met buiteregionale magte soos die Verenigde State van Amerika en die Verenigde Koninkryk, gehou.
Hierdie oefeninge het die doel om te verseker dat militêre uitrusting met mekaar versoenbaar
is (aspekte soos kommunikasie stelsels) en die versoenbaarheid van beleid en prosedures,
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
veral in die geval van soek-en-redding operasies, maar ook om te verseker dat die beheer van
maritieme verkeer glad verloop in die Suid-Atlantiese Oseaan. Verder, is daar ook kommer
dat, ten spyte van die beëindiging van die Koue Oorlog, die Suid-Atlantiese streek ‘n
oorlogteater in die toekoms kan word. Dit is veral gebaseer op ‘n ontleding van die moontlike
hulpbronryke Antartika wat wedywering kan aanblaas en aansprake op territoriale gebied in
dié poolstreek kan verhoog. Suid-Afrika en sommige van die Mercosur lidlande het ook
aansienlike belange in dié gebied.
Sleutelwoorde:
Antarktika; Mercosur/Mercosul; militêre oefeninge; Suid-Atlantiese lande; veiligheidsteorie;
veiligheidsverhoudings; vredesone.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
INTRODUCTION
1.
Objectives of the Study
1
2.
Problem Postulation
2
3.
Methodology
3
4.
Demarcation
CHAPTER ONE
SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
3
1.
Introduction
7
2.
International Co-operation
8
2.1
2.2
2.2.1
2.2.2
2.2.3
2.2.4
3.
Setting Standards
Obligations
Allocations
Prohibitions
Conceptual Analysis of Security
3.1
3.2
4.
Imperatives and Motivations for Co-operation
Forms of Co-operation
Security: A Common Understanding
Changing Nature and Focus of Security
National Security
4.1
4.1.1
4.1.2
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.4.1
4.4.2
4.4.3
4.4.4
8
10
11
11
12
12
13
13
16
17
National Security: A Common Understanding
18
Classical View of National Security
Modern View of National Security
18
20
Focus of National Security: Internal and External Dimensions
Human Security
Threats to National Security
Military Threats
Political Threats
Environmental Threats
Economic Threats
4.4.4.1
Economic Facets of National Security
23
26
28
29
30
30
31
32
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
4.4.4.2
4.4.4.3
5.
Use of Economic Resources for Military Security
Use of Military Resources for Economic Security
International and Regional Security
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
Collective Security
Collective Defence
Concert Security
Common Security
Comprehensive and Co-operative Security
34
36
37
38
41
47
48
49
6.
Global Security
51
7.
The Security Pyramid
53
8.
Conclusion
57
References and Notes
60
CHAPTER TWO
THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND STRUCTURE OF MERCOSUR
1.
Introduction
66
2.
Factors Necessitating the Establishment of Mercosur
67
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
Military Developmentalism Doctrine
Proliferation of Regional Organisations
Conflict Potential
Democratisation Process
Globalisation
67
68
70
71
74
3.
The Establishment of Mercosur
75
4.
‘Open Regionalism’ Concept
77
5.
Defining the Mercosur Group
78
6.
Mercosur’s Institutional Framework and Functions
80
7.
The Performance of the Mercosur Group
86
8.
Conclusion
88
References and Notes
91
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
CHAPTER THREE
SOUTH AFRICA, SADC AND MERCOSUR: SOCIO-ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION
AND SECURITY
1.
Introduction
94
2.
South-South Relations
95
3.
South Africa’s Socio-Economic Relations with the Mercosur Countries
and Security Implications
96
3.1
South Africa’s Official Views on Co-operation with South
American Countries Prior to 1994
The End of South Africa’s Pariah Status and the Beginning of a
New Era
Relations with Individual Countries
3.2
3.3
3.3.1
3.3.2
Argentina
Brazil
3.3.2.1
3.3.2.2
3.3.3
3.3.4
3.3.5
4.
Historical Development of Relations
Current Relations
Paraguay
Uruguay
Bolivia and Chile
Inter-Regional Co-operation: Mercosur and SADC
4.1
4.2
4.3
The Debate on South Africa’s Strategic Orientation
Mercosur and SADC: A Comparative Perspective
Challenges and Prospects for Inter-Regional Co-operation
97
102
105
105
109
109
112
115
115
116
118
118
119
121
5.
Drug-trafficking Across the South Atlantic Ocean
124
6.
Some Broad Security Implications
127
7.
Conclusion
130
References
133
CHAPTER FOUR
BILATERAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE
MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
1.
Introduction
138
2.
Historical Military Relations
138
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
2.1
Argentina
2.1.1
2.1.2
Pre-1994 Argentine-South Africa Military Relations
Post-1994 Argentine-South Africa Military Relations
2.1.2.1
2.1.2.2
2.1.2.3
2.2
139
Military Representation
Military Visits
Military Training
Brazil
2.2.1
2.2.2
2.3
Military Representation
Military Visits
Military Training
Military Agreements
Co-operation Between the Defence-related Industries
Paraguay
2.3.1
2.3.2
2.4
146
148
148
150
151
152
153
154
Pre-1994 Paraguay-South Africa Military Relations
Post-1994 Paraguay-South Africa Military Relations
Uruguay
2.4.1
2.4.2
143
144
145
146
Pre-1994 Brazil-South Africa Military Relations
Post-1994 Brazil-South Africa Military Relations
2.2.2.1
2.2.2.2
2.2.2.3
2.2.2.4
2.2.2.5
139
142
155
158
159
Pre-1994 Uruguay-South Africa Military Relations
Post-1994 Uruguay-South Africa Military Relations
159
164
2.5
Bolivia
165
2.6
Chile
169
2.6.1
2.6.2
Pre-1994 Chile-South Africa Military Relations
Post-1994 Chile-South Africa Military Relations
2.6.2.1
2.6.2.2
2.6.2.3
2.6.2.4
Military Representation
Military Visits
Military Training
Mutual Agreements and Defence Industry Cooperation
169
173
173
175
176
177
3.
The Nature of Military Capabilities of South Africa and the Mercosur
Countries
178
4.
Conclusion
181
References
185
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
CHAPTER FIVE
MULTILATERAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC REGION
1.
Introduction
189
2.
Defining the South Atlantic Region
190
3.
Inter-American Security System
192
4.
Southern Cross Alliance
195
5.
The South Atlantic Treaty Organisation
197
6.
Zone of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic (ZPCSA)
200
6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
The ZPCSA as a New Alternative
Denuclearisation
South Africa and the ZPCSA
The Naval Military Potential of the ZPCSA
A South Atlantic Rim Association
Joint Military Exercises
6.6.1
6.6.2
6.6.3
6.7
7.
Exercise ATLASUR
Exercise UNITAS
Exercise TRANSOCEANIC
Prospects and Challenges of the ZPCSA
Conclusion
References and Notes
201
204
208
210
216
217
217
218
218
220
222
224
CHAPTER SIX
EVALUATION
1.
Summary
229
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
229
231
234
236
1.5
2.
Security: A Conceptual Framework
Historical Development and Structure of Mercosur
Socio-Economic Co-operation and Security
Bilateral Military Co-operation Between South Africa and the
Mercosur Countries
Multilateral Security Co-operation in the South Atlantic Region
Assessment
237
239
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
3.
Research Findings and Testing of Propositions
240
4.
Recommendations for Further Study
242
Abbreviations
244
Bibliography
249
Summary
Opsomming
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
List of Tables
Table 1:
Table 2:
Table 3:
Table 4:
Table 5:
Table 6:
Table 7:
Table 8:
Table 9:
Table 10:
Table 11:
Table 12:
Table 13:
Table 14:
Table 15:
Table 16:
Table 17:
Table 18:
Table 19:
Table 20:
Table 21:
Table 22:
Table 23:
Table 24:
Table 25:
Table 26:
Table 27:
Table 28:
Table 29:
Table 30:
Table 31:
Mercosur Organs and Their Functions
Profile of the Mercosur Countries, 2000
Trade Relations With and Within Mercosur
Intra-Regional Trade Within Mercosur, 1987 – 1994
Comparison of Brazil’s Imports from the Current
Member States in 1980 With Specific Months in 1997
South Africa’s Trade Ties With the Mercosur Countries
Foreign Investment Between South Africa and
Mercosur, 1996
Comparison Between Mercosur and SADC
SAPS Projects on Organised Crime, March 1997.
Argentina’s Military Students Trained in South Africa,
(as in December 1983)
SADF and, after 1994, SANDF Attachés in Argentina
Argentinean Military Attachés in South Africa
South Africa’s Military Attachés in Brazil Since 1994
Brazilian Military Attachés in South Africa Since 1994
SANDF Training Presented to the Brazilian Armed
Forces Since 1994
Brazilian Military Training Presented to the
SANDF Since 1994
Chilean Military Training Presented to South African
Students in Chile, (as in December 1983)
South Africa’s Military Attachés in Chile
Chilean Military Attachés in South Africa
SANDF Training Presented to Chilean Armed Forces
after 1994
Chilean Military Training Presented to the SANDF
Personnel after 1994
Military Expenditure of Mercosur Countries and South Africa,
1995-2000
Uniformed Military Personnel in South Africa
and Mercosur Countries, 2000/2001
Signature and Ratification of Rio Treaty by Selected Countries
South Africa’s Trade With The ZPCSA Members, 1999
ZPCSA Countries' GDP, Defence Budgets and Populations
Naval Patrol Capabilities (2000) and Mercantile Marine (1997/8)
of the ZPCSA Member States
Ratio of Budget Allocation for the Navy, Air Force and Army,
1998
South African National Defence Force’s Arms Acquisition
Programme, 1998
ATLASUR Exercises Involving the South African Navy After
1994
TRANSOCEANIC Exercises Involving the South African
Navy After 1994
82
85
87
87
87
103
104
120
125
142
143
144
149
149
152
151
171
174
174
176
177
179
181
193
209
211
213
214
216
218
219
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
List of Figures
Figure 1:
Figure 2:
Figure 3:
Figure 4:
Wæver’s ‘Hourglass’ Model of Security
The United Nations and Regional Organisations
With Security Dimensions
The Security Pyramid
The Organisation of the 2nd Department (Military Intelligence)
of the Paraguayan Armed Forces as in August 1984
24
45
54
157
List of Maps
Map 1:
Map 2:
The Four Mercosul Countries
The Geographic and Geopolitical Demarcation
of the South Atlantic Ocean
81
191
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
1
INTRODUCTION
1.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Prior to 1990 – the year in which a new and inclusive political dispensation was introduced in
the country – South Africa’s security considerations were largely determined by both the
manoeuvrings of the Cold War superpowers (the United States of America and the former
Soviet Union) and the threats posed by the neighbouring countries.
Because of its
unacceptable racial and political policies, South Africa acquired a pariah status, thus resulting
in limited membership of international organisations, and bilateral agreements proved
difficult to conclude.
Even though South Africa’s foreign policy with regard to Southern Africa was characterised
by destabilisation during the period prior to 1990, the country did everything possible to win
the support and co-operation of especially the North American and West European countries.
Minimal, if ever any, attention was paid to the strategic value of trans-Atlantic relations with
countries
in
Latin
America,
especially
those
countries
which
constitute
the
Mercosur/Mercosul (Southern Cone Common Market), namely, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay
and Uruguay, with Bolivia and Chile as associate members.
Like South Africa, these
countries have experienced long periods of disproportionately high influence by the military,
as well as the unbridled role of the military in politics. Despite these similarities, South
Africa’s security considerations do not seem to have seriously brought these countries into its
strategic equation.
This study does not intend dealing with these countries in their institutional capacity as
member states of the Mercosur group, but rather as individual entities that happen to
constitute Mercosur. However, since the Mercosur group has an important regional parallel
in the form of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), it will also be
discussed as an institution, especially in the sections dealing with economic relations and
regional security.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
2.
2
PROBLEM POSTULATION
This study identifies the following factors which contribute towards the propositions listed
below:
•
South Africa had a significant strategic value to the countries that now constitute
Mercosur during the period starting in 1980. This date (1980) is selected, mainly
because it was only after this period that new regional security challenges (such as
during the Falklands War of 1982), especially in the military sphere, occurred, which
could have had direct security implications for South Africa.
•
The end of military dictatorships in the Mercosur countries and apartheid in South
Africa, which paved the way for the ushering in of democracy on both shores of the
Atlantic Ocean, signalled commonalities that could be exploited for mutual benefit.
This is particularly important in the security arena.
The study is based on the following propositions:
•
South Africa’s security considerations are increasingly becoming inseparably
entangled with those of its south-west Atlantic neighbours, notably Brazil and
Argentina.
•
Security in the broader sense, which also includes social and economic dimensions,
requires a holistic approach and South Africa’s security relations with Mercosur could
offer numerous benefits for the general good of its citizens.
•
The effects of the global crisis in markets, which affected both developed and
emergent markets at the end of the 1990s, showed that South Africa’s virtual or
benign neglect of Latin America can no longer be sustained if it is serious about being
a global competitor of note.
•
3
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
South Africa’s global ambitions, including permanent membership of the United
Nations Security Council, can only materialise with considerable support from the
Latin American countries.
A study of this nature is not only necessitated by a sheer lack of similar studies in South
Africa, but by the ever-increasing need to have readily available information on Latin
American countries, especially the Mercosur. The Mercosur group has been hailed as a
success story of the 1990s, which could provide significant lessons for the ailing SADC.
3.
METHODOLOGY
In analysing South Africa’s security relations with the Mercosur countries, an eclectic
approach, including description and analysis will be applied. A comprehensive literature
survey, which will include material originating from these countries, forms a major part of the
sources for the study. Challenges associated with linguistic limitations were envisaged, but
alternative mechanisms to deal with them were found. These mechanisms included the use of
translation facilities, especially at universities, and also attempting to secure the co-operation
of embassies to translate some of the material, which might be in the language of their
country.
Because of the diverse nature of aspects that are explored in this study, both institutional and
issue-based approaches were used at different stages of the study. While an institutional
approach was used in analysing the role of the countries under investigation in the context of,
for example, the Zone of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic (ZPCSA), specific
issues, such as defence industries, were addressed either separately or in combination with the
institutional framework.
4.
DEMARCATION
The study is divided into the following chapters:
CHAPTER 1:
SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
4
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
With the broadening of the concept of security, new dimensions have evolved, thus
introducing new challenges to international relations. This chapter seeks to identify and deal
with the various aspects of security as they pertain to bilateral and multilateral security
arrangements. Factors that constitute and contribute to threat perception and vulnerability are
also discussed.
While security is primarily discussed from the point of view of securing national interests
through the conclusion of international agreements and/or treaties, internal aspects of security
also receive attention. This outward-looking approach to security helps shed some light on
the justification or lack thereof, for South Africa to cement ties with the Latin American
countries, especially on security issues.
CHAPTER 2:
THE HISTORICAL
MERCOSUR
DEVELOPMENT
AND
STRUCTURE
OF
The formation of Mercosur was the culmination of a process that was initiated almost two
decades after the Second World War (WW II). The process had been prompted by many
factors, which ranged from the proliferation of regional organisations to globalisation. This
chapter provides a perspective on the historical evolution of the Mercosur group and also
identifies the organs and functions of the group.
A good understanding of the structure and functioning of the Mercosur group would enable
South Africa (or any other extra-regional country) to identify specific areas of possible cooperation and the relevant mechanisms for doing so.
It concludes by analysing the
performance of Mercosur.
CHAPTER 3:
SOUTH AFRICA, SADC AND MERCOSUR: SOCIO-ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND SECURITY
Issues of social security and development are often inter-linked. The main focus of the
Mercosur group is currently on economic development and trade. All the efforts to ensure
regional security, especially through the use of the armed forces, are often aimed at securing
commercial and trade routes. This chapter looks into the nature of economic activity in the
South Atlantic, which involves South Africa and the Mercosur countries. Particular attention
5
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
is also paid to the benefits for the Southern African sub-region through South Africa’s
participation in trans-Atlantic arrangements.
It is undeniably true that the demise of the Cold War propelled economic issues to the
forefront in international relations. Security issues have taken a backstage role and, when
these are addressed, it is normally because they are seen as potential impediments to
prosperous economic and social development. Trans-national and trans-continental crime
syndicates, such as those linked to drug trafficking, money-laundering, piracy on the high
seas and, in some cases, small-arms proliferation, are all security issues which have a negative
impact on the economic well-being of nations. This chapter seeks to address these aspects
with regard to South Africa and the countries constituting the Mercosur group.
CHAPTER 4:
BILATERAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION BETWEEN
AFRICA AND THE MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
SOUTH
South Africa’s historical relations with the individual countries of the Mercosur grouping are
discussed. An attempt was made to trace military relations that South Africa had with the
Mercosur countries prior to and after the 1994 political dispensation.
The existing formal and informal Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between South Africa
and the member states of the Mercosur group provide a suitable point of departure. Through
these MoUs, South Africa undertakes joint projects which not only help with the transfer of
skills and expertise, but also reduce costs on capital that is required to conduct such projects.
Included in this regard are search-and-rescue operations in the South Atlantic Ocean, and also
joint military exercises.
CHAPTER 5:
MULTILATERAL SECURITY CO-OPERATION IN THE SOUTH
ATLANTIC REGION
This chapter looks into the regional groupings/arrangements covering the South Atlantic
region in which security is the main focus.
Multilateral arrangements in the form of
agreements, conventions, treaties and MoUs to which South Africa and the Mercosur
members are parties, are broadly analysed.
6
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
While the historical development of the ZPCSA in relation to the role of the member states of
Mercosur and that of South Africa (when it joined it in 1994) is addressed, more attention is
paid to the future role of this regional security arrangement in the 21st century. The active
involvement of some of the Southern African states (such as Namibia and Angola) in the
ZPCSA implies that South Africa’s security arrangements with her Atlantic neighbours
should adopt an approach that benefits the whole sub-region.
CHAPTER 6:
EVALUATION
This chapter summarises the whole study and briefly discusses the findings per chapter. The
original assumptions are validated and propositions tested. The chapter concludes by giving
an indication of the areas of study that still require to be supplemented with additional
research.
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7
CHAPTER ONE
SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
1.
INTRODUCTION
States continuously pursue strategies and implement policies aimed purportedly at ensuring
the general welfare and well-being of their citizenry. With the increase in world production
and consumption of goods, services and information, it has increasingly become impossible to
satisfy individual needs and lifestyles. To ameliorate this condition, states have had to cooperate along a whole range of issues and areas of mutual interest for the benefit of their
citizens. Most of the current collaborative mechanisms can be traced back to the formation of
the United Nations (UN) at the end of the Second World War (WW II). The UN became a
mother body responsible inter alia for establishing institutions such as the International Court
of Justice (ICJ), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and to introduce rules and customs
which collectively would constitute international law. The UN-governed intergovernmental
relations did not replace bilateral arrangements initiated by individual member states. Instead,
the UN's rules-based co-operation regimes made the international system fairly stable and
predictable, and contributed towards the codification of modern-day international law.
It is crucial for states to develop, through collaborative structures, conditions that would
enable citizens to pursue their livelihoods without fear or threat to their lives, limbs and
property. The generic term for this ideal societal condition is 'security'. Evidence abounds in
the historical evolution or creation of states which confirms that the original raison d'être for
the existence of states was the provision of security.
This raison d'être defined the
relationship between governments and the populations. This relationship is encapsulated in
the phrase 'state idea' which describes "a set of distinctive purposes to which the bulk of a
population subscribe, a complex of shared traditions, experiences and objectives." 1 It is this
quest for the 'state idea' which is predominated by the constant pursuit for security that
provides the impetus for states, through governments, to conduct domestic politics and
international relations in a manner that seeks to satisfy security.
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8
This chapter briefly looks into the various forms of international co-operation and
comprehensively discusses the dimensions of security both in its traditional and modern
senses. The evolution of security as an object for policy-makers and strategists is discussed
within the contexts of its applicability at national, international and global levels. Security is
ultimately viewed from the state-centric perspective, where states remain the dominant roleplayers in the international system, although the broader meaning of security is taken into
account. The chapter concludes with a model – the ‘Security Pyramid’ – which seeks to
explain the gradual progression of states through different levels as security priorities of states
change. It also locates the nature of South Africa’s relations with the Mercosul/Mercosur2
(Southern Cone Common Market) countries – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with
Bolivia and Chile as associate members – on the pyramid with a view to explaining the
justifications and compelling reasons for cementing trans-Atlantic relations in the Southern
Cone with security as a central issue.
2.
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
The imperatives or incentives for states to co-operate are diverse and numerous. In addition
to that, it is such incentives or motives which dictate the nature and form such co-operation
has to adopt and, most importantly, the level of commitment among the party states.
2.1
IMPERATIVES AND MOTIVATIONS FOR CO-OPERATION
The evolution of the nation-state, especially during the latter half of the nineteenth century,
imposed new and daunting challenges for the international system. One of the regular means
of communication and interaction between and among such states was largely through war or
threats of war. Violent inter-state conflicts were (and still are) a direct result of competition
for possession of, or access to, natural resources and raw materials. These commodities
enable states to sustain their military forces which, in turn, enable them to project power
beyond national borders. It is this nexus between resources and the quest for power to which
not only many violent international conflicts could be attributed, but also the widening gap
between the global rich and global poor (also known as the Global North and the Global
South respectively). As realists argue, "military power is a function of economic prowess".3
Although in the pre-WW II era the converse was true, as strong military states with
expansionist proclivities managed to secure access to resources and raw materials, this is
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arguably not true in the post-Cold War era.
9
This could be attributed to the fact that
democratic states, as a general rule, settle their disputes amicably. However, democratic
states also happen to wield massive military resources that could be used in cases where their
strategic interests are threatened. The 1990-1991 Gulf crisis bears contemporary testimony to
this truism.4
Given the declining base of natural resources, general human needs (physiological, social,
political and other spheres) exert great pressure on people to devise innovative means to
satisfy them. Irreplaceable natural resources such as water and geophysical space aggravate
pressure for innovation.
To this end, no country could possibly produce all products
sufficiently for its population without relying on other states. The notion of autarky or
economic self-sufficiency, which dominated the pre-Industrial Age international system and
therefore provided impetus to expansionism, lost favour and relevance during the latter half of
the nineteenth century. The perceived justification or rationale for autarkic approaches was
that military campaigns could be conducted with little or no fear of disruption of the country's
commercial activities through military blockades and air raids. Autarkic countries, like Nazi
Germany, would stockpile essential supplies and develop local substitutes for import
commodities.5
Instead of the economic self-sufficiency approach, states opened their markets through the
notion of comparative advantage. Comparative advantage refers to "the principle that any two
states will benefit if each specialises in those goods it produces comparatively cheaply and
acquires, through trade, goods that it can only produce at a higher cost."6 While this approach
resulted in states concentrating and focusing mainly on those economic activities that were
profitable, it also enabled them to reduce production costs and release financial resources for
other social imperatives. Consequently, the international culture of global inter-dependence
was engendered, thus making each country reliant on raw materials whose origins could be
traced to any corner of the globe. Ever-increasing mass production, mass consumption
demands and mass communication networks further facilitated, but also complicated, this
process. For instance, the need for more consumables necessitated increased production
which, in turn, meant increased use of energy, thus resulting in excessive emissions of
hazardous gases into the atmosphere.
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10
Another area of collaboration is security. The conduct of war is an extremely expensive and
disruptive enterprise, and therefore if it can be avoided by creating common rules of dealing
with conflicts or disputes, such an option should be followed.
To this end, numerous
international agreements have been spawned. In addition to diplomatic channels through
which threats of war can be dealt with, there are also procedures for beginning and ending
wars; treatment of prisoners of war (POWs); prohibitions of certain kinds of weapons in war
such as chemical and biological weapons, and so forth. Most co-operation in the security
field is attained through the formation of security communities. The concept of 'security
community' was coined by Karl Deutsch in the late 1950s. He identified two types of security
communities, namely pluralistic and amalgamated, where the latter would be characterised by
the creation of institutions within the framework of a political community, and the former
would be based on the compatibility of values, responsiveness to each other's needs and
predictability of policy goals by political elites.7
Thus the motivations and imperatives for co-operation stem from pragmatic necessities
induced by the eternal desire to survive. Common rules and regulations transcending national
borders were therefore devised with a view to mitigating potential for disruption by either
accident or design.8 However, as already indicated, the nature and form of co-operation
between and among states are determined largely by the extent to which each state hopes to
benefit from such co-operation.
2.2
FORMS OF CO-OPERATION
Co-operation among states could be conducted either on a bilateral or multilateral basis, but
the former is more common. The strength of bilateralism lies in it being tailor-made to suit the
unique circumstances and requirements of the parties involved.
However, its glaring
weaknesses include the fact that it fuels accusations of conspiracy among neighbours and has
the potential of causing regional fragmentation, as one state's ally could be the other's foe.
Furthermore, it reverts the international system back into the self-help approach which
dominated the pre-First World War (WW I) era.
Multilateralism recognises the
interdependence and interconnectedness of regional and, in most cases, global needs.
Multilateralism denounces isolationism and promotes constructive internationalism among
states, thus compelling such states to consider the interests of other states before designing
and implementing national policies. Co-operation among states could be in the political,
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economic, environmental, security or in any other sphere of human endeavour.
11
The
compatibility of political systems facilitates co-operation in other fields. The post-Cold War
era saw the emergence of economic co-operation taking the centre stage and becoming the
international currency which compelled states to co-operate, especially in the security arena.
The common feature of international co-operation is that it normally takes one or a
combination of the following forms, namely setting standards, obligations, allocations and
prohibitions.9
2.2.1 Setting standards
The concern about standards stems from a host of factors, including unequal levels of
development, technological advancement, maturity of political and economic systems and,
most importantly, the anarchical nature of the international system. The realist notions of
self-interest and the quest for superior relative power vis-à-vis other states are as valid in the
twenty-first century as they were during the previous one. Devising international standards
remains an international responsibility, but the implementation and supervision rests largely
with individual countries. This self-monitoring of individual states is made possible by all
types of sanctions and punitive measures that are put in place for those who flout the rules.
Such measures could include blacklisting involved role-players; withdrawing international
funding; and the possibility of losing market share in the global economy. Services and
products susceptible to such strict international controls include aviation services, medicines
and drugs, goods, nuclear facilities and so forth.10
2.2.2 Obligations
States have obligations and responsibilities towards one another. Such obligations could be
due to the geographic location of facilities owned by countries or where specific capabilities
reside with some countries. For instance, it is not all the littoral states that have the capacity
to conduct search-and-rescue operations in their territorial waters. Thus, it is not uncommon
for neighbouring states to be obligated in terms of an international convention to assume
responsibilities stretching beyond national borders. Since this arrangement is determined and
agreed to within a multilateral framework  such as the UN  the obligated state cannot be
accused of violating the territorial integrity of its neighbour. The United Nations Convention
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12
on the Law of Seas (UNCLAS), for instance, also stipulates that states should not conduct
activities detrimental to their neighbours.
2.2.3 Allocations
The Westphalian notion that states are sovereign and equal lies at the root of this specific
form of international co-operation. The equality of states presupposes that states should share
equitably the resources that are deemed to belong to all humanity. Whether or not a state is
capable of optimally utilising the resource is immaterial. For instance, most littoral states in
the developing world have Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) which stretch far beyond their
elementary naval capacity either to protect, defend or monitor them. Some states are said to
have massive oil reserves in their continental shelves, but they do not have the technology,
expertise and financial resources to benefit from this. This does not necessarily mean that
they should lose ownership of such untapped resources.
2.2.4 Prohibitions
As much as states agree to ensure that certain things are done (obligations), they also have to
ensure that certain things are not done (prohibitions). Prohibitions are a variation of standardsetting in the sense that they force states to refrain from actions which might be nefarious to
other states. Most of the agreements that cover obligations also include prohibitions. This is
particularly important to prevent party states from, for instance, entering into agreements
which negate others  thus causing instability in the understanding and interpretation of
international law.
The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968, for instance,
specifically prohibits nuclear states from transferring nuclear technology and know-how to
non-nuclear states.11 Similarly, the Antarctic Treaty (1 December 1959) prohibits military
activity in Antarctica.12
As will be demonstrated below, co-operation in the security arena incorporates virtually all
these forms of collaborative interaction among states. The preceding discussion on forms of
co-operation partially disguises the very important ways in which effective state co-operation
is hampered. These become conspicuous when co-operation in the realm of security is
scrutinised. In this regard, Snyder13 identifies three schools of thought, namely the realists,
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13
neoliberal institutionalists and constructivists. Realists posit that states are power or security
maximisers that are not keen to co-operate, despite sharing common interests, because of the
anarchical nature of the international system. According to institutionalists, the realists'
dilemma is resolved by the creation of institutions that shape the interests and practices of
states through, for instance, standard setting, obligations or prohibitions.
Thus,
institutionalists advocate an international system based on reciprocity and symbiotic
interaction.
Unlike realists and institutionalists, constructivists argue that international
politics are "socially constructed."
Therefore, the international system is less about the
distribution of material resources and/or capabilities and more about establishing and
cementing social relationships. By understanding the social patterns of enmity and/or amity
between and among states, the chances for co-operation, even on security issues, are increased
significantly.
3.
CONCEPTUAL ANALYSIS OF SECURITY
Since the beginning of the process of modern state formation in the nineteenth century, the
quest for security has been a rallying point for populations living in independent and
subordinate territories. Threats to security ranged from the denial of political and economic
rights by colonial powers or governments serving sectarian interests at the expense of other
citizens to the possibility of aggression by another power. All the efforts aimed at preventing
or eliminating these conditions were generically referred to as ‘security’. But this concept
remains elusive as it expands and contracts with time, place and circumstance.
3.1
SECURITY: A COMMON UNDERSTANDING
Despite the fact that for centuries ‘security’, as a concept, has been part of the militarypolitical vocabulary among policy-makers and scholars of politics alike, consensus still does
not exist as to what it really means. Thus, questions can be asked, such as: What is security?
Who are the main objects / beneficiaries of security? To what extent can the security of the
government or state be equated to that of the individual?
These questions do not only pose a challenge to the policy-makers (who have to provide
resources to ensure ‘security’) and policy-implementers (who have to implement government
policy in the name of vaguely defined objectives associated with ‘security’), but also for
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14
scholars of security (who have to interpret or ‘unpack’ the concept of security). Realising that
there are numerous definitions of security, most of which differ slightly in terms of emphasis,
Buzan concluded that “the nature of security defies pursuit of an agreed generic definition.”14
It was this evasion by Buzan that drew criticism from scholars, such as Baldwin,15 who
believe that conceptual analysis of security is an essential intellectual exercise required for
both scholarly research and policy-formulation. Baldwin cites Opperheim, who argues that
“the elucidation of the language of political science is by no means an idle exercise in
semantics, but in many instances a most effective way to solve substantive problems of
research.”16
Concurring with Baldwin, Rothschild17 provides four compelling justifications for a
definitional analysis of security. According to Rothschild, the principles or definitions of
security provide, firstly, some guidance for the policies made by governments.
While
theorists (academics) might devise theories of security, they have to be understood and/or
implemented by officials. Secondly, definitions of security are essential in guiding public
opinion on security-related issues. Thirdly, a clear understanding of security, as a concept, is
also important in order to effectively implement government policies that pertain to security.
For instance, the international community was only able to criticise the nuclear weapons
policies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) when it understood securityrelated concepts such as deterrence strategies and confidence-building measures. Lastly, the
definition of security will in the final analysis impact on the distribution of money and
power.18 Aware of these convincing arguments for a conceptual elucidation of security,
Mangold19 warns that the law of diminishing returns is as applicable to the search for
definitions as it is for actual security. Mangold further observes that “a balance has to be
struck between the siren call of intellectual precision and the untidy reality of a heterogeneous
and rapidly changing world in which states differ substantially in what they are trying to
secure.”20 Put differently, Mangold cautions against the excessive insistence on finding an
absolute definition as it could end up being counter-productive. However, a selection of
attempts by other scholars to define security could be provided, including the following:
•
Ian Bellany defines security as “a relative freedom from war coupled with a
relatively high expectation that defeat will not be a consequence of any war that
should occur” 21;
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15
•
Laurence Martin defines security as “the assurance of future well-being” 22;
•
John E. Mroz defines security as “the relative freedom from harmful threats” 23;
•
Ole Wæver is of the opinion that “one can view ‘security’ as that which is in
language theory called a speech act: … it is the utterance itself that is the act …
By saying ‘security’ a state representative moves the particular case into a specific
area; claiming a special right to use the means necessary to block this
development.” 24
•
For Arnold Wolfers, “security, in any objective sense, measures the absence of
threats to acquired values, in a subjective sense, the absence of fear that such
values will be attacked.” 25
A group of experts on non-military aspects of security, meeting in Tashkent, Russia, in May
1990, adopted the following operational definition of security:
Security is a condition in which states consider that there is no danger of military attack,
political pressure or economic coercion, so that they are able to pursue freely their own
development and progress. The security of individuals and communities of which states
are constituted is ensured by the guarantee and effective exercise of individual freedom,
political, social and economic rights, as well as by the preservation or restoration of a
liveable environment for present and future generations. Security also implies that
essential human needs, notably in the field of nutrition, education, housing and public
health, are ensured on a permanent basis. An adequate protection against dangers to
security should also be maintained. The ways and means to attain security may be
defined in national, intergovernmental, non-governmental or global terms.26
Unlike the first three definitions (as provided by Bellany, Martin and Mroz), Wæver’s and
Wolfers’s definitions emphasise the centrality of values in the security discourse. However,
all of these definitions recognise both the subjective and perceptual nature of security. The
use of terms such as ‘well-being’, ‘threats’ and ‘values’ in defining security contributes
towards its conceptual ambiguity and elasticity in meaning – thus making security a
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16
permanently contested concept. In a nutshell, the condition of security presupposes the
existence of a world free from physical, psychological and psycho-sociological dangers or
threats and uncertainty.27
This raises serious doubts as to whether or not the quest for security is not a futile exercise
bordering on extreme idealism or utopianism because, as a general rule, no state or group of
people experiences perfect security or absolute insecurity.28 This is as true at individual level
(individual security) as it is, if not more, at national and international levels (national security
and international security). States are not perfectly secure or completely insecure, but rather
experience either condition in degrees.29 Even during the peace negotiations at Versailles at
the end of WW I, many critics identified security as a relative concept and concluded that
even bilateral and multilateral military agreements satisfied the security requirements only to
a small degree. They argued that states are permanently in a state of mutual suspicion.30 In
the post-WW II era, mutual suspicion among states and/or groups of states was perfected into
an art of sorts along an ideological divide which was premised on the ability of one state or
group of states to predict and anticipate the actions of its ideological enemy. Despite the
demise of the Cold War, this scenario of ‘benign’ suspicion continues unabated as the
revolution in the security understanding continues to unfold.
3.2
CHANGING NATURE AND FOCUS OF SECURITY
The traditional conception of security emphasised the primacy of military threats and
prescribed strong action – primarily military – as a response to such threats. This approach
has gradually lost favour and support. For the greater part of the Cold War era, inter-state
wars were rare, especially in those regions in which both superpowers were actively involved.
This restraint in resorting to war stemmed from fear of possible escalation to nuclear
exchange involving the superpowers. Thus, indirect and, mostly, non-military strategies were
used. For instance, the United States (US) made extensive use of the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) in its ‘containment strategy’, not only to gather information on the crucial
elements of the Soviet Union’s economy, but also on how to sow political dissent inside that
country. Realising that there was no immediate threat to its territorial inviolability, the US
also concentrated on developing infrastructure such as new highways that could be used for
rapidly transporting armaments throughout the whole country in the event of war.31
Similarly, the former Soviet Union launched massive misinformation campaigns and provided
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17
support – financial and/or military – to socialist governments or to insurgent groups, which
sought to overthrow governments aligned with the West. These include Afghanistan, Angola
and Cambodia. Some observers have even suggested that in most cases both the Soviet
Union’s as well as the US’s involvement in such countries was not so much about security but
ideology – that is, the East-West conflict was based on a dichotomy of capitalism and
socialism.32
They viewed security through ideological lenses.
However, the quest for
security became even more complex when the concept of national security was coined.
The following sections use Hartendorn's classification of ‘national security’, ‘international
security’ and ‘global security’. Hartendorn33 concedes, like many other analysts, that the
evolution of the security paradigm from national security to international security and then to
global security, demonstrates the changes that the international system has undergone over
centuries. Specific values, threats and capabilities apply to each cluster of security type. The
complexity of security challenges also indicates the evolution of political systems from those
based on insular nation-states, through regionally-based inter-governmental interaction, to a
highly interdependent global community of peoples.34
4.
NATIONAL SECURITY
Flowing from the preceding discussion on ‘security’, another concept which formed part of
the political lexicon is ‘national security’. Both concepts are sometimes, and in most cases,
used interchangeably as if they are synonyms. National security, as a derivative of ‘security’
creates the impression of being much narrower in focus and much more circumscribed in
applicability than ‘security’. It also creates the impression that it is largely inward-looking in
orientation and defensive in posture where the interests and welfare of the citizens are its
primary objectives.
Based on that premise, national security strategies would then be
designed to achieve such objectives, and this would be reflected in the nature, character and
elements of such strategies. However, this does not seem to be as neatly circumscribed as it is
perceived to be. For instance, in a document issued by the US White House in May 1997, it is
stated that the ultimate goal of the US’s national security strategy is to ensure the protection
of the country's fundamental and enduring needs, which includes protecting the lives and
safety of people; maintaining the sovereignty of the country, with its values, institutions and
territory intact; and also providing for the prosperity of the nation and its people.35 But it
further states that it would seek to create conditions “in the world where [the US's] interests
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are rarely threatened, and when they are, we have effective means of addressing those
threats.”36 This contradicts the perceived inward-looking nature of national security and
indicates a commitment to counter threats to national security irrespective of the geographic
origin of such threats.
4.1
NATIONAL SECURITY: A COMMON UNDERSTANDING
There seems to be general agreement that the concept of security, particularly national
security, is elastic and constantly adopting newer meanings. Since national security has
apparently not reached a state of conceptual maturity where there is common understanding of
what constitutes it and what does not, it is prudent to look at classical and modern views of
national security.
4.1.1 Classic view of national security
A central question, which recurs in the security debate, is: Who is, or should be, the legitimate
beneficiary of security to which national governments are always referring?
Is it the
individual, which is “an irreducible basic unit to which the concept of security is applied”37,
or the state which, in the Hobbesian view, has the primary responsibility to ensure security?38
This paradox is further compounded by both the vagueness of the concept of national security
and its relationship with individual security. Flowing from that, it could also be argued as to
how 'national' is national security? For instance, at the height of colonial rule in Africa
generally and Southern Africa, in particular, the colonialists constantly referred to national
security that was misperceived as including the territory and all its inhabitants. But on the
contrary, such national security concerned the personal security and freedoms of the European
colonialists at the expense of the Africans and it was used as a pretext to suppress the
individual security and freedoms of those African inhabitants.39
Even though the use of the phrase ‘national security’ was first recorded in the early 1790s
when Yale University undergraduates debated the question, “Does the National Security
depend on fostering Domestic Industries”, the modern etymology of national security as a
concept can be traced back to the post-WW I era, and by 1945 it was already widely used in
political discourse. However, at that stage no attempt was made to clarify it – probably
because then there was no need for such an exercise.40
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Numerous definitions of ‘national security’ have been provided and each one emphasises
different aspects. The following definitions have enjoyed support:
•
Penelope Hartland-Thunberg: "national security is the ability of a nation to
pursue successfully its national interests, as it sees them, any place in the
world"41;
•
Walter Lippmann: "a nation is secure to the extent to which it is not in danger of
having to sacrifice core values if it wishes to avoid war, and is able, if challenged,
to maintain them by a victory in such a war"42;
•
William E. Barber defines 'national security policy' as "that part of government
policy that has the objective of creating national and international political
conditions that are favourable for the protection or extension of vital national
values, against existing or potential adversaries."43
•
Amos Jordan and William Taylor, (as cited by Romm):
"national security,
however, has a more extensive meaning than protection from physical harm; it
also implies protection, through a variety of means, of vital economic and political
interests, the loss of which could threaten fundamental values and the vitality of
the state"44;
•
Charles Maier, (as cited by Romm): "national security … is best defined as the
capacity to control those domestic and foreign conditions that the public opinion
of a given community believes necessary to enjoy its own self-determination or
autonomy, prosperity, and well-being."45
Brown’s definition of national security seems to encompass most, if not all, the elements of
national security as contained in the above definitions. He defines national security as "the
ability to preserve the nation’s physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic
relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to protect its nature, institutions, and
governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders."46
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The essence of these definitions lies in the ability of the government to follow a specific
course of action to ensure national security by pursuing national interests, or protecting core
(vital) values or defending the physical existence of the state and is largely directed at
predominantly external (and often specific military) threats. The visible limitation of these
definitions lies not only in their failure to recognise the multi-faceted nature of security,
especially national security, but their over-emphasis on ‘action’ or the ‘ability to act’. These
latter two aspects seem to ignore the perceptual nature of security. Even if such aspects were
to be understood in Wæver’s conception of security as a ‘speech act’, they would still be
misleading. While Brown's definition already showed insights into the more modern view of
national security by expanding it to include economic issues, it is still embedded in the
classical mode of thinking which viewed national borders as impermeable and absolute.
4.1.2 Modern view of national security
The new conception of national security recognises the significance of territorial borders but
it is not oblivious to extra-territorial factors beyond control of the nation state. National
security is increasingly becoming dependent on the real or perceived security of neighbouring
states. While recognising the significance of military prowess, the modern view no longer
recognises it as an absolute guarantor of national security. National security is viewed as
multi-dimensional in nature and therefore as requiring a multi-dimensional approach. These
dimensions include socio-economic development, political stability, democratic and
corruption-free governance, and non-offensive military postures. Increasingly the pyramid of
priorities or instruments of national security is topped more by socio-economic development
than military prowess.
As already indicated, the classic notion of national security emphasises the ‘ability to act’.
This approach presupposes the existence of two preconditions: political will and abundant
resources. Political will is a precondition for any action that the incumbent government may
take in the name of defending national security. A common understanding between the
political structures and the public as to what constitutes a ‘threat’ to national security is
imperative to reinforce the political will.
However, the main test is the availability of
resources to carry out appropriate actions in defence of national security. In other words,
poor states would be less capable of dealing with an action-driven national security approach,
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21
as resources will, in all probability, be devoted to other spheres of human survival. The view,
which sees national security as a ‘state of being’ as opposed to an ‘ability to act’, does not run
the risk of diverting the much needed resources to projects aimed at improving national
security as though the latter were an end in itself and a state of total security an achievable
ideal. In fact, Garnett47 observed that “[n]ational security is a complex term capable of both
wide and narrow definition, but whatever its meaning, no state can ever achieve absolute
security. Relative security is the best that a state can hope for and for all states this is a major
policy goal.”
Recognising the failure of scholars to concur on the essential elements that constitute national
security, Al-Mashat48 identifies two categories of definitions that could be regarded as
forming the basis of modern thinking on national security. These are: ‘strategic definition’
and the ‘economic non-strategic definition’. The first category concentrates on abstract issues
such as values and preservation of independence and sovereignty of the state. The second
category emphasises the importance of maintaining an open and smooth flow of vital
economic resources and the non-military aspects of state functions. The value approach has
as numerous flaws for analytical purposes as does the economic non-military approach. The
value approach suffers from the complex nature of values.
There is no universal
understanding of what constitutes ‘core’ or ‘vital’ values, and this has numerous political and
practical implications within the nation state. Individuals, states and other social actors have
diverse values. The list of values could include public safety, economic welfare, autonomy
and psychological well-being.49
Widening the concept of national security, as suggested by the second approach also poses
many challenges for the state concerned. This stems particularly from the view that the
moment an issue acquires a national security status, it affects the order of national priorities as
they exist and also the allocation of resources – thus making it susceptible to abuse by the
political elites.50 The lack of definition of national security provides a scope for powermaximising strategies by political and military elites.51 From a political practitioner's point of
view, national security then becomes a concept of political convenience.52
However, Mangold53 provides two broad categories of interpretation for the definitions of
national security, namely, the ‘romantic’ and the ‘utilitarian’. The romantic view of security,
which is primarily suited to major powers, emphasises prestige, rayonnement and global role.
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Closely associated with the traditionalist view of security, the romantic interpretation asserts
that security should be viewed in broader terms than just people's homeland or their territories
beyond the seas, but should also include respect for the people and the maintenance of their
economic interests.54
The utilitarian approach stresses the primacy of economic welfare and interdependence. From
this view, security is deemed less in terms of threats to physical violation of territorial
integrity of the country, but more in terms of threats caused by disruptions in international
economic activity. Individual security for citizens through proper social security policies
pertaining, for instance, to health care and employment, are deemed superior to striving for
protection from perceived or imagined threats to territorial defence. Therefore, Mangold’s
categories of interpretation can be viewed as contrasting approaches in terms of prioritisation
between ‘high politics’ and ‘low politics’ where the former deals with the protection of the
state and the latter the protection of the individual.
Thus, these views on the interpretation of security are well represented in Brown’s definition
of national security as shown above. This definition incorporates aspects of both high and
low politics and has elements of a strategic and economic view. It is also worth noting that
despite the change in the notion of national security, the military remains significant. This
stems from the uncertainty as to what extent will, for instance, conflicts related to
environmental or economic issues lead to armed conflict?55 While it is admitted that not all
conflicts pertaining to the use of bio-physical space lead to violence, the mere potential could
warrant considering the use of force as an option to defend non-renewable and vital resources
like water.
The preceding discussion on national security shows beyond doubt the complexity of issues
that are embedded within this area of security. The various definitions provided by Buzan
and other analysts attempt to deconstruct the concept of national security.
However,
according to Mutimer56, they all, almost without exception, suffer from two fundamental
flaws. First, according to these analyses, the state remains the primary referent object where
the latter refers to that entity which has to be secured. On the one hand Buzan acknowledges
the role of the state in providing security but, on the other hand, he rejects the primacy of the
state in security provision because it also has the capacity and, in some cases, the propensity
to threaten it. This state-centricism in the analysis of national security is further confounded
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by adjectivising security with ‘national’  providing ‘national security’. The addition of
‘national’ to security euphemistically implies government responsibility, thus implicitly
excluding other potential role-players.
Second, the analyses of national security by Buzan and other analysts acknowledge the fact
that states are constantly interacting in an anarchical environment that is highly unpredictable.
Arguments are advanced that security comprises various dimensions or sectors  ranging
from the military to the economics and the environment. However, the unpredictable nature
of the international system and the lack of mutual trust among states imply an eternal and
intrinsic possibility of use of force. Consequently this places military security in a privileged
position when compared to other forms or sectors of security. Unlike in weak, dysfunctional
or collapsed states, military security remains the responsibility of the state in strong states.
Under these circumstances the state 'securitises' all issues, thus requiring special measures to
deal with them. It is worth noting that this situation dominated the strategic and national
security thinking of even strong democratic states such as the US during the Cold War era.
For instance, the US introduced the Freedom of Information Act, which was just as restrictive
in terms of security information as the Protection of Information Act (1982) of South Africa
during the apartheid era. The state assumes the sole right and responsibility to determine the
nexus between the relevant issue and security which makes the role of the state in national
security unassailable.57
4.2
FOCUS OF NATIONAL SECURITY: INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL DIMENSIONS
The national security policy of a country normally has both internal (domestic) and external
(international) dimensions.
(Figure 1).
Wæver’s ‘hourglass’ model of security illustrates this point
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Figure 1: WÆVER’S ‘HOURGLASS’ MODEL OF SECURITY
International level
State level
Sub-state level
Various dynamics
Conceptual
of security
focus
Various dynamics
Source: Buzan, B. 1991. People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International
Security in the Post-Cold War Era, Second Edition. London: Harvester
Wheatsheaf, p. 329.
The focus of national security policies varies from country to country (that is from
government to government) and it is very much the function of the dynamics within
government and the latter’s view of world politics. If the internal political system is not
stable enough, such policies will tend to be inward-looking, while external factors will play a
role to the extent that an ‘internal connection’ could be established.
Authoritarian,
illegitimate and, in most cases, military regimes adopt this approach to national security. In
the 1970s and early 1980s, countries such as Argentina, Brazil and South Africa fell in this
category. A country that still has an unresolved conflict with a neighbouring state to the point
that war is a constant probability, adopts an outward-looking view of national security. An
arms race normally characterises such conditions. India and Pakistan could be a case in point.
States located in a geographically unstable region in which neighbouring states are involved
in war or there are still unresolved conflicts, will tend to have a balanced emphasis on both
the internal and external dimensions of national security (most countries in the Middle East
would fit this description). In most cases, especially in the latter case, there is no clear
distinction between the internal and external dimensions as these are interwoven in a complex
web that is mutually reinforcing with a view to providing ‘complete’ national security. The
mythical assumption that national security is supposed to be people-centred and inwardorientated seems to be dispelled or invalidated by the concept of ‘human security’.
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Unlike other analysts such as Barry Buzan, Morten Kelstrup and Pierre Lemaitre who,
together with Wæver belong to what has now become known as the 'Copenhagen School of
Security Studies', which seeks to broaden the concept of security, Wæver views 'society' as
the main referent object of security.58 As illustrated in the 'Hourglass Model' (Figure 1),
Wæver places the 'human race' in the centre of all efforts aimed at ensuring security. This is
in line with the post-Cold War thinking on human security, that is people first, then state
second in the priority list of security concerns. From Wæver’s point of view, it could be
argued that the quest for international security has to be premised on the centrality of the
people in the state’s security dialogue.
There is a notable difference in the traditional perception of national security between the
developed and developing world. While the developed countries are grappling with issues
such as nuclear non-proliferation and global security, Third World countries would still be
dealing with basic issues of survival such as food, poverty, nation-building, health and trade.
This, according to Ayoob59, demonstrates the Third World’s lack of integration with the
systemic security agenda. As most Third World countries are creations of the European
colonial powers, and their national borders are therefore artificial, they spend a
disproportionate amount of resources on nation-building, which includes dealing with ethnic
and religious divisions. The lack of national cohesion is compounded by the non-coincidence
of the state and the nation, resulting in internal conflicts spilling over to the regional
neighbours. While these conflicts are not necessarily a unique feature of developing countries,
they are pronounced in such countries because of the lack of resources to deal with most of
them.60 The Wæver model is equally applicable to developing countries in that conflicts in
such countries have an equal potential of escalation to involve regional and international roleplayers for their resolution.61
One of the positive developments engendered by the post-Cold War security arena was the
adoption of the concept of human security by both the Global North (developed countries)
and the Global South (developing countries). It became the common currency and ultimate
goal in international affairs. However, the understanding of the concept of human security is
also still clouded by many factors including its conceptual parameters, its relevance to
national security and the feasibility of its attainment.
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26
HUMAN SECURITY
The question was posed earlier on as to who the beneficiaries are of security? The human
being as an irreducible unit in the international system would logically be at the core of all
human endeavours, including the pursuit of security. It was further indicated that the original
raison d'être for states and governments was the protection of citizens. Viewed from this
perspective, governments become the agents of the citizens and the former's activities should
primarily be in service of the latter. The conflictive nature of international relations up to the
last decade of the twentieth century could be attributed to the fact that states or nations
assumed that they would be able to ensure the security of their citizens through the
preservation of their territorial frontiers. Security of people was perceived as a by-product of
a state's territorial security, that is state first, and then people. However, this scenario has
changed dramatically as people-centred approaches to security  hence 'human security' 
characterise most agendas of liberal democratic states.
This is aptly illustrated by the
assertion that security should be viewed in a holistic manner, namely both vertically (between
states) and horizontally (within states).62 On the horizontal plane, the attainment of security
(which includes military security) should be premised on factors such as political democracy,
human rights, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability. On the vertical
plane, security should recognise the supremacy and centrality of people as the main referent
object of security.63 There appears to be an intrinsic tension between the horizontal and
vertical dimensions of security. States tend to address security concerns among themselves as
though such concerns are separate from what happens from within.64
According to the 1994 Human Development Report of the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), 'human security' can be defined as "the sense that people are free from
worries, not merely from the dread of a cataclysmic world event but primarily about daily
life."65 The fundamental philosophy of human security is that if states could pursue peoplecentred policies (including those pertaining to safety from chronic threats such as hunger,
disease, repression, and protection from sudden and hurtful disruption in the patterns of daily
life), the aggregate effect would be a totality of security for all humanity. Unlike national
security which seeks to protect the interests of people within national territories, the focus of
human security is much broader than the confines of national territoriality, encompassing the
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total human race. Thus, human security cannot be viewed as a process, but an ideal to which
states aspire and has to be pursued at global level. It impacts both on domestic and foreign
policies, and therefore requires a concerted effort to harmonise both national and international
programmes in a manner that individually and collectively benefits directly (and not
implicitly) all humanity.
This approach requires 'de-nationalisation' of issues and
harmonisation of policies across territorial boundaries. The ideal of human security should
not be viewed as an abdication by states of their primary responsibility of protecting national
interests, but an answer to the question: What is in the interest of the people irrespective of
their nationality and territorial boundaries within the context of a global village that is
unfolding?
The quest for human security presupposes the existence of a stable and democratic political
system within states, an acceptable level of economic development and rule of law.
Regrettably, this is not always the case, especially in the Third World countries. Global South
states are generally weak and vulnerable to a host of threats. Measured against Buzan's major
components of state, namely, the state idea, the physical base of the state and the institutions
of the state, Global South states do not score very high compared to their Global North
counterparts. The state idea for Global South states is hampered by the artificial and arbitrary
boundaries which divide people regardless of ethnic or consanguineous affinities.
The
colonisation  and later decolonisation  processes created states without nations and, in
some cases, with many nations. Small states do not have a sufficient physical base for
survival, while large states cannot exercise adequate bureaucratic control over the whole
territory. Government institutions are often poorly developed, largely due to lack of national
cohesion, corruption and also armed anti-government forces. National security inherently
implies that security sought by the government is for the whole nation. With most countries
in the Global South still struggling with issues of nation-building, it follows that their national
security concerns are largely domestic in nature. Fighting insurgents, combating terrorism,
strengthening law enforcement agencies and ensuring the physical survival of the population
remain high priorities for such countries.66 Thus, the perception of threats, or at least the
significance of particular threats to national security in the Global South, differs from the
Global North.
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This discussion leaves no clear-cut answer as to whether or not the state should remain a
primary referent object of security. There is an apparent tension between what is perceived to
be national security and individual security issues. This tension stems from the reality that
some of the very instruments of state which the latter claims to be providing security could be
deemed by individuals as a main cause of their insecurity.
For instance, in 1981 the
Americans wanted to place some cruise missiles at Berkshire, Britain. A number of protesters
encamped at what was to be called the Greenham Common Peace Camp and called initially
for the removal of cruise missiles at Berkshire, and later expanded their agenda to include
anti-nuclear weapons protests. Unlike the British government which saw the addition of
cruise missiles to its inventory as enhancing the security of the country and its citizens, the
protesters viewed such missiles as being the main source of their insecurity. Consequently,
the cruise missiles were removed.67 In the same vein, environmental issues could pose a
threat to security, but it does not follow that all environmental matters or phenomena are
security issues. For instance, environmental degradation or changes to the biosphere due to
subterranean nuclear testing could pose a serious threat to human health or well-being. Thus,
this only becomes a security issue, not so much because of the resultant disruptions to human
activity, but because of the actual damage to the environment.68 Based on these arguments, it
could be posited that national security should be viewed both from the actor’s and practice’s
points of view. The actor’s view would emphasise the role played by the state in pursuing
security-enhancing strategies or restricting actions by other potential security-threatening
role-players. The practice perspective looks at the dynamics of events that lead to threats to
security. In both cases, the state remains a primary referent object but with diluted powers
and expectations as espoused by the traditionalists.
4.4. THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY
The elasticity of the concept of security and national security, in particular, implies a
concomitant broadening of threat perception. During the Cold War the architects of national
security policy displayed a common fixation with military developments in hostile states or
on the opposite side of the East-West ideological divide. This had an immense impact on
defence spending and precipitated arms races, thus creating security dilemmas for many
states. However, with the demise of the former Soviet Union, the threat scenario changed.
Security policy had to shift its focus to other forms of threats. For many states, but especially
those in the Global North, security threats were redefined to refer to those "forces originating
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from outside … that can harm … lives, property, or well-being. These forces include military
aggression, political subversion, economic instability, and environmental destruction."69
While emphasising that there is a distinction between threats and vulnerabilities, Buzan
admits that threats are difficult to deal with because of their perceptual nature. It is also not
easy to determine if all threats constitute a national security issue as threats may range "from
trivial to routine, through serious but routine, to drastic but unprecedented."70 Misjudgement
of the immensity and urgency of a security threat could engender paranoia, waste limited
national resources, generate aggressive defence policies, and create a disruptive domestic
political climate. It is against this background that Buzan identifies some criteria to be used
in determining if a threat could affect national security. These include the specificity of its
identity (such as the nuclear stand-off between the US and former Soviet Union); its nearness
in space and time (such as the uneasy relationship between India and Pakistan); the
probability of its occurring (for instance, the ever-present threat of reducing oil supply by the
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries  OPEC  in order to manipulate the oil
price); the weight of its consequences; and whether or not perceptions of the threat are
amplified by historical circumstances (such as Rwandese fear of the repetition of the 1994
genocide). Thus, the more intense a threat, the more likely it is that it may affect national
security.
However, these are difficult to identify, quantify and predict with absolute
certainty.71 For instance, it is undeniably true that as over-population, deforestation, nuclear
disasters and the competition for resources increase, tensions between states are bound to
increase. This does not necessarily imply that these issues qualify as threats to national
security. A case-by-case approach could be applied as was the case when Israel went to war
against Syria in 1967 following the latter’s attempt to divert the flow of water off the Jordan
River.72 Thus threats could be placed on a continuum on a sector-by-sector basis. Such
sectors primarily include the following: military, political, economic and environmental
threats.
4.4.1 Military threats
This type of threat represents the core of threat perception in the classic view of national
security. It is predicated on the fear that another state or group of states could use military
force to subjugate the incumbent government or to replace it with another one favoured by the
aggressor(s). It is believed that the only means to counter military action is by military force.
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This necessitates a disproportionate allocation of resources to enable the state to deal with
coercive tendencies of other states. The immediate effect of this situation is an exponential
rise in defence expenditure and possibly erosion of the socio-economic well-being of ordinary
citizens. Approaches to military threats could indicate the propensity of political elites to
exploit the national sense of vulnerability and insecurity for their own political survival.
Military threats vary in terms of level (for example, harassment of fishing boats; territorial
seizures, blockade and full-scale invasion) and objective (minor and specific, and major and
general).73 Traditionally, the main protagonists with regard to military threats were states.
The new actors now include terrorists, drug cartels and international crime syndicates who
command sizeable arsenals. These actors usually have an agenda that transcends national
borders. These new role-players in some cases enjoy the support, albeit covert, of recognised
states, thus making it difficult to deal with them.74
4.4.2 Political threats
Some of the key functions of the state include establishing and maintaining national identity;
providing an organising ideology; and creating institutions that reflect these both internally
and externally. The successful execution of government duties depends largely on the ability
to function as a state, in other words exercising bureaucratic control over the entire territory of
the state. This is the function of a closely-knit political fabric of the state. Political threats are
normally aimed at tearing this fabric through such activities as fomenting secessionism;
unconstitutional changes of government; and undermining government authority.75 Factors
such as ethnicity, religion and irredentism could also be exploited in this process.
Perpetrators of this threat could range from insurgents inside the country to covert operations
by another country. In the core of the political threat debate is the question of sovereignty.
The ever-increasing numbers and roles of inter-governmental and international organisations
threaten to erode national sovereignty as understood in the Westphalian sense. The existence
of political threats weakens the country, thus exposing or making it even more vulnerable to
military threats.76
4.4.3 Environmental threats
The threat posed by environmental factors to human survival was only recognised largely in
the latter half of the twentieth century  giving rise to the notion of environmental security.
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Environmental security is defined as that area of security that "concerns the maintenance of
the local and the planetary biosphere as the essential support system on which all other human
enterprises depend."77 The biospheric aspects include the need for clean air and water,
liveable temperatures, abundant agriculture, and varied plant and animal species. These could
be threatened by phenomena such as global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain, thus
causing nations to be unable to feed themselves. While populations are increasing at an
alarming rate, the physical space on earth is shrinking. Over-population in many parts of the
world has demonstrated the excessive strain that human beings can exert on the environment.
In addition, new man-made environmental disasters such as nuclear accidents (for instance,
the meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor), are a serious cause for concern. This is particularly
worrisome as the proliferation of nuclear devices to state and non-state actors, who do not
necessarily adhere to international regimes of nuclear control, implies a potential time bomb
waiting to explode. Deforestation is another man-made environmental threat, as it denudes
territories, thus killing plant and animal species some of which are crucial for food, energy,
construction materials, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and natural pest control.78 As
already indicated, it is crucial to limit the elasticity in interpreting security, especially with
regard to the environment. The mere existence of a negative environmental phenomenon
does not automatically qualify as a security issue. Some analysts have concluded that at least
if the link between environmental degradation and sustainable development is such that its
impact could upset the natural balance both between and within generations, then probably
the security aspect could become more salient. Therefore, the higher the potential severity
and durability of the impact of man-made biospheric imbalance, the higher the chances that
such an imbalance would be regarded as a security threat.
However, there is still no
unanimity on these conceptual interlinkages.79
4.4.4 Economic threats
The post-Cold War environment has catapulted economic security issues to the top of the
pyramid in international relations.
However, understanding exactly what constitutes
economic security is still as elusive today as it was during the Cold War. Buzan80 defines
economic security as referring to "access to the resources, finance and markets necessary to
sustain acceptable levels of welfare and state power." Neu81 defines it as “the ability to
protect or to advance [the country’s] economic interests in the face of events, developments,
or actions that may threaten or block these interests.” It is true that increased commercial
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interactions between states could generate wealth, thus alleviating poverty in the transacting
countries  that is assuming that there is good governance and less fraud and corruption
among state officials. It should be noted that increased economic competition could
increasingly expose the country to various threats and vulnerabilities. For states, economic
security means making efforts to ensure access to global markets, continuity of supply of
essential resources and to buffer vulnerability to turbulent global market changes.82
Meaningful participation in the global economy has become the ultimate objective of every
state.
This requires adapting domestic economic policies to be in line with the best-
performing economies of the world; engaging partners on a bilateral basis; and participating
in regional integration efforts in order to achieve economies of scale and to minimise the
potential impact of negative global market behaviour.
Economic threats include all those activities that have the potential to disrupt the state's ability
to ensure economic security. The origin of threats to economic interests could be exogenous
or endogenous, accidental or intentional. These could be internally or externally induced.
While externally-induced threats such as the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s cannot be
controlled by individual governments, internally-induced ones can. For instance, the overcommitment of a government's resources to counter perceived military threats or to project
regional influence to remote geographic locations of the world, could hamper economic
growth and erode citizens’ standard of living. Paul Kennedy demonstrated this phenomenon
for the US. This is particularly relevant for the Global South countries because they have a
limited resource base and crippling debt repayments to make to the Global North.83
4.4.4.1.
Economic facets of national security
Central to the quest for economic security is the desire to ensure that the standard of living in
a country does not decline but improves continuously. The other crucial element in ensuring
economic security is the ability to influence international role-players in defining the rules in
a manner favourable to the country. Economic security seeks to achieve economic prosperity,
namely, economic growth, relatively full employment of citizens, low inflation and high
levels of investment. This cannot be achieved without relying on other countries for support
in international forums and co-operation in providing or receiving certain commodities and
services. There is a distinction between ‘current economic prosperity’ and ‘future economic
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prosperity’. While the former deals with the present standard of living and level of economic
development, the latter concentrates on what could potentially be achieved in socio-economic
terms. The quest for economic security could be in conflict with current economic prosperity
as the latter is short-termist while the former is characterised by sustainability in the extended
long-term.84
The Cold War fixation with military security has been eclipsed almost irreversibly by the
ever-increasing significance of economic security. While in the past economic security was
treated as an adjunct to military issues, the post-Cold War scenario is such that economic
issues are viewed as “important political and broader architectural elements of both national
security and the larger security order.”85 The US, for instance, wields massive military and
economic power, but the latter power base is used much more frequently by manipulating the
market forces.86
There is growing concurrence among analysts that with the recession of military threats to
global security, the new threats are going to require global efforts to deal with them. If left
unattended they could pose a threat much greater than that ever posed by military threats.
Utagawa87 suggests that there is a package of elements, namely, poverty, physical resource
depletion/scarcity, and population, that are interacting in various combinations, thus forming a
potent threat to global security. Like other analysts, Utagawa argues that these elements on
their own do not necessarily constitute a threat to national security, but any of their
combinations does. This package represents a refinement of the Malthusian theory, or the socalled ‘limits to growth’ hypothesis, which asserts that there is a trade-off between economic
development and environmental quality.
These threats to national security necessitate
strategic co-operation among nations of the world across national and regional borders.
Thus, the fundamental questions regarding the nexus between economic issues and national
security include the following:
a. To what extent should high technology exports be controlled by government? This
arises from the possibility of being attacked with weapons based on own
technology, as the Gulf War of 1990 amply demonstrated.88
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b. To what extent could (or should) economic sanctions be used in the place of military
strikes in order to achieve specific foreign policy objectives? Sanctions are known
to affect both the imposing state and the target state.
c. Should the import of sensitive defence-related materials such as steel, machine tools
and semiconductors be limited, even if supplied by allies? Reliance on imported
defence materials exposes the country to a relationship of dependency which could
threaten its national security in the long term.89
However, this nexus should not be construed as implying that the two varieties of security
(economic and military) are mutually exclusive. Economic prosperity could be used to ensure
military security. Conversely, military security could be used to engender economic security.
4.4.4.2.
Use of economic resources for military security
There is an inextricable link between a country’s economic power or access to massive
economic resources and its ability to ensure military security. The geostrategic position (in
economic terms) of a country enables it to command exclusive influence over commercial
aspects that are also of military value. For instance, South Africa’s Cape route is of great
strategic value to other countries, especially when such choke points as the Suez Canal are
blocked; it remains one of the most reliable routes for maritime traffic bound for destinations
East and West. Added to this, South Africa’s efficient maritime services, which include
search-and-rescue, and onshore repair and refuelling services, make the route attractive even
when there is no disruption in the choke points. However, an example of a critical link
between economic and military issues augmented by geostrategic position, is that of
landlocked countries vis-à-vis their neighbours.
For instance, South Africa sealed off
Lesotho's borders on many occasions between 1982 and 1985 in order to compel that country
not to offer sanctuary to the anti-apartheid guerrilla forces, namely, the African National
Congress' (ANC's) uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) and the Pan-Africanist Congress' (PAC's)
Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). More than 90 per cent of supplies to Lesotho go
through South Africa. Almost all electricity and oil requirements for Lesotho and some
neighbours are routed through South Africa.90
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The ability to command vast economic resources implies that there is at least a certain
measure of current economic prosperity or an acceptable level of development. That enables
a state to divert some resources to finance defence requirements, which include personnel,
equipment and the capacity to venture into operations outside national borders.91 In addition,
economic prowess enables the country to influence its neighbours to implement multilateral
punitive agreements such as economic sanctions, embargoes and even blockades.
Thus
economic instruments can be used as ‘carrots’ or ‘sticks’ in order to enhance the effectiveness
of military instruments.92 Like any other country, South Africa, for instance, used (and still
continues to use) these combinations of military and economic instruments in pursuit of its
national interests, especially in the regional context.
The sourcing of military equipment and/or accessories implies an economic relationship
between the supplying country and the receiving country. Generally, political and economic
relationships between the trading countries range from acceptable to good. The supplying
states therefore have a leverage in terms of those specific items and can influence the military
ability of the receiving state in many ways. These include delaying supplies, imposing
stringent conditions on the use of weapons or accessories supplied, or even increasing prices
in order to render maintenance difficult.
The Lesotho example cited above amply
demonstrates this vulnerability.
The use of economic power could also either provoke or prevent war. The negotiations at the
end of WW I were focused on breaking the economic backbone of Germany. The rationale
was that it was the economic power of Germany which enabled it to threaten peace on a
massive scale. Thus the resultant Peace Treaty of Versailles left Germany with an astronomic
US$33 billion reparations debt.
Numerous analysts have concluded that it was that
humiliation which enabled Adolf Hitler to rise to power on the altar of nationalism. Hitler
undertook to undermine these humiliating debts and to recover all lost territories. In the
process of imposing stringent punitive measures against Germany at the end of WW I, the
West European countries also suffered through lost trade and other restrictions designed to
keep Germany at bay. It was the same mentality that dominated the peace negotiations at the
end of WW II. However, in order to ameliorate the negative impact of the double-edge sword
of sanctions imposed on Germany, General Douglas MacArthur and other negotiators
resolved to design and implement a Marshal Plan with a view to rebuilding the economies of
Japan and Western Europe.93
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4.4.4.3.
36
Use of military resources for economic security
Economic considerations could also dominate when investing in military security.
The
central question in this regard is “To what extent will an investment in defence resources have
economic spin-offs for the country?” The greater the spin-offs the greater the likelihood that
defence expenditure could be increased. The decision to increase defence expenditure is not
necessarily linked to the existence of a real or potential military threat. For instance, South
Africa’s decision in 1998 to procure an assortment of arms, aircraft and ships was largely
based on the economic spin-offs that would be engendered. According to the estimates of
November 1998 when the strategic defence packages were approved by the Cabinet, there
were going to be about 64 000 jobs created and the country would gain from an Industrial
Participation Programme (IPP) which was valued at about R110 billion.94
The role of the industrial-military complex in enhancing the economic well-being of a country
becomes even more eminent when the defence resources are utilised in providing social
services. The military have the capacity (troops, logistics, engineering, medical services, and
the like) to perform specialised tasks such as airlifts, emergency assistance (search-and-rescue
operations at sea), demining, and even nation-building (such as spectacular military shows
during national events).95
It is not uncommon for the country’s military intelligence
capability to be used for obtaining information to the benefit of the country’s industries. This
is particularly becoming more crucial as countries attempt to meaningfully integrate into the
global economy. Thus, there is a well-established symbiotic relationship between military
security and economic security.
South Africa’s attempts at strengthening ties with the
Mercosur countries reflects this realisation that socio-economic security would accrue to the
country by also engaging its trans-Atlantic neighbours.
The preceding discussion on threats demonstrates a clear link between threats to one state's
national security and those of other states. Thus there are inextricable linkages between
national security concerns of a state and global security. These linkages require international
strategies or mechanisms in order to be able to manage them.
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5.
37
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL SECURITY
One of the greatest challenges of the twentieth century has been the constant desire to ensure
harmonious and peaceful inter-state relations with a view to preserving international security.
Since the latter part of the nineteenth century, different approaches to the question of
international (co-operative) security have been pursued. The central idea of international
security is to create a sense of mutual interest in survival under all conditions, including
nuclear deterrence, and that any potential or real adversary should be deterred from attacking
out of self-interest.96 These approaches varied from the ‘balance-of-power’ approach to the
creation of supra-national bodies, to a combination of these approaches through alliance
formations, which sometimes cut across traditional associations such as historical, cultural
and geographic ties. However, the longest-lasting approach is that of the creation of supranational bodies and the introduction of the concept of common security.
Common security could be regarded as a statement or pronouncement by states which
recognises their mutual vulnerability to common or transnational threats.97 In order to deal
with threats to common security, states introduce mechanisms that include, but are not limited
to, collective security arrangements and collective defence pacts. Both concepts  collective
security and collective defence  are predicated on the existence or perception of the
existence of a 'region'. Snyder defines a 'region' as "a set of states which are located in
geographical proximity to one another."98 This definition is particularly important for the
analysis of the trans-Atlantic relations in the Southern Cone, namely South Africa's relations
with the Mercosur countries, as the mass of water separating these countries ensures
contiguity but not necessarily geographic proximity. It could be argued, for instance, that
even though geographically South Africa shares the same continental land mass and tectonic
plate with countries such as Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and
politically belongs to the same regional organisation (Southern African Development
Community  SADC), in terms of other human security threats such as environmental
degradation, nuclear hazards, illegal harvesting of marine resources and piracy inside and on
the edges of South Africa's EEZ, there is a more viable regional security link with Argentina
and Brazil than with many countries on the African continent.
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38
Unlike the Concert of Europe, the League of Nations was the first supra-national body with a
truly global mission of maintaining global peace with ‘collective security’ as the rallying
force. The success of the League of Nations was viewed to be largely dependent on the
political will and co-operation of individual member states and also the ability to underpin it
with international economic institutions. The vision cherished by the drafters of the Covenant
of the League of Nations, especially Woodrow Wilson, the US President, was to replace the
balance-of-power approach with that of community-of-power. Through the latter concept
they hoped to provide security and justice for all. With hindsight, the League of Nations
seems to have collapsed under its own weight, as the political developments of the 1930s in
Europe indicated. The critical weaknesses of the League of Nations were its assumption that
a harmony of interests existed among states, and the French-led efforts to leave Germany a
weak state. It failed to deal with Fascism and Nazism, and its failure culminated in the
outbreak of WW II.99
Since the ideals of the League of Nations were deemed noble and its mistakes rectifiable, at
the end of the WW II another supranational organisation  the UN  was established. The
UN sought both to rectify the weaknesses of its predecessor, the League of Nations, and to
introduce a new set of rules that would govern collective security. The main executive
agency for this mission was to be the UN Security Council, comprising five permanent
members, namely, Britain, the People’s Republic of China, France, the former Soviet Union
and the US. The various provisions of the UN Charter dealing with collective security 
from Articles 39 to 51  obligate member states to contribute towards the attainment of this
global ideal.
5.1
COLLECTIVE SECURITY
The introduction of the concept of collective security represented a shift away from a
competitive, self-help approach to security, to one which was premised on collaboration. For
it to be implemented, it had to be concretised within an institutional framework which would
not only devise, regulate and monitor rules and regulations of co-operation, but would also
arbitrate in cases of conflict among members of the collective security structure. For this
purpose, collective groupings such as the Concert of Europe, then the League of Nations and
lastly, the UN, were established.
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39
The genesis of ‘collective security’ can be traced back to the formation of the Concert of
Europe in the nineteenth century, but its conceptual development started with the formation of
the League of Nations at the end of WW I and, arguably, reached its ‘maturity’ both in
political and academic circles only after WW II.100 Like the other variants of security, there is
no universal consensus on the definition of collective security. Premised on the principle that
an attack on any member state is an attack on all states, collective security is broadly defined
as “a method of managing the power relations of nation states through a partially centralized
system of security arrangements.
While the ultimate power remains diffused among
independent sovereign states, authority in the specifically defined spheres of maintenance and
enforcement of peace is vested in an international body.”101 It could also be defined as "an
organisational arrangement whereby all states pledge themselves to come to the support of
members needing assistance."102 In simpler terms it could also be defined as "a system of
world order in which aggression by any state will be met by a collective response from all."103
It is crucial to note that all these definitions do not specify the level of involvement by
individual states and the nature of resources pledged for such an eventuality.
The UN has a mottled record in terms of its achievement of its primary goal of ensuring
international (collective) security. Much of its weakness can be attributed to the restrictions
imposed by the bipolarity of the international system along the ideological divide led by the
US and the former Soviet Union for the West and the East respectively. As was the case
during the dying days of the League of Nations, national security became a dominant feature
characterising the international system after WW II. However, with the demise of the Cold
War, the UN system seemed to be rejuvenated and the concept of collective security was
‘rehabilitated’ in the wake of the Persian Gulf crisis in 1991.
During that crisis there
appeared to be unity in the purpose of ejecting Iraqi troops from Kuwait and enforcing the
provisions of the UN Charter prohibiting states from using force as an instrument of foreign
policy and for territorial acquisition, thus undermining the very concept of juridical
statehood.104
Even during the pre-historic period, states strove to increase their individual security by
creating conditions of insecurity for their neighbours. This left the neighbours no choice but
to increase their security, which led to a zero-sum situation or the so-called ‘security
dilemma’. State security was viewed as an ‘appraisive’ concept in the sense that it signified
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40
or accredited some kind of valued achievement. Using the sports analogy, Baldwin argues
that states would compete, like sports teams playing for a championship, to achieve more
security than other states.105 As a concept, collective security re-assured states that narrow
and self-centred approaches to security produced an opposite effect, namely, insecurity.
Through collective security states realise that security could be made a ‘common good’ which
has to be shared and that it is indivisible.106
The dominant factor in the collective security paradigm is the 'abstention' from the use or
threat of use of force in settling disputes. This could be interpreted as almost equivalent to the
cumulative effect of multiple non-aggression pacts that span across a defined region and
where contiguity is not the dominant criterion. Collective security is a clear example of the
neoliberal institutionalist approach to the analysis of security where there is an emphasis on
the motives or forces driving state behaviour. In this regard, the neoliberal institutionalists
argue that states make collective security arrangements by highlighting the significance of
common interests which include common threats and "shared fears of unrestricted violence or
unstable agreements, or insecurity about independence or sovereignty."107
Over the years it has proved both an onerous process and a daunting task for the UN to launch
operations aimed at ensuring collective security. Consequently, a new generation of security
organisations emerged in which regional and/or sub-regional organisations became more
associated with the concept of collective security (see Figure 2). Among the most active of
these sub-regional organisations are NATO (even though this is essentially a common defence
arrangement); the SADC which, until the latter half of 2001, was paralysed by the lack of
consensus on the operationalisation of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security; and the
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). In this process the UN Security
Council became an over-arching body responsible for issuing mandates for peace-support
operations in order to legitimise them in the eyes of the international community. The UN
Secretary General sends observers to represent the world body in peace missions, which
include peace enforcement, peace-building and diplomatic initiatives in resolving and/or
managing conflicts. The reasons behind the proliferation of sub-regional organisations, and
the subsequent increase in their utilisation in regional peace missions, include the fact that
such regional groupings are familiar with regional circumstances, they have affinity to states
involved (they have a direct interest in the resolution of the conflict) and it is much cheaper.
Through collective security structures states stand to share the benefits of peaceful symbiosis
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and reciprocity.
41
However, where there is a semblance of a clear-cut threat or enemy,
collective security arrangements could be supplemented with collective defence pacts.
5.2
COLLECTIVE DEFENCE
The other variant of co-operative security is ‘collective defence’. Unlike collective security,
collective defence is much narrower in focus, aim and geographic extent. The primary
objective of collective (mutual) defence is to protect allies against external aggression108.
This has an inherent potential for exacerbating tensions rather than alleviating them. The
signing of mutual defence pacts constitutes a balance-of-power and bloc-building approach
which could potentially lead to the formation of other blocs or alliances  thus causing a
'security dilemma' on an inter-regional or inter-subregional level.109 It may also be argued
that a collective defence pact presupposes that the parties have undertaken not to be
aggressively disposed towards one another, even in the absence of a signed non-aggression
pact. While a collective security arrangement could include a collective defence component,
both concepts are mutually exclusive but closely related in the sense that the latter enables the
former to materialise. In this respect, through collective security, states undertake to refrain
from using or threatening to use of force in settling disputes and also to collectively deal with
any of its members which abrogate this rule.110
Collective defence partners would normally be like-minded in terms of their worldview,
perception of threat or enemy, and would also be grappling with common or similar political
issues. This like-mindedness is not only limited to military issues, but political exchange
between partners also becomes easier. It could be argued that defence pacts are by nature an
indication of a higher level of commitment by partners to come to the rescue of each other
during a state of national defence.111 Through such pacts member states emphatically and
unambiguously demonstrate their willingness to sacrifice lives, national resources and
political constituencies in defence or pursuit of another country's security objectives. Like
collective security arrangements, collective defence requires harmonisation and co-ordination
of defence policies, joint exercises and interoperability of defence equipment. However,
unlike collective security, collective defence might engender a sense of insecurity among nonmembers of the pact in the region, thus precipitating an arms race.
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42
As already indicated, collective defence is premised on the perception of common (military)
threats. Its value lies in the collective capacity of member states to thwart foreign aggression
by military force and to deter potential aggressors. However, this is not always possible,
because partners should possess sufficient combined military strength to make such pact a
formidable partnership.
For instance, if South Africa was hypothetically aggressively
disposed towards countries constituting the Indian Ocean Island Group (Comores Islands,
Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion and Seychelles), it is highly unlikely that their combined
military strength would be sufficient to deter aggressive intent. It is against this background
that most collective defence arrangements tend to be asymmetrical. That is, one or more
states should be prepared to shoulder disproportionate burdens while tolerating free-riding by
some of its partners.112 This was particularly prevalent during the Cold War era when the two
leading collective defence organisations, NATO and the Warsaw Pact  led respectively by
the US and the former Soviet Union  were aggressively disposed towards each other.113
Asymmetry and level of commitment distinguish one defence pact from the other. The level
of commitment is the function of the nature and gravity of the security threat as perceived by
the major powers that would be prepared to enter into an asymmetrical partnership. There are
numerous such cases where the US has entered into collective defence agreements with
countries that have a limited level of commitment. Examples include the ANZUS Treaty
(Australia, New Zealand and the United States) and the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty
(MST). In terms of both agreements, the US is supposed to consult the Japanese, Australians
or New Zealanders "if any party considers that its territorial integrity or security is under
threat and to act to meet such a threat in accordance with constitutional processes."114 Both
agreements do not specify what type of action should be taken under what circumstances.
However, it is apparent that states involved in both agreements are not obligated to assist the
US militarily should it get involved in war but the reverse is not true, because the US is
supposed to come to the rescue of the signatories in case the latter are attacked or threatened
with force.115
One of the longest surviving and most effective examples of a collective defence pact is
NATO. The North Atlantic Treaty (4 April 1949) provides clear and unambiguous casus
foederis or ‘hair-trigger clause’ (the situation in which mutual commitments are to become
operational). Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states:
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43
“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North
America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree
that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercising their right of individual
or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations,
will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in
concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of
armed forces, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”116
In Africa there are currently three examples of collective defence on a multilateral basis,
namely ECOWAS, the Accord de Non-Aggression et d’Assistance en Matière de Défence
(ANAD), and the Pact of Four which comprises Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo,
Namibia and Zimbabwe. ANAD which was concluded in June 1977 by Burkina Faso, Mali,
Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, with Benin and Guinea having observer
status at ANAD meetings, does not have any prominence in the continent when compared
with ECOWAS.
ANAD was created in 1977 by the Francophone countries with the
assistance of France as a security arm of the economic integration organisation called
Communaute Economique L'Africa de l'quest (CEAO) which came into existence in 1971.
The ANAD Protocol of Application was adopted in 1981 but the institutional framework of
ANAD was already functional by then.117 The establishment of CEAO was aimed at ensuring
a balance of power in the sub-region and countering Nigeria's dominance.
Originally
designed and signed as a non-aggression pact and later upgraded to a mutual defence pact,
ANAD has maintained a low profile for a long period of time, but is currently broadening its
scope and agenda beyond mere narrow defence issues to incorporate such issues as economic
development, population migration, and so forth.118
In 1974 Nigeria, together with Togo, established ECOWAS which embraced the Anglophone,
Francophone and Lusophone countries in the sub-region.119 Unlike ANAD, ECOWAS has
played a prominent role in the resolution of conflicts in the region.
Examples of its
involvement in peacekeeping and peace enforcement include Liberia and Sierra Leone. Like
ANAD, ECOWAS was originally established on the basis of a Non-Aggression Pact signed in
Lagos on 22 April 1978; and three years later (on 29 May 1981) a Mutual Defence Pact was
signed in Freetown. In terms of Articles 1 and 2 of the Non-Aggression Pact, ECOWAS
member states undertook to firstly refrain from "the threat or use of force or aggression," and
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44
secondly from "committing or condoning acts of subversion, hostility or aggression against
the territorial integrity or political independence of the other member states."120 Through the
defence pact member states declared that "any armed threat or aggression directed against any
Member State shall constitute a threat or aggression against the entire Community" (Article
2), and they further resolved "to give mutual aid and assistance for defence against any armed
threat or aggression" (Article 3).121 Despite limited resources and lack of common ideological
background, ECOWAS has proved to be a formidable African equivalent of NATO.
Further south in Africa, SADC is still grappling with the modalities of a possible Mutual
Defence Pact as envisaged in its SADC Organ Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security.
The agreement on the institutional structure and framework for the SADC Organ was only
reached on 14 August 2001.122 However, it is not clear how the clause on a Mutual Defence
Pact will be implemented, particularly because a limited collective defence alliance within the
SADC's collective security structure already exists. On 8 April 1999, Angola, the DRC,
Namibia and Zimbabwe signed an agreement in terms of which member states pledged to
support one another in case of threat or use of force against any of the parties. The danger in
the Pact of Four is the fact that it allows 'unilateral and collective action', which threatens to
bring about a schism within SADC. While the SADC Treaty prohibits states from entering
into bilateral and multilateral agreements that could be contrary to the ideals of the Treaty
(Article 24), it subscribes to the UN Charter’s provision for the individual state's right to selfdefence, which could include defence alliance formation.
It could be argued that the
finalisation of the Organ Protocol in 2001 and the concurrent negotiations for a mutual
defence pact may result in the current Pact of Four being used as a model and the latter
subsumed into the former. However, the provision that "an attack on one is an attack to all"
might be diluted, if not totally omitted. The number and the geographic extent of countries
constituting SADC are such that they preclude the feasibility of such a provision. It might be
diluted by introducing a graduated approach which escalates as the conflict situation
deteriorates. A graduated approach would include exhausting all peaceful means before
resorting to the use of force under the conditions as might be determined by the UN Security
Council and the African Union.
Figure 2 provides a schematic representation of the regional and sub-regional organisations
within the UN collective security system. Most of these organisations were established with a
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45
view to improving economic relations among member states. However, in due course, they
incorporated security aspects.
Figure 2: THE UNITED NATIONS AND REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS WITH
SECURITY DIMENSIONS 123
EU
NATO
NAFTA
WEU
USA
OSCE
CIS
OAS
CARICOM
ASEAN
ANDEAN
AMU/UMA
ARAB
LEAGUE
MERCUSOR
ECOWAS
AU
IGAD
ANAD
ANAD
COMESA
SADC
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
46
KEY:
•
AMU/UMA:
Arab Maghreb Union
•
ANAD:
Accord de Non Aggression et d' Assistance en Matiere
de Defence
•
ASEAN:
Association of South-East Asian Nations
•
AU:
African Union (This replaced the Organisation for African
Unity  OAU)
•
CARICOM:
Caribbean Community and Common Market
•
CIS:
Commonwealth of Independent States
•
ECOWAS:
Economic Community of West African States
•
IGAD:
Inter-Governmental Authority on Development
•
MERCOSUR:
Mercado Commún del Sur (Southern Cone Common
Market)
•
NATO:
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
•
OAS:
Organisation of American States
•
OSCE:
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
•
SADC:
Southern African Development Community
•
WEU:
Western European Union
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
5.3
47
CONCERT SECURITY
The signing of the Pact of Four Accord within the SADC structure, demonstrates the
difficulty of ensuring constant security guarantees especially against military threats. The
decision-making process within a large collective security framework is onerous,
cumbersome and unpredictable. The smaller the number of countries that constitute a security
arrangement, the quicker and more responsive that organisation becomes. This is the basic
argument of the concert security theory. In addition to the question of the number of the
parties involved, power and level of exposure to threats are just as important for a concert
security arrangement to function effectively. Unlike collective defence and collective security
mechanisms, concerts are not obliged by a formal commitment to thwart aggression, but
instead rely primarily on informal negotiation to resolve disputes or crises.124 It could be
argued that the now-defunct Front-Line States (FLS), led by Zimbabwean President Robert
Mugabe, operated along the lines of a concert, even though its achievements in respect of its
initial objectives are dubious.
However, for concerts to be effective, additional criteria apply. These are, firstly, that each
member state should be vulnerable to collective action. Phrased differently, states in the
system should not possess such excessive power  military, political and economic  that
any combination of other states would still not pose a serious threat to it.
The post-
Napoleonic Europe was characterised by the dominance of Britain, France, Prussia, AustriaHungary and Russia, all of whom constituted what was known as the Concert of Europe.
Together these states determined rules and norms by which all other states in the European
international system had to abide. The post-Cold War era has a single superpower left  the
US  but it too is vulnerable to nuclear weapons possessed by even smaller states which
have limited military and economic resources.125
The second dimension to any successful concert security arrangement is that major states
have to accept the existing international order. This leaves no room for revisionism on the
part of the major powers. During the period following the Napoleonic Wars up to 1848,
revolutions in Europe were inspired by dissatisfied states which wanted to challenge the
international order, but all to no avail. The post-Cold War era is marked by both a general
acceptance of the current international order and the challenge posed by countries such as
Russia and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The final dimension of the concert system
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48
requires that the political elites of the major powers should refrain from destructive
competition and self-interest, and embrace the concept of an international community which
has to be defended by all for all to exist.126
In addition to the variants of international security such as collective security, collective
defence and concert security, alternative approaches include common security, comprehensive
security and co-operative security. These will be briefly discussed.
5.4
COMMON SECURITY
The concept of common security was first used and defined comprehensively in 1982 by the
Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues which was commonly known
as the Palme Commission  named after the Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, who
chaired the commission. According to the Palme Commission, the recognition of the concept
of common security was a viable alternative to the bipolar international system based on a
security system that had a mutually destructive capability. This recognition stemmed from
the understanding that the unilateral self-help security system was rendered obsolete and
inappropriate by nuclear weapons which, when used, would result in immeasurable mutual
damage. Through common security the Palme Commission sought to rid the world of the
arms race and nuclear weapons and introduce far-reaching arms control and disarmament
programmes.127
While common security was not perceived as prescribing abdication from the national right to
self-defence as provided by the UN Charter, it suggested non-provocative defence. The
concept of non-provocative defence requires that states should develop military forces that are
purely designed for defensive purposes as opposed to offensive ones. Thus, weapon systems
should be limited to those that would be sufficient for defensive purposes, but would not have
long-range offensive capability. This essentially calls for static defence, where the use of
mines, tank traps, fixed fortifications and the deployment of conventional forces on the border
are crucial.128
The notion of common security as construed by the Palme Commission has plausible ideals,
but it is also based on a false premise that modern technology can neatly distinguish between
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49
offensive and defensive capabilities. Most countries' military doctrine on defence requires the
capability to launch hot-pursuits and to repel the enemy away from the national borders in
order to cripple its destructive potential at safe distances. Thus weapons perceived to be for
defence purposes, could be utilised for offensive purposes as well. This does not reduce, but
exacerbates, the security dilemma.
5.5
COMPREHENSIVE AND CO-OPERATIVE SECURITY
The various forms of security at international level have focused largely on the military
dimension. With the broadening of the concept of security to include non-military aspects
such as socio-economic development, environment and politics, security has become more
comprehensive  hence comprehensive security. To achieve comprehensive security, as
argued by its proponents, states have to incorporate all aspects that could threaten their wellbeing.
Such aspects would include access to and/or control of natural resources, the
protection of trade routes and the side-effects of exporting sensitive dual-use technology to
'rogue' states.129
The apparent limitations of the notion of comprehensive security are complemented by the
introduction of co-operative security, which seeks to impress upon states the importance of
gradually changing the attitudes of policy-makers towards security.
Unlike the
comprehensive security notion, the co-operative security view does not prescribe structural
changes to the international system, albeit at regional level, but seeks to mould state
behaviour through influencing the political elite. Both notions expand the understanding of
security to include non-military issues, and they both emphasise the significance of cooperation rather than competition. The co-operative security approach, which is largely based
on a regional system, promotes "consultation rather than confrontation, reassurance rather
than deterrence, transparency rather than secrecy, prevention rather than correction, and
interdependence rather than unilateralism."130 For these to materialise, various confidenceand security-building measures (CSBMs) are introduced. These CSBMs include joint training
exercises, demilitarisation of common borders, exchange programmes of military personnel
and weapon acquisition programmes.
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50
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) represents a good example
of co-operative security. Comprising 54 states, the OSCE co-operative security framework is
based on the non-hegemonic behaviour of all member states and the adherence to the
principles of mutual accountability, transparency and confidence at both domestic and foreign
policy levels.
While the OSCE does not have legal status under international law, its
decisions are binding politically but not legally. It also has an institutional structure just like
any other international organisation. It has undertaken numerous missions in Eurasia which
include: Caucasus (Georgia), Eastern Europe (Moldova, Ukraine), the Baltic States (Estonia,
Latvia), Chechnya (assistance group), Belarus (advisory and monitoring group), Central-Asia
(Tadjikistan, Khazakstan, Turkmenistan, Kirgisistan), Naorno-Karabakh and in South East
Europe. The biggest missions are in the Balkans, namely in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Croatia. The OSCE also provides for military co-operation by promoting openness and
transparency on issues of arms control, CSBMs and military-to-military contacts.
The
implementation of the Dayton Accord which stabilised the security situation in Bosnia is
under the auspices of the OSCE.131 In terms of the 1992 Helsinki Summit the OSCE received
the mandate to launch peace support operations if there is a conflict within or among the
member states.
Analysing the security system of Europe, Kolodziej and Lepingwell132 identified six
institutional approaches to the collaborative security system being pursued by the European
states in partnership with their North American counterparts. These approaches have now
been adopted by other regions, albeit with varying degrees of success. They are: security
community; hegemonic alliance cum consensual leadership; concert of states of big powers;
concert of states based on spheres of influence cum hegemonic coercive; and multiple variants
of balance-of-power arrangements, based on the countervailing military capabilities of real or
perceived rivals. The notion of security community applies in the sense as coined, defined
and conceptualised by Karl Deutsch.
The hegemonic alliance cum consensual leadership is based on co-operation among states
where one state plays a leadership role and enjoys the general support of all in the alliance.
The typical example is the role played by the US, not only in terms of leadership within
NATO, but also in the balancing of power in Western Europe. This is in stark contrast with
the concert of states on spheres of influence cum hegemonic coercive scenario. In the latter
case, states that fall in the area of influence of a powerful neighbour are forced to comply with
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51
the security requirements of the regional hegemonic power. The former Soviet Union, which
was locked in an ideological struggle during the Cold War, coerced its neighbours to cooperate with Moscow and to become members of the Warsaw Pact. The origins of the
concerts of states with a view to dealing with a superior military power can be traced back to
the early 1700s when states in Europe joined forces to counter Louis XIV's designs that would
see Spain and France, together with their respective overseas territories, being combined to
form an incontestably powerful Bourbon. They also did the same with Napoleon in 1813
when they defeated his plans to create a gigantic state controlled from Paris.133
The paralysing effect of the Cold War distorted regional perspectives on security and
obscured opportunities as it promoted perceptions of insecurity. The post-Cold War scenarios
of collective security seem much more promising than ever before. The main centrifugal
forces are: economic interdependence, technology diffusion, the global audience and the
emerging shared values.
These forces facilitate the codification of rules governing
international relations in which global peace and security would be the common goal. As
shown in Figure 2, major regional countries, especially in East Asia  notably Japan and the
People’s Republic of China  which have not joined regional groupings, are collaborating on
security issues, as in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).134
6.
GLOBAL SECURITY
Security arrangements between states within the framework of international security, both at
bilateral and multilateral levels, seem to have an inherent weakness of further polarising states
along the fault-lines of alliances, blocs and allegiances. Thus, instead of generating peace,
regional security agreements have a built-in negative potential for neutralising, rather than
totally eliminating existing animosities among states. These agreements seem to bring about
a relative absence of war - a condition which does not translate into the existence of eternal
peace. Through (sub-)regional security structures states still fall short of peace efforts with a
global perspective, in other words where individual state and regional efforts are geared
towards global security, which Haftendorn135 defines as "a system of world order or security."
She further states that global security presupposes "a universal concept of security with a
shared set of norms, principles, and practices which result in common patterns of international
behaviour."136 Since global security is more than just the cumulative effect of regional efforts
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
52
at achieving peace, but is rather a re-engineering of the systemic forces controlling the
international system, it is crucial that global role-players  major economic and military
powers, transnational commercial entities and supranational organisations such as the UN,
should be decisive and their activities geared towards achieving global rather than parochial
interests.137
The rudimentary initiatives aimed at ensuring global security dates back to the international
treaties such as those of Westphalia (1648), Vienna (1918), Versailles (1919) and San
Francisco (1945). These peace efforts were premised on the assumptions, that if nations
could accept the right of co-existence with their neighbours and lived in harmony and peace,
then security would be global. With the demise of the Cold War and the introduction by
former US President, George Bush, of the concept of a New World Order (NWO), a paradigm
shift occurred. The NWO posited that politically stable and economically prosperous states
tend to be peaceful. If states are peaceful, the net gain will be international peace and
security. Thus, developmental aid to bolster democratic processes world-wide is viewed as an
important instrument to help poorer countries contribute to this collective goal – global
security.138
The UN agenda regarding global security seems to be chequered and unstructured. Being the
only organisation in the world mandated to bring about global peace, the UN approaches
threats to peace by using a number of international instruments within the international
security framework which includes its multiple structures and (sub-)regional organisations.
Since global security is not only the cumulative effect of a peaceful, stable and prosperous
international system, but also an ideal state against which the UN's performance should be
measured, it could be argued that only phenomena with possible global consequences should
enjoy priority. Viewed in this manner, therefore, issues such as fall-out from nuclear testing,
debris in space and gross pollution in the seaways are construed as threats to global security.
In addition to that, talks on nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, a global ban of
land-mine stockpiles and conventional arms transfers, especially to rogue states, dominate the
global security agenda.139 When global security prevails, states would be able to dedicate the
bulk, if not all, of their time and resources to improving the quality of life of their citizenry
within the context of human security.
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
7.
53
THE SECURITY PYRAMID
The variants of security have demonstrated linkages in a complex web that defies clear
distinction from one another. Notwithstanding such complexity, this web can be dismantled
and explained from one constant perspective: the ultimate goal of individual and collective
state action. This ultimate goal explains, at least partially, why states would go to great
lengths to pursue a particular course of action and not others.
The resources (finance,
personnel, time, infrastructure, equipment, etc.) dedicated to achieving a particular goal
provide an indication of the general orientation of that state's ultimate goal, especially when it
pertains to security. To what extent can the ultimate goals of weak and strong states, states
ruled by military dictators and those ruled by elected liberal-democratic representatives be the
same? The answer is obviously: highly unlikely. It also follows that states still experiencing
serious internal political instability (civil wars, armed insurrection, etc) would, for instance,
be less inclined to subscribe to and implement all international human rights instruments, but
would possibly welcome those instruments dealing with, for example terrorism and banditry.
In the same vein, developing countries would not pursue higher order human security issues
such as combating global warming and environmental degradation, as vigorously as
developed countries. This paradox could be explained partially by the Security Pyramid
(Figure 3).
The 'Security Pyramid' identifies four levels of security: national security, regional security,
global security and individual security. It seeks to explain the logical progression of states in
terms of their security priorities in relation to their level of economic development and the
maturity of the political system within and between states.
National security: States that have just acquired their independence or that are facing serious
internal challenges to political power, will dedicate much of their effort to security issues
(especially state or regime security aspects). Since national security has both internal and
external dimensions as discussed above, a government would identify the origin of threats and
appropriately tailor its national security policy to counter such threats. Argentina's ‘National
Security Doctrine’ of the 1970s and South Africa's ‘Total Strategy’ of the 1970s and 1980s
are examples in this category, even though they both had a very strong outward-looking
component. However, if the threat is exogenous (as in a border dispute or contested territorial
claims), the government would seek to manipulate the national psyche to convince the
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
54
population that the physical existence of the state is under threat (for example Israel). The
actions of such a state are likely to engender a sense of insecurity with its neighbours  the
security dilemma  possibly leading to an arms race. Chile, for instance, projected itself as a
'nation under siege' primarily prior to and, less so, after independence. In the nineteenth
century Chile had to contend with the machinations of Argentina and Peru, which were then
the most powerful countries in South America. After independence Chile wanted to establish
its dominance over the whole of South America's Pacific coast.140 Thus as a general rule,
states tend to first secure alliances at bilateral and multilateral levels. These are evident in the
thickness of the arrows in the 'Security Pyramid' as states seek alliances with a national
security perspective.
These arrows become thinner as the nature and ultimate goal of
international interaction change (see Figure 3). Concepts likely to dominate the national
political and security lexicon would include: national territory, national sovereignty, noninterference, self-sufficiency (autarky), and offensive-defensive military posture.
Figure 3: THE SECURITY PYRAMID
Security Agenda Issue
-
Developed
Countries
Human security
Minimum state role
Military
Individual Security
Global Security
Developing
Countries
Regional Security
National Security
Economic
-
Nuclear proliferation
Global economy
Global warming
Collective security
Mutual defence pact
Non-aggression pact
-
Sovereignty,
territorial integrity
Survival
Democratising
-
Enviroment
Social
Political
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
55
Regional security: Countries focussing on national security soon realise that an adequate
sense of security cannot be obtained without the co-operation of other states or their
neighbours. To this effect they conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements where security
is viewed as an indivisible component of international relations  hence international
security or (sub-) regional security, thus making the latter the next level in the pyramid. The
arrows at this level are the thickest as states attempt to secure partnerships and alliances.
Such agreements do not necessarily have to be concluded with neighbours. Factors favouring
such agreements include vulnerability to similar or common threats; geographic proximity
and contiguity (for example most states in SADC); the status of each state in the international
system (for example states with a pariah status); convergence and compatibility of political
values; and sharing vital natural resources such as water  as is the case with the Tigris and
Euphrates rivers in the Gulf, and the Nile river running through Egypt and Ethiopia.141 But
the other conditions for ensuring common security at international level include the political
cohesion of states, the nature of their military policy and their transparency to observation by
others.142
Concluding international security or (sub-)regional arrangements provides the
states that are still preoccupied with national security issues with a cushion to attempt to
prevent external support to internal rebels or elements causing instability. Emanating from
these agreements would be regional or sub-regional organisations such as ASEAN, NATO,
Mercosur, SADC, etc. Common concepts at this level of the pyramid are: collective security;
collective (mutual) defence; non-aggression pacts; and confidence- and-security-building
measures. It should be noted that some states conclude bilateral and multilateral agreements,
not with a view to dealing with internal instability, but largely to maintain good
neighbourliness. As can be seen in the 'Security Pyramid', it is argued that most of the
developing countries are still locked in the struggle for national security and have not gone
beyond the regional security level.
Global security: After having concluded various bilateral and multilateral agreements within
the regional security framework, states then attempt to establish co-operation among the
clusters or groupings. For instance, SADC is currently at various stages of success in its
attempts to secure co-operation with (sub-)regional organisations such as ECOWAS,
Mercosur and the European Union (EU).
The collective effect of interaction across
geographic and organisational affiliations would bring about security at a global level or
'global security'. The quest for common security at a global level seeks to generate co-
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
56
operation among the nations of the world to strive to ensure harmonious relations and
interaction among states, and to encourage such states to pursue economic, political, military,
environmental and other policies that would not render the earth uninhabitable. Phenomena
such as global warming, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, deforestation and other
forms of environmental degradation threaten all of humanity. For instance, the quest for
global security has resulted in large areas being declared nuclear-free zones such as the whole
of Africa (through the Pelindaba Treaty) and the South Atlantic region (declared Zone of
Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic  ZPCSA).
Individual security: Having achieved consensus within and among themselves on issues that
could affect the human race, states remain the major but not the only referent objects of
security and focus will be biased in favour of human beings/individuals. This level, which
represents the apex of human endeavour in human security, can only be achieved by states
which are relatively stable and mature liberal democracies with sufficient resources to
credibly pursue agendas such as those pertaining to global warming, depletion of the ozone
layer and deforestation. Most of these states with such capacity are in the Global North (see
Figure 3). While the developing countries (Global South) have to be sensitised about the
primacy of the individual human beings within the international state system, the existing
circumstances in those states are such that they require inestimable resources to address them.
It has to be impressed upon them that regime security cannot, and should not, be pursued at
the expense of individual security. States should be viewed as the means and not the ends of
security.143 This represents a fundamental departure from the Cold War era dichotomies of
East-West and North-South tensions. While the East-West dichotomy depicted peace that
entailed a defensive-offensive posture, in which deterrence and compellance defined the
bottom line of coexistence between two power blocs, the North-South dichotomy concluded
that the key to security was economic development.
The post-Cold War human security paradigm combines military security with development
and replaces the old zero-sum perspective with a negative-score-game perspective that
recognises “possibilities for winning together and losing together.”144 The relevance and role
of the state is perceived to be generally that of a facilitator and an enabler (and not necessarily
a guarantor) of security, while new issues and non-state actors play a significant role in
defining the collective understanding of security. However, in order to avoid the debate
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57
which pits the state against human security or where the advocates of human security perceive
the state as the single most important impediment towards the achievement of human security,
an alternative view of human security is advanced. This view distinguishes between “human
security as an ‘integrative concept’ dealing with people as opposed to ‘territorial or military
security’ which is defined as a ‘defensive concept’. In other words the focus is on security
between people, as opposed to security only between states.”145
As idealistic as the human security paradigm is, its adherents and advocates have become
more vocal and enjoy more recognition in political decision-making processes than ever
before the demise of the Cold War era. This is evident in the manner in which state security
instruments such as the national defence forces are deployed in the name of either preventing
human catastrophes or improving the quality of life of the people.146 It is therefore clear that
while the state has not been relegated into obscurity in terms of security definitions, the
security parameters and role-players (not necessarily decision-makers) have been vastly
expanded. As will be demonstrated in the next chapter, the quest for human security requires
co-operation across the whole spectrum of security issues, including socio-economic security.
8.
CONCLUSION
This chapter firstly focused on the various forms of co-operation among states and secondly
on the etymology of security. Co-operation among states on a wide variety of issues has
characterised the international system throughout the twentieth century. This was despite
bloc-formation strategies which generated political and ideological animosities along the
East-West divide. The need for co-operation was in most cases based on the realisation that
unilateral and autarkic approaches to socio-economic and security issues were counterproductive. Notwithstanding the strains imposed by the Cold War, multilateral arrangements
helped stabilise the international system and also established, with varying levels of
acceptability, the ground rules for state-to-state interaction. To this end, states agreed on
international standards, obligations, allocations and prohibitions.
Security was identified in this chapter as a contested concept whose meaning has developed
over time to a stage where its conceptual parameters have become blurred and indefinite.
This not only poses a challenge to scholars (who have to unpack and demystify the concept),
but also to policy-makers (who have to formulate security policies) and the policy-
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
58
implementers (who have to execute such policies). The concept of security has developed
beyond its traditional association with military activity to include issues such as economic
development, environmental degradation and the well-being of citizens.
Furthermore,
security is no longer viewed only in terms of protecting and defending national territory, but
has expanded to include security concerns of neighbouring states and the whole world.
The Hobbesian view of the primary role of the state being to ensure security for its nationals,
leaves doubt as to whether or not modern states can fulfil this role despite the phenomenal
expansion of security.
The notion that states should react swiftly to security threats
presupposes sufficient resources, and that the state's security and individual security are on the
same conceptual plane. National security can no longer be the domain of the state alone.
However, individual security is in practice still subservient to national security. International
security, which is premised on the removal or reduction of mutual suspicion among states,
requires continuous inter-state co-operation. This accounts for the general increase in the
efforts to strengthen international collective security structures, and confidence- and securitybuilding measures. While security based on (sub-)regional structures does not necessarily
imply universal security or global security, it contributes towards making the quest for global
security a possible eventuality. It has also become apparent that, only if states place human
beings  the global citizen  at the centre of all security efforts, rather than state entities,
will real human security be achieved.
Human security, as a concept, is still evolving and therefore its main building blocks are not
yet clear. However, there is general consensus that it links development with state security
where the latter is associated with the role of the national security forces. The perceived
synergy that is expected from the human security debate has resulted in a number of ‘sideeffects’, which include the threat of possible marginalisation or reduced role of the state
organs and the demand by the national security forces for additional resources in order to deal
with development issues as proposed in the human security paradigm. The basis for South
Africa’s relations with the Mercosur countries is rooted largely in this paradigm.
This
becomes evident in the nature and focus of activities involving South Africa and these
countries.
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
59
The next chapter traces the historical development and the rationale for the formation of the
Mercosur group. The latter aspect is particularly important especially when a comparative
analysis is made between the development of Mercosur and sub-regional groups such as
SADC. The concept of ‘open regionalism’ is also explored in relation to Mercosur with a
view to establishing, whether, if at all, it has contributed to the success of Mercosur. The
organs of Mercosur and their functions are also described. The analysis of the Mercosur
organs provides a basis for the areas or mechanisms through which extra-regional states and
other sub-regional groups such as SADC can co-operate with Mercosur.
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
60
REFERENCES AND NOTES
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2
This group is called Mercosur in Spanish and Mercosul in Portuguese. To avoid having to use both
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recognising the dominance and influence of the Federative Republic of Brazil in the region.
3
Kegley, C.W. & Wittkopf, E.R. 1997. World Politics: Trends and Transformation, Sixth Edition. New
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Kegley, C.W. & Wittkopf, E.R. 1997, op cit. p. 530.
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Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. p. 1.
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Buzan, B. 1991, op cit. p. 35.
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Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. pp. 1-2.
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Romm, J.J. 1993, op cit. p. 2. See also Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. p. 2, and Haftendorn, H. 1991, op cit.
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Buzan, B. 1991, op cit. p. 16.
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Romm, J.J. 1993, op cit. p. 4.
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Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. p. 3.
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54
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Booth, K. 1994. "A Security Regime in Southern Africa: Theoretical Considerations." Southern African
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Halliday, F. 1994, op cit. pp. 143-144.
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Buzan, B. 1991, op cit. pp. 96-107. See also Ayoob, M. op cit. pp. 34-35; 47-49.
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Mutimer, D. op cit. pp. 86-87.
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Buzan, B. 1991, op cit. pp. 113-115.
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Shuman, M.H. and Harvey, H, op cit. pp. 27-29.
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Buzan, B. 1991, op cit. pp. 118-122.
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Neu, C.R. and Wolf, C. op cit, p. xix.
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Haftendorn, H. 1991, op cit. p. 7.
97
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98
Snyder, C.A, op cit. p. 102.
99
Haftendorn, H. 1991, op cit. p. 7.
100
Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. pp. 7, 84.
101
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Nkiwane, S.M. 1993, op cit. p. 5.
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Baldwin, D.A. 1997, op cit. p. 10.
106
Mangold, P. 1990, op cit. pp. 85-86. See also Booth, K. 1994. op cit. p. 11.
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Snyder, C.A, op cit, p. 107.
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109
Cawthra, G. 1997. "Prospects for Common Security in Southern Africa", in Cawthra, G. & Møller, B.
(eds.) 1997. Defensive Restructuring of the Armed Forces in Southern Africa. Sydney: Ashgate,
p. 153.
110
Malan, M. 1999. “The OAU and African Subregional Organisations – A Closer Look at the ‘Peace
Pyramid’.” ISS Papers, Paper 36, January, p. 2.
111
Snyder, C.A, op cit. p. 105.
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
112
64
'Free-riders' are defined as "those who enjoy the benefits of collective goods but pay little or nothing for
them." Kegley, C.W. and Wittkopf, E.R., op cit. p. 532.
113
Snyder, C.A., op cit. p. 106.
114
Ibid.
115
Holsti, K.J., op cit. p. 90.
116
NATO Office of Information and Press.
1995.
NATO Handbook.
Brussels: NATO Office of
Information and Press, p. 232.
117
Akinrinade, S. 2001. "Sub-Regional Co-operation in West Africa: The ECOWAS Mechanism for
Conflict Management in Perspective." Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol. XXIII, No.1, May,
p. 4.
118
Malan, M. 1999, op cit. pp. 2,12.
119
Yoroms, J.G. 1999. "Mechanisms for Conflict Management in ECOWAS." The African Centre for the
Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Number 8, p. 2.
120
ECOWAS: Article 1 and Article 2 of the Protocol on Non-Aggression signed in Lagos on 22 April 1978.
121
ECOWAS: Article 2 and Article 3 of the Protocol Relating to Mutual Assistance on Defence signed in
Freetown on 29 May 1981.
122
SADC: Protocol on the Southern African Community Development (SADC) Organ for Politics,
Defence and Security, Gaberone, Botswana, 28 June 1996. The objective of concluding a Mutual
Defence Pact was retained even after the review process of the Organ Protocol which was conducted at
the ministerial meeting held in Mbabane on 26-27 November 1999, thus signalling a clear commitment
towards attaining that eventuality.
123
It should be noted that many of these organisations, including the Organisation of African Unity (OAU),
were initially designed primarily for political and socio-economic co-operation, and not for collective
security. However, with time they incorporated this function as an integral part of their founding charters.
Besides, the UN Charter (Chapter VIII) bestows powers of maintaining peace and security on such
regional organisations provided that authorisation is obtained from the UN Security Council. In the case
of the OAU, it could be argued that it became a collective security organisation after the Cairo
Declaration (30 June 1993) which established the OAU’s Mechanism for Conflict Prevention,
Management and Resolution. In this regard, see Malan, M. 1999. op cit. p. 2. See also Sayigh, Y.
1990. op cit. p. 66.
124
Snyder, C.A., op cit. pp. 109-110.
125
Ibid. p. 110.
126
Ibid.
127
Ibid. p. 111.
128
Ibid. p. 112.
129
Ibid. p. 113.
130
Ibid. p. 114.
131
Gæger, N. 1999. "Security Organisations in Europe - Lessons Learned from the European Experience."
The African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) Occasional Paper, Durban,
Number 7, pp. 3-5.
University of Pretoria etd –Khanyile, M B (2003)
132
65
Kolodziej, E.A. and Lepingwell, J.W.R. 1997. “Reconstructing European Security: Cutting NATO
Enlargement Down to Size.” Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 18, No. 1, p. 3.
133
Holsti, K.J. 1992, op cit. p. 69.
134
Blechman, B.M. “International Peace and Security in the Twenty-First Century”, in Booth, K. (ed.)
1998. Statecraft and Security: The Cold War and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
p. 295.
135
Haftendorn, H. 1991, op cit. p. 9.
136
Ibid.
137
Vale, P. "New Trends in Global Security: Some Questions from the South". Paper presented to the
International Working Group on America's Task in a Changed World in Washington, October 1991.
138
Ibid..
139
Whittaker, D.J. 1995. United Nations in Action. London: UCL Press, p. 230.
140
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. 1989. Strategy in the Southern Oceans: A South American View. London:
Pinter Publishers, p. 11.
141
Buzan, B. 1997. "Regions and Regionalism in Global Perspective", in Cawthra, G. & Møller, B. (eds.)
op cit. p. 26. See also Solomon, H. 1996. "Water Security in Southern Africa", in Solomon, H. (ed.)
Sink or Swim: Water, Resource and State Co-operation. IDP Monograph Series, No. 6, October, p. 2.
142
Buzan, B. "Is International Security Possible?", in Booth, K. 1991. (ed.) New Thinking About Strategy
and International Security. London: Harper Collins Academic, p. 45.
143
Booth, K. 1994, op cit. p. 53. See also Booth, K. "War, Security and Strategy: Towards a Doctrine for
Stable Peace", in Booth, K. (ed.) 1991, op cit. pp. 339-341.
144
Nef, J.
1999. Human Security and Mutual Vulnerability:
Development and Underdevelopment, Second Edition.
The Global Political Economy of
Johannesburg: International Development
Research Centre, p. 23.
145
Mutschler, C.
“Human Security in the Southern African Context – Concepts and Challenges”, in
Mutschler, C. and Reyneke, E. (eds.) 1999. Human Security in the Southern African Context:
Proceedings of the Pugwash Symposium, 7-10 June 1998, Midrand South Africa. Pretoria: Pugwash
South Africa, p. 5
146
Nef, J. op cit. p. 22.
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
66
CHAPTER TWO
THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND STRUCTURE OF
MERCOSUR
1.
INTRODUCTION
The advent of the globalisation phenomenon and its requisite reliance on information
technology, necessitates that states and non-state entities, particularly the transnational
corporations (TNCs), structure themselves in a manner that facilitates meaningful
participation.
Globalisation is primarily based on the inter-connectedness and
interdependence of national economies.
Being driven by information technology and
telecommunications, it thrives on an open economy system. There is hardly any part of the
globe that is unreachable and therefore financial capital and services can be moved and
rendered almost in real time, irrespective of geographic constraints. Thus its proponents insist
on trade liberalisation and removal of all protectionist measures which include tariff barriers,
manipulation of national currencies, subsidies and so forth. This presents opportunities as
much as it does dangers. States could gain from new markets, thus earning foreign currency.
Increased foreign currency earnings enable states both to diversify into new products and/or
expand production, thus providing more job opportunities. Collectively, these contribute
towards the economic growth of a country and eventual improvement in the lifestyles and
well-being of people. From a security perspective such conditions are ideal, as people whose
basic needs of survival are satisfied do not readily pose any security threat to the incumbent
government or existing political system.
However, globalisation could also be detrimental. Small and emerging economies can easily
become subsumed and even submerged by bigger and stronger economies. Unfettered and
unregulated market forces could wreak havoc on national economies in the form of high
inflation; more environmental degradation; acutely inequitable distribution of wealth; and
increased unemployment as new global actors engage in capital-intensive enterprises, thus
driving out those economies relying on labour-intensive industries.1 The shedding of jobs on
a massive scale due to trade liberalisation and other policies could engender extensive protests
and even the toppling of governments. The two main survival strategies in the globalisation
phenomenon are, firstly, establishing sufficiently large entities or regional groupings to make
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
67
a tangible impact on a global scale and, secondly, gaining a competitive edge rather than
comparative advantage as was the case during the greatest part of the Cold War era. These
two aspects provided the impetus for the formation of Mercosur.
This chapter attempts to chart the historical development of Mercosur by briefly analysing
some of the salient factors that contributed towards its establishment.
The institutional
structure, including the roles and functions of the Mercosur group, are also discussed. The
performance of the group is then assessed in relation to its stated goals.
2.
FACTORS NECESSITATING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MERCOSUR
As in any attempt at analysing cause and effect or the linkages between the variables and the
net effect, it is extremely difficult to pinpoint with definitive authority the driving forces that
impelled the constituting members of Mercosur to form such a grouping. However, the
following could be listed as possible justifications or impelling factors that contributed
towards the establishment of Mercosur: the military developmentalism doctrine; the
proliferation of regional organisations in the world; conflict potential; the democratisation
process; and, lastly, globalisation.
2.1
MILITARY DEVELOPMENTALISM DOCTRINE
For a substantial period most South American countries were either under military rule or
civilian rule with excessive military influence. For instance, in Paraguay the military have
dominated national politics for more than 150 years. Unlike Paraguay, Colombia has had
numerous successive civilian governments, except for six times since independence, but the
military have continuously played excessive roles in national politics.2 The military rulers
realised that for them to achieve high military competency and to acquire technologicallyadvanced military equipment and hardware, they had to improve economic performance.
They resolved that military developmentalism  a doctrine that the military should stay in
power for as long as it requires to place the economy on a right footing  would be effective.
Hence, Hirst3 calls the military regimes of that time ‘instrumental regimes’ because they used
economic growth as an instrument to stay in power. To this effect, they invited or co-opted
civilian specialists to help design economic policies and strategies that reflected popular
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68
thinking of that time. For instance, in Brazil, where this doctrine originated, the military
regime in 1964 embarked on the policy of economic stabilisation which sought to reduce
inflation and to restore investor confidence. Brazilian President Castello Branco appointed
Roberto Campos de Oliveira, the former head of the National Bank of Economic
Development, as Minister of the Economy. Campos, through the use of indexation, managed
to repress public protests over austere economic measures introduced to improve economic
performance. He also introduced a ten-point plan in terms of which such measures would be
implemented. Having been a lecturer at the Escola Superior de Guerra, Brazil’s most senior
and influential military training institution, Campos was able to imbue certain economic
policy values which were wholeheartedly accepted and adopted by the military establishment.
This facilitated the acceptability of his appointment as head of economic affairs for a military
government.4
Campos’s policies did not survive for too long, as the head of government, President Casto e
Silva, who came to power in 1967, appointed a new Minister of Finance, Antonio Delfim
Neto. Delfim, who was to be in office until 1974, brought the Ministry of the Economy under
his direct control, thus centralising economic policy making in his office. In 1968 the Fifth
Institutional Act was enacted, which brought an end to political opposition, thus ushering in
one of the most repressive periods in Brazilian political history. Ironically, this period
coincided with impressive economic growth and Gross National Product (GNP), which at that
stage stood at around 7 per cent. The military developmentalist strategies were adopted by
Argentina in 1966, by Peru in 1968, by Chile and Uruguay in 1973, and again in Argentina in
1976. These strategies proved inadequate for dealing with external factors such as the oil
shocks of 1973 and 1979.5
2.2
PROLIFERATION OF REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS
The initiation of integration talks and efforts in Western Europe spurred on other regions to
consider similar ventures.
On 9 May 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman
proposed that Europe’s coal and steel should be placed under a common European authority.
Subsequently, on 18 April 1951, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the
Netherlands signed the Treaty creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
These events, together with the signing on 25 March 1957 of the Treaties creating the
European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community
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69
(Euratom), up to the signing on 7 February 1992 of the Treaty of Union and Final Act in
Maastricht, demonstrated beyond doubt that developing states would not survive the
economic might of the powers of the North, given the political, military and also economic
resources at their disposal.6 They had to follow suit.
For developing countries, the strategy was to attempt to devise ways of using their primary
resource power to leverage against the exceedingly expensive manufactured products from the
North. It was against this background that more regional organisations, especially from
among developing countries, were established. First of these was the Latin American Free
Trade Area (LAFTA)7, also known by its Spanish acronym ALALC  Asociación
Latinoamericana de Libre Comercio, which was established in 1960 with a view to fostering
economic collaboration in the region. Its secretariat was situated in Montevideo, Uruguay. In
the same year, a similar separate organisation called the Central American Common Market
(CACM) was created, with its permanent secretariat in Guatemala City. However, the CACM
disintegrated due to the eruption of war between El Salvador and Honduras in 1969. This war
only ended in 1979 after eleven years of intense negotiations.8
Third of these was the Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU)9 which was established in
1964. It sought to promote economic integration among Arab nations. Fourth was the
establishment of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)10 in 1967.
Its
primary goals were to encourage regional economic, social and cultural co-operation among
its members. Fifth was the formation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)11 in 1973
which also wanted to promote economic development and integration. In 1975 ECOWAS12
was established with a view to promoting economic co-operation. In the same year, an
organisation called the Latin American Economic System (SELA) was established. Also
designed to engender economic collaboration among regional states, it was specifically
planned to exclude the United States and to include Cuba.13
Similarly, the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC)14 was
established in 1980 both to promote regional economic co-operation and to reduce
dependence on South Africa. In 1981 the Latin American Integration Association (LAIA) 
also known as ALADI  the Spanish acronym for Asociación Latinoamericana de
Integration, was established to foster free regional trade.15 The current efforts at regional co-
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70
operation in South America are based on the solid foundation laid by the ALADI agreements
 also known as the economic complementarity agreements. For instance, in December
1994, Chile and Mexico, and also Colombia and Venezuela, concluded an agreement on tariff
reductions based on the ALADI provisions. The Mercosur common external structure is also
largely influenced by the ALADI framework. In fact, both the Mercosur and the Andean
Community are an integral part of ALADI.16
17
Regional Co-operation (SAARC)
Lastly, the South Asian Association for
was established in 1985 with the view of promoting
economic, social and cultural co-operation among its members.18
While most of these
organisations have survived into the twenty-first century, they have had to change or adapt
their original agendas in order to provide for new challenges. To this effect, they have
increasingly incorporated security aspects without abandoning their original goals.
Obviously, numerous integration efforts in South America had failed due to many factors,
thus the formation of Mercosur represented a fresh attempt with a limited geographic focus.
2.3
CONFLICT POTENTIAL
The southern cone has for many years been characterised by either real or latent conflicts.
These conflicts or, more appropriately, tensions, were fuelled by or promoted by military rule
in many of the South American states. Rivalries for regional dominance, especially between
Argentina and Brazil, and unresolved border disputes such as those between Argentina and
Chile, resulted in limited friendly interactions between governments and perpetuated mutual
suspicions. In fact, since the signing of the 1881 Boundary Treaty, which sought to settle the
border dispute between Argentina and Chile, both countries have been hovering on the brink
of going to war on this issue.19
Similarly, there have always been simmering tensions
between Bolivia and Paraguay, which culminated in the Chaco War in 1932-1937, the only
major disturbance to peace in South America in the whole twentieth century.20 Even the
Falklands War of 1982 between Britain and Argentina had limited consequences for the
region.
As a general rule, where there is vagueness and ambiguity in the drafting of a treaty designed
to end a conflict, such conflict is bound to resurface as the context, the real or imaginary
features, or the perceptual understanding of the conflict changes. The Boundary Treaty amply
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
71
bears testimony to that reality. This is particularly relevant in the case of the territorial
acquisitions by Brazil and Argentina following the so-called War of the Triple Alliance
(1865-1870) or the National Epic  as it is known in Paraguay. The war erupted as a result
of Paraguay attempting to attack Uruguay by sending troops through Argentina without the
latter’s prior approval.
Consequently, Paraguay faced the combined military force of
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. The Chileans made similar territorial acquisitions following
the War of the Pacific (1879-1883) when they defeated the combined force of Bolivia and
Peru.21
These territorial and other tensions have consistently persisted throughout the twentieth
century. It is noteworthy that these conflicts and/or tensions are linked to specific natural
resources that have direct political, economic, security or strategic value. Any denial of
access to these resources through treaties or agreements does not necessarily diminish their
intrinsic value. With the demise of the Cold War, the River Plate countries resolved to form
Mercosur, which has a conflict resolution and management mechanism.
Through this
mechanism the member countries are able to resolve conflicts amicably. In this manner, the
formation of Mercosur has provided an umbrella body under which the increasingly complex
modern-day issues, including security issues, could be addressed.
Indeed, one of the
contributory factors towards the acceptance of this approach has been the democratisation
process that is increasingly being established in South America.
2.4
DEMOCRATISATION PROCESS
The South American countries have a longer history of concerted efforts to establish
democratic governments in the region than most other regions such as Africa. Consistently,
they realised the intrinsic connection between peace, stability and democracy. Ironically, the
democratic process has been threatened by the military establishment quite more often than in
other regions excluding Africa. Such efforts at democratisation can be traced as far back as
1936 when states recognised the existence of democracy as a source of common interest in the
Americas. It was enshrined in the Declaration of Principles of Inter-American Solidarity and
Co-operation of the Inter-American Conference on the Consolidation of Peace that was held
in Buenos Aires in 1936. This stance was further emphasised by the Uruguayan Minister of
Foreign Affairs, Dr Eduardo Rodríguez Larreta, when on 21 November 1945 he proposed to
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72
the American governments to suspend or restrict the principle of non-intervention in the
internal affairs of another country. He argued that state security and regional stability were
being threatened by people who wanted to interrupt democratic processes in the knowledge
that no other country would intervene. However, this proposal was never accepted but it
demonstrated the seriousness with which the defence of democracy was being viewed by
some of the South American states.22
During the immediate post-WW II environment the UN was formed, and it is notable that 20
of the first 51 member states were from Latin America. The link between security and
democracy was further strengthened when South American (not necessarily Latin American)
countries signed the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance or, as it is popularly
known  the Rio Pact on 09 February 1947.
The Rio Pact was essentially a
regional/hemispheric collective security agreement which, according to Article 4, stretched
from the North Pole to the South Pole in the Western Hemisphere. It committed signatories
in Article 6 to common action or defence in the event that 
“the inviolability or integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political
independence of any American State should be affected by an aggression which is not
an armed attack or by an extra-continental or intra-continental conflict, or by any other
fact or situation [which] might endanger peace of America.”23
In 1948, the Charter establishing the Organization of American States (OAS) was signed. As
the paranoia with communism escalated, the US was able to convert the OAS into a bastion
against all communist influence in the Western Hemisphere. Both the Charter and the Rio
Pact enabled the US to assume the leadership role in addressing the security concerns of the
Americas.24 The Charter calls for the recognition of democracy as a preferred form of
government and an amicable resolution of conflicts. To this effect, the Charter of the OAS25
declared the purposes of the organisation in Article 2 as being, inter alia, to 
•
strengthen the peace and security of the continent;
•
provide for common action on the part of those states in the event of aggression;
and
•
promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development.
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73
Furthermore, the economic dimension was emphasised in Article 3 where it is stated that
“[e]conomic cooperation is essential to the common welfare and prosperity of the peoples of
the continent.”26 The OAS also passed numerous declarations, resolutions and measures to
force its member states to entrench democracy and keep the military establishment out of
politics. Such measures and resolutions had not yet borne sufficient fruit by the late 1980s.27
However, this situation changed following the decision taken in Santiago, Chile, in June
1991. The foreign ministers of the Americas, who gathered for the General Assembly of the
OAS, adopted Resolution 108028 or the so-called the Santiago Commitment to Democracy
and the Renewal of the Inter-American System. In terms of Resolution 1080, the OAS was
mandated to intervene automatically in any country where there was an illegal interruption of
the democratic process in the region. In fact, this resolution ensured a speedy response to
disturbances in Haiti, Peru and Guatemala. It changed the moral requirement of defending
democracy in any part of the region to a legal obligation that had to operate automatically.
The resolution was further strengthened by the amending the Charter of the OAS through the
Protocol of Washington of 14 December 1992. Article 9 of the Charter read as follows:
“A member of the Organization whose democratically constituted government has been
overthrown by force may be suspended from the exercise of the right to participate in
the sessions of the General Assembly, the Meeting of Consultation, the Councils of the
Organization and the Specialized Conferences as well as the commissions, working
groups and any other bodies established.”29
The mid-eighties saw the military governments giving way to civilian rule in South America.
In Argentina, for instance, a civilian government took over in December 1983 under President
Raúl Alfonsín. Having been isolated by the international community and also still recovering
from the Falklands/Malvinas War, one of Alfonsín’s priorities was the reinsertion of
Argentina into international affairs. The Alfonsín administration faced a dual challenge:
satisfying the international community that it was genuinely democratising and also keeping
the military establishment satisfied. This proved daunting, as on the one hand Argentina
espoused disarmament, but, on the other, it still continued with the nuclear programmes of the
previous military regimes. Even when Carlos Saúl Menem took over from Alfonsín in 1989,
the situation did not improve.30 Similar challenges faced Brazil as well. In Brazil, for
instance, José Sarney took over as a civilian president from the military. However, during his
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74
reign the military were still too powerful, and Sarney still found it difficult to change the
developmentalist model of the military. Security was still viewed strictly in military terms
and economic development was to be achieved with a view to bolstering military prowess.
Thus the real democratisation phase commenced only in March 1990 with the inauguration of
Fernando Collor de Mello as the President of Brazil. He introduced a market economy by
liberalising trade, eliminating tariff barriers, and attempting to integrate the Brazilian
economy into the global system. High on his priority list were the following aspects which
later led to the formation of Mercosur: the integration of Southern Cone countries; reducing
foreign debt; improving technology; and dealing with environmental issues.31 With military
conflicts and the role of the military in politics receding, there was an increasing need to
expedite regional economic co-operation in the face of globalisation.
2.5
GLOBALISATION
Globalisation is arguably the most compelling factor which made the establishment of
Mercosur a reality. In analysing the globalisation phenomenon, Singer32 posed a question:
what is it [globalisation] all about? He posits that there has been financial, economic and
cultural internationalisation since at least Marco Polo’s trip to the Far East. Despite limited
capacity to navigate long distances, the great empires of Asia and Europe were able to
maintain commercial links. By the 15th century, when the Portuguese and Spanish started
with their transoceanic navigations, Africa and the Americas were already integrated into the
economic system of the world  even though at primitive stages. However, with new
technologies, especially in the area of communication and transportation, internationalisation
underwent a qualitative change which transformed it to globalisation. This qualitative change
was helped by the existence of global peace, even though peace was tense and armed. Singer
further identifies globalisation in two main spheres, namely, economic and political. In the
political sphere, globalisation relates to the ability of the world system to create and sustain
supra-national institutions.
These international governmental institutions, such as the
European Parliament of the European Union (EU) and the African Parliament of the African
Union (AU), should be able to determine and codify international law. It is noteworthy that
political globalisation has been less successful than economic globalisation.33
In the economic sphere, globalisation seeks to widen national markets. As already indicated,
this has the potential to expand or destroy national economies. Expansion of markets could
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75
also be detrimental to the national economy, thus bringing about insecurity. It is against this
background that, despite pressures of globalisation dictating otherwise, the expansion of
national markets is hardly ever a purely economic matter.34 It includes security issues both in
the political and strategic senses. The demise of the Cold War left few global players in the
economic field. The economic giants of the rich Global North sought to swallow small and
unprotected markets. Most of these unprotected markets happened to be in the poor Global
South. Realising that participation in the globalisation phenomenon held more advantages for
nations than non-participation, developing countries had to form larger entities. While most
regional entities had a very strong economic bias, their agendas gradually expanded to include
political and security issues.
This stemmed from the realisation that security or
interdependence in one field naturally implied strengthening relations in others.
The
formation of regional entities, such as Mercosur, would enable states to challenge global
prejudices and present a common front in international fora.
3.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MERCOSUR
The origins of the Mercosur group can be traced back to the early sixties when efforts at
integration in Europe in the form of European Economic Community (EEC) of 1957,
threatened to exclude a large number of Latin American agricultural products. Talks were
initiated for renegotiating and expanding intra-regional preferential trade agreements within
the framework of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). This was based on
the clause of non-discriminatory trade on the basis of ‘Most Favoured Nations’ (MFN) status
in GATT. Consequently, Article XXIV of GATT provided a basis for the creation of the
Latin American Free Trade Association (LAFTA/ALALC) in terms of the Treaty of
Montevideo of 1960. ALALC sought to establish a free trade area through removing all
forms of restrictions to trade. When this could not be achieved according to schedule, the
period was extended to twenty years in terms of the Caracas Protocol of 1969. However, the
new target dates could also not be accomplished mainly due to two factors: economic and
political harmony and co-operation had not yet been achieved in the region, and an inherent
incompatibility of inward-looking economic strategies of individual countries. In addition,
there were limitations with regard to relatively small market size and the continued protection
of highly inefficient industrial sectors which collectively created a deficit in the region's
balance of payments. Macroeconomic policies among partners were not yet harmonised and
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76
there was also no mechanism to deal with the uneven distribution of costs and benefits of the
integration process.35
As already stated, the integration process that had been initiated by the Treaty of Montevideo
was once again resuscitated in 1981 through the creation of ALADI which replaced ALALC.
The ALADI arrangement was in line with the GATT requirements in terms of the Enabling
Clause which created preferential conditions for trade among developing countries. The
ALADI Treaty sought to engender co-operation in the region by creating a Latin American
common market. This was to be achieved through a regional tariff preference (that is tariff
reductions for the benefit of third countries); agreements of regional scope (applicable to all
members of ALADI); and agreements of partial scope (those agreements binding two or more
member countries). No specific target dates were set. Bilateral and multilateral agreements
were encouraged in order to foster intra-regional co-operation.36 However, at the same time
as the ALADI process, an important event occurred which could be regarded as the turning
point in the formation of Mercosur. The long-standing rivals  Argentina and Brazil,
together with Paraguay  signed a tripartite agreement. The agreement set up a mechanism
that had to be used in dealing with the border water resources. This harmony at diplomatic
level provided impetus to the integration process.37
The ALADI arrangement recognised the principle of ‘differential treatment’, which permitted
member states to enter into agreements taking cognisance of the different levels of economic
development.
To this effect, three categories were identified in terms of economic
performance, namely, advanced (e.g. Argentina, Brazil and Mexico), intermediate (e.g.
Uruguay), and less developed (e.g. Paraguay).38
The integration efforts of the Montevideo arrangement fizzled out due to many factors,
including the fact that some countries were still under military governments, while others
were in transition to democratic rule and others were still immersed in intense hegemonic
rivalries, especially between Argentina and Brazil. In addition, poor external economic
conditions precipitated a crippling international debt crisis which, in turn, caused members to
re-adopt protectionist policies  all to the detriment of intra-regional trade. However, as the
democratisation process was apparently becoming irreversibly entrenched, the Montevideo
process was revived, but with more vigour and determination. In the interim, Argentina and
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77
Brazil signed in 1986 the so-called Program for Integration and Economic Co-operation
(PICE). The primary aim of PICE was to ensure sectoral co-operation, especially in such
sectors as capital goods, food, technological co-operation, and iron, steel, nuclear and auto
industries. PICE helped allay the fears of potential investors in each country that their
investments would be in danger. Subsequently, the two countries undertook an even more
ambitious project when in November 1988 they signed the Treaty on Integration,
Cooperation, and Development. With this treaty both countries sought to open up trade
between themselves and to form a common market within ten years. On 6 July 1990 they
signed the Act of Buenos Aires in terms of which they undertook to establish a common
market by 1995.
Subsequent to that an agreement called the Acuerdo Complementario
Económico (Agreement for Economic Complementarity  ACE) was signed. ACE sought to
synchronise the macroeconomic policies of the participating countries and it consolidated all
bilateral agreements between Brazil and Argentina. 39 Consequently on 26 March 1991 the
Argentine Republic, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Paraguay and the
Eastern Republic of Uruguay signed the Treaty of Asunción which established Mercosur.40
4
'OPEN REGIONALISM' CONCEPT
The nature and character of Mercosur is based on the 'open regionalism' concept. In contrast
to the traditional import-substituting desarrollo hacia adentro economic strategies of the
1960s, the 'open regionalism' concept as embodied in the Treaty of Asunción espouses an
approach which portrays integration into the world economy as a mere extension of national
markets. The proponents of this concept believe that not only does the qualitative aspect of
services, goods and products improve but exporters get opportunities to maximise their
profits.
The previous economic policies were primarily inward-looking in focus, and
therefore very myopic in outlook.41 In 1991 countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Mexico, Peru and Venezuela started embracing trade liberalisation on an unprecedented scale.
The formation of Mercosur was partly attributable to the economic realities at the time as
regional economies worldwide were integrating in one way or another. But there also was a
growing fear that Europe would become inward-looking and create a 'fortress Europe'.42
The relative success of the 'open regionalism' concept as applied by the Mercosur group does
not imply that co-operative arrangements based on 'closed regionalism' are bound to fail. For
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78
instance, the EU, which is based on the 'closed regionalism' concept, is extremely successful.
The fundamental difference between the two concepts is that, while 'closed regionalism' as
exemplified by the EU relies on creating a barrier to trade with non-members, 'open
regionalism' such as that of Mercosur and the Asian Newly Industrialised Countries (NICs) 
also known as the 'Asian Tigers'  seeks to establish a common approach to extra-regional
commerce by opening their national markets.43 Thus both models of regional integration can
be successful as long as the peculiar regional characteristics are carefully analysed and a
suitable model chosen.44
It was this 'open regionalism' concept which caused much apprehension and public protest
from the farmers in Paraguay and Chile during the formation of Mercosur. The peasant
communities (particularly maize and livestock farmers) charged that their countries would be
flooded with cheap agricultural products from Argentina and Brazil, while export-orientated
sectors such as wine and fresh fruit, favoured the agreement as it would enable them to
penetrate the large Argentine and Brazilian markets.45 However, this did not deter member
states as they realised that the advantages of joining the group far outweighed the
disadvantages that would only affect certain sectors of the economy.
5.
DEFINING THE MERCOSUR GROUP
The notion of Mercosur was a direct crystallisation of the forces of integration, including
ALADI, which preceded it. The member states of Mercosur undertook to establish a common
market that would be responsible for inter alia the free movement of goods, services and
factors of production between member countries; the establishment of a common external
tariff (CET) and the adoption of a common trade policy in relation to third states or groups of
states; co-ordination of positions in regional and international economic and commercial
forums; and the co-ordination of macro-economic and sectoral policies between the states
parties in the areas of, for instance, foreign trade, agriculture industry, fiscal and monetary
matters.46 The ultimate goal was to create a South American Free Trade Area (SAFTA) along
the lines of North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA).
Membership of Mercosur was deliberately limited to the four constituent countries
(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), ostensibly with a view to preventing it from
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79
becoming too big to manage (see Map 1 below). However, a saving clause was included in
order not to place it on a collision course with the regional neighbours. To this effect, Article
20 of the founding treaty  Asunción Treaty, stipulates that:
This Treaty shall be open to accession, through negotiation, by other countries members
of the Latin American Integration Association. Their applications may be considered
by the States Parties once this Treaty has been in force for five years. Notwithstanding
the above, applications made by countries members of the Latin American Integration
Association who do not belong to sub-regional integration schemes or an extraregional
association may be considered before the date specified. Approval of applications shall
require the unanimous decision of the States Parties.47
This left open the possibility of extra-regional countries joining the group. Thus no new
member would be admitted before March 1996 if such countries participated in any other
regional integration process. It is against this background that some countries in South
America are at different stages of negotiating for membership. Chile and Bolivia are already
associate members while Venezuela, Colombia and Peru have indicated a willingness to join
Mercosur.48 Bolivia, which has been an associate member since the Colonia meeting in
January 1994, conducts 60 per cent of its trade with Mercosur but is also a member of the
Andean Group, thus creating a legal hurdle. While Chile, which became an associate member
of Mercosur on 25 June 1996, is not a member of the Andean Group, it has ratified the
NAFTA agreement. Both countries attend Mercosur meetings as observers.49
Of particular interest to South Africa is the fact that Brazil, a dominant member of Mercosur,
has indicated on numerous occasions its willingness to embrace other extra-regional countries
in South America "as well as gradually enlarging the regional integration process to areas
beyond Mercosul, according to a strategic and long term view …"50
Furthermore, the
Brazilian perspective on Mercosur is that it "is not just economic in its aims; it is also a longterm political enterprise intended to help consolidate democracy … by reducing remaining
bilateral tensions."51 The historical involvement of the military in politics, especially in
countries now constituting Mercosur, prompted these countries to state that the primary
objectives of the group were to defend democracy and maintain peace and security. To
achieve this, they would strive to ensure economic development and social justice.52 In this
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80
regard, the Mercosur partners applauded Argentina's ratification of the Treaty of Tlatelolco
which declares Latin America a nuclear-free zone, and also the fact that Brazil had halted its
military-run nuclear research programme. These security-related successes are specifically
attributable to these countries' membership of Mercosur.53
6.
MERCOSUR'S INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK AND FUNCTIONS
The founding treaty of Mercosur stated that Mercosur's institutional framework should be
finalised before 31 December 1994.
This framework was eventually finalised on 17
December 1994 when the Ouro Preto Protocol was signed. The Ouro Preto Protocol gave
Mercosur the status of a juristic person, thus enabling it to enter into agreement with nonMercosur member states, and provided it with an institutional structure for administration.
The main organs of Mercosur are 
•
the Council of the Common Market (the highest organ of Mercosur responsible
for political leadership and strategic decisions);
•
the Common Market Group (the executive organ of Mercosur);
•
the Mercosur Trade Commission (responsible for monitoring the implementation
of the common trade policy instruments);
•
the Joint Parliamentary Commission (representing the parliaments of States
Parties and responsible for the harmonisation of national legislations and the
speeding up of the implementation of decisions taken by Mercosur organs);
•
the Economic-Social Consultative Forum (representing the socio-economic
sectors and responsible for providing recommendations to the Common Market
Group); and
•
the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat (providing operational support to the
Mercosur organs).54
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
Map 1:
Source:
Adapted from De Noronha Goyos, D. 1995. "Mercosul Structures and Perspectives."
Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 18.
81
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82
The institutional structure of Mercosur is geared to perform its set goals and enables Mercosur
to link up relatively smoothly with other regional organisations and extra-regional states.
Extra-regional states will be able to identify specific sectors of relevance and importance to
them through the Mercosur Trade Commission or the Economic Social Consultative Forum
(see Table 1).
Table 1:
MERCOSUR ORGANS AND THEIR FUNCTIONS
ORGAN
FUNCTIONS
Council of the Common
* To supervise the implementation of the Treaty of Asunción, its protocols,
Market (CCM)
and agreements signed within its context.
* To formulate policies and promote the measures necessary to build the
common market.
* To assume the legal personality of Mercosur.
*
To negotiate and sign agreements, on behalf of Mercosur, with third
countries, groups of countries and international organisations.
* To rule on proposals submitted to it by the Common Market Group;
* To arrange meetings of ministers and rule on agreements which those
meetings refer to it.
* To establish the organs it considers appropriate, and to modify or abolish
them.
* To clarify, when it considers necessary, the substance and scope of its
decisions.
* To appoint the Director of the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat.
* To adopt financial and budgetary decisions.
* To approve the rules of procedure of the Common Market Group.
Common Market Group
* To monitor, within the limits of its competence, compliance with the
(CMG)
Treaty of Asunción, its Protocols, and agreements signed within its
framework.
* To propose draft Decisions to the Council of the Common Market.
* To take the measures necessary to enforce the Decisions adopted by the
Council of the Common Market.
*
To draw up programmes of work to ensure progress towards the
establishment of the common market.
* To establish, modify or abolish organs such as working groups and special
meetings for the purpose of achieving its objectives.
* To express its views on any proposals or recommendations submitted to it
by other Mercosur organs within their sphere of competence.
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
* To negotiate, with the participation of representatives of all the States
Parties, when expressly so delegated by the Council of the Common Market
and within the limits laid down in special mandates granted for that purpose,
agreements on behalf of Mercosur with third countries, groups of countries
and international organisations. When so mandated, the Common Market
Group shall sign the aforementioned agreements. When so authorised by the
Council of the Common Market, the Common Market Group may delegate
these powers to the Mercosur Trade Commission.
* To approve the budget and the annual statement of accounts presented by
the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat.
* To adopt financial and budgetary Resolutions based on the guidelines laid
down by the Council.
* To submit its rules of procedure to the Council of the Common Market.
* To organise the meetings of the Council of the Common Market and to
prepare the reports and studies requested by the latter.
* To choose the Director of the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat.
* To supervise the activities of the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat.
* To approve the rules of procedure of the Trade Commission and the
Economic-Social Consultative.
Mercosur Trade
* To monitor the application of the common trade policy instruments both
Commission (MTC)
within Mercosul and with respect to third countries, international
organisations and trade agreements.
* To consider and rule upon the requests submitted by the States Parties in
connection with the application of and compliance with the common external
tariff and other instruments of common trade policy.
* To follow up the application of the common trade policy instruments in the
States Parties.
*
To analyse the development of the common trade policy instruments
relating to the operation of the customs union and to submit Proposals in this
respect to the Common Market Group.
* To take decisions connected with the administration and application of the
common external tariff and the common trade policy instruments agreed by
the States Parties.
*
To report to the Common Market Group on the development and
application of the common trade policy instruments, on the consideration of
requests received and on the decisions taken with respect to such requests;
*
To propose to the Common Market Group new Mercosur trade and
customs regulations or changes in the existing regulations.
* To propose the revision of the tariff rates for specific items of the common
external tariff, inter alia, in order to deal with cases relating to new
83
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
production activities within Mercosur.
* To set up the technical committees needed for it to perform its duties
properly, and to direct and supervise their activities.
* To perform tasks connected with the common trade policy requested by the
Common Market Group.
* To adopt rules of procedure to be submitted to the Common Market Group
for approval.
Joint Parliamentary
* It shall endeavour to speed up the corresponding internal procedures in the
Commission (JPC)
States Parties in order to ensure the prompt entry into force of the decisions
taken by the Mercosur organs.
* It shall assist with the harmonisation of legislations, as required to advance
the integration process.
*
When necessary, the Council shall request the Joint Parliamentary
Commission to examine priority issues.
Economic Social
* It has a consultative function and shall express its views in the form of
Consultative Forum
Recommendations to the Common Market Group.
(ESCF)
Mercosur Administrative
* Serves as the official archive for Mercosur documentation.
Secretariat (MAS)
*
Publish and circulate the decisions adopted within the framework of
Mercosur. In this context, it shall:
- make, in co-ordination with the States Parties, authentic translations
in Spanish and Portuguese of all the decisions adopted by the organs of
the Mercosur institutional structure, in accordance with the provisions
of Article 39;
- publish the Mercosur official journal.
*
Organise the logistical aspects of the meetings of the Council of the
Common Market, the Common Market Group and the Mercosur Trade
Commission and, as far as possible, the other Mercosur organs, when those
meetings are held at its headquarters. In the case of meetings held outside its
headquarters, the Mercosur Administrative Secretariat shall provide support
for the State in which the meeting is held.
* Regularly inform the States Parties about the measures taken by each
country to incorporate in its legal system the decisions adopted by the
Mercosur organs provided for in Article 2 of this Protocol.
* Compile national lists of arbitrators and experts, and perform other tasks
defined in the Brasilia Protocol of 17 December 1991;
*
Perform tasks requested by the Council of the Common Market, the
Common Market Group and the Mercosur Trade Commission;
* Draw up its draft budget and, once this has been approved by the Common
Market Group, do everything necessary to ensure its proper implementation;
84
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85
* Submit its statement of accounts annually to the Common Market Group,
together with a report on its activities.
Source:
Protocol of Ouro Preto signed by the Mercosur member states at the city of Ouro Preto, Federative
Republic of Brazil, on 17 December 1994.
The economic potential provided by Mercosur is enormous (see Table 2). With a population
of over 200 million, and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over US$1.4 trillion,
partnership with Mercosur could enable countries especially in Africa to find accessible
markets that are premised on almost similar recent history of political and economic
developments. Even the debt burden is characteristic of developing countries. Unlike Brazil
and Paraguay, both Argentina and Uruguay are heavily indebted with external debt
constituting just over 40 per cent and almost 25 per cent of their GDP respectively.
Table 2: PROFILE OF THE MERCOSUR COUNTRIES, 2000
Country
Population size
(million)*
36.9
Territorial size
('000 km2)
2 767
GDP
(US$bn)**
367
External Debt
(US$bn)**
149
172.9
8 512
1 057
200
Paraguay
5.6
407
19
2.7
Uruguay
3.3
177
28
8
TOTAL
218.7
1 1863
1 471
359.7
Argentina
Brazil
* July 2000 estimate.
** 1999 estimate.
Source:
United States of America (USA) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2000. World Factbook
2000. www.odci.government/ cia/publications/factbook/geos
In 1990, Brazil was (and still is) by far the largest partner in the Mercosur group in all
respects, followed by Argentina in a distant second place. Brazil alone accounted for 79 per
cent of total population, 72 per cent of the GNP, 67 per cent of the total exports and 76 per
cent of the total imports destined for the group. In the same year Brazil absorbed a third of
total exports by Argentina and Paraguay, and 30 per cent by Uruguay. Thus, the continued
survival of Mercosur is largely dependent on the economic, political and social stability of
Brazil. It is notable that Brazil is regarded as a 'pivotal state', not only for the Mercosur
partners, but also the whole world. Being the fifth most populous country in the world; its
economy being the eighth largest in the world in terms of 1996 GDP figures; being regarded
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86
as one of the ‘big emerging markets’; and its rain forests holding the greatest collection of
biodiversity in the world  Brazil certainly is pivotal in ensuring global security.55 Similar to
the US, which has identified Brazil as being a crucial market for its products and a partner in
bringing about global security, South Africa's economic, political and security interests are
served through the partnership with Mercosur.
7.
THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MERCOSUR GROUP
Since its establishment in 1991 the Mercosur group has achieved relative success when
compared with other regional groups among the developing countries, such as the ASEAN
and the SADC. Much of its success as a sub-regional entity could be attributed to the
following factors:
•
Small size: It comprises only four members (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
Uruguay, with Bolivia and Chile as associate members).
•
High value congruence: There is a high degree of congruence with regard to
political and social values, but especially a common commitment to
democracy, an aversion to kleptocracy and a shared Latin culture.
•
Common economic interests and perspectives: The member states share a
common vision and a similar perception of risks and opportunities. This is
exemplified by the relative ease with which the strategy of macro-economic
stabilisation or liberalisation was accepted among the member states.
•
Good personal and political relations: There is a direct link among the heads
of states and government and they also communicate quite regularly.
•
Good capacity to manage complex policy and technical issues: Member states
have adequate human resource capital and a highly trained labour force.56
Given such compatibility, there has been an astronomical increase in trade with and within
Mercosur since 1985 (see Tables 3 and 4 below). While both internal trade (which more than
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87
tripled within fours years of integration) and foreign direct investment (FDI) (which has
increased tenfold from 1990 to 1997) have shown substantial growth, the Mercosur group has
not succeeded in making a significant mark in the world market. This could be attributed to
the fact that only Brazil and Argentina have substantial export capacity. However, it remains
the third largest customs union in the world after NAFTA and the EU. It could be argued that
it maintains this position not necessarily because of its structure or operating procedures, but
largely because other regional organisations are not even operating at 50 per cent of their
potential capacity.
Table 3: TRADE RELATIONS WITH AND WITHIN MERCOSUR
1985
1990
1997
(US$bn)
(US$bn)
(US$bn)
1.8
4.2
Over 20
Exports as % of World Trade
-
1.1 %
1.7%
Foreign Direct Investment
-
2.6
26.6
Year
Factor
Intra-regional trade
Source:
Mills, G. & Mutschler, C. (eds.) Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin America
& SADC in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs
(SAIIA), p. 5.
Table 4: INTRA-REGIONAL TRADE WITHIN MERCOSUR, 1987 – 1994
Year
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
Trade
2 276
2 781
3 574
4 200*
5 289
7 323
10 055
13 000
(US$bn)
* Denotes "figure adapted from Mutschler and Mills (1999:5)"
Source:
De Noronha Goyos, D. 1995. "MERCOSUL Structures and Perspectives."
American Report, Vol. 11, No. 1, p. 17.
Table 5:
COMPARISON OF BRAZIL’S IMPORTS FROM THE CURRENT
MEMBER STATES IN 1980 WITH SPECIFIC MONTHS IN 1997
Country
1980
Month in 1997 with
(US$m)
equivalent value
756
June
Argentina
Source:
Paraguay
91
April and May
Uruguay
196
January to March
Unisa Latin
Mills, G. & Mutschler, C. (eds.) 1999. Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin
America & SADC in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International
Affairs (SAIIA), p. 26.
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88
In intra-regional terms, trade volumes increased significantly as indicated in Table 4. For
instance, Brazil's imports from its Mercosur partners in 1980 were achieved within a month or
two in 1997 (see Table 5). Despite these achievements, Mercosur has been criticised by some
observers, including the World Bank, that while intra-Mercosur trade grew, such trade came
from sectors in which Mercosur members are not internationally competitive. The critics
further argue that the internal free market turns Mercosur into a ‘fortress’ that deters its
members from investing in their most efficient and internationally competitive industries.57
Besides, the group still seems not immune to problems largely traceable to hegemonic
rivalries of the past. For instance, Argentina and Brazil are occasionally confronting each
other about issues pertaining to the design and especially interpretation and implementation of
agreements.
One sensitive trade area concerns the automotive industry with Argentina
exporting about 30 per cent of vehicle production to Brazil while the latter exports only 7-8
per cent to the former.58 Another thorny issue concerns the different exchange rate regimes
between the two countries. Argentina continues to rigidly peg its currency to the US dollar,
while Brazil decided in January 1999 to let its currency float and subsequently devalue it.
Trade within the group fell by about 30 per cent in 1999 as Argentina reacted by restricting
the influx of cheap imports from Brazil. These tensions demonstrated the inadequacy of
conflict resolution and management mechanisms within the group.59
Thus, Mercosur’s
macro-economic policies are still in a constant state of flux, but it has achieved much more
stability and predictability than, for instance, within SADC.
8.
CONCLUSION
The establishment of Mercosur, as discussed in this chapter, was a direct result of inescapable
factors that are dominating the international system even today. Numerous attempts had
previously been made to establish Mercosur, but all to no avail. This could be attributed to
various factors, including the dominant role of the military in many South American countries
and the myopic inward-looking policies of reigning regimes. With the advent of democracy
in these countries, national interests and national security, as opposed to regime security,
became a more inclusive process requiring national consensus. Furthermore, numerous other
regional organisations had emerged, thus necessitating a review of extremely nationalist and
protectionist policies which characterised most of South American governments’ psyches at
the time. The perennial fear of the resurgence of traditional hegemonic rivalries and sporadic
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89
border disputes had diminished and a new democratic leadership had emerged. Thus, it could
be concluded that the establishment of Mercosur or a similar organisation was inevitable.
However, the conceptualisation of Mercosur shows that it had undergone numerous iterations
before it took the form that it eventually did. Unlike the EU, the constituting member states
decided to pursue an ‘open regionalism’ model in spite of their vulnerability to being
swamped by cheap and subsidised EU agricultural and other products. Membership was
deliberately limited to four with the possibility of expansion after a certain measure of
maturity had been achieved. This is contrary to the approach followed by such sub-regional
organisations as SADC and ASEAN. The institutional structure was also designed in a
manner that was flexible enough to allow for leeway in negotiating with extra-regional
countries.
However, there appears to be a weakness regarding especially conflict
management and resolution mechanisms.
Since its inception, Mercosur has achieved relatively great success, particularly with regard to
intra-regional trade. It is noteworthy that Brazil, and, to a lesser extent Argentina, plays a
pivotal role in ensuring success of the group. As a group, Mercosur presents an incredibly
large export market and an ideal strategic partner for South Africa’s quest for especially
human security for all in the SADC sub-region. As was indicated in the previous chapter,
human security is premised on the satisfaction of basic human needs, protection of human
rights and the centrality of individuals (or citizens) in the government's national security
equation.
As will be seen in the next chapter on the socio-economic aspects of security regarding South
Africa's relations with the Mercosur countries, the primary objective of most of the post-Cold
War collaborative efforts are geared towards ensuring favourable economic development and
mutual trade enhancement.
The basis for this approach is the maximisation of socio-
economic benefits accruing to co-operating states and the minimisation of potential risks that
could dampen investor confidence. With the demise of the bipolarity in world politics which
characterised the post-WW II international system, states, including South Africa, pursue
trade relations at both bilateral and multilateral levels. A sectoral approach to security 
military, economic, political, environmental  as identified by Buzan, necessitates
complementing multilateral arrangements with bilateral ones.
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90
In analysing the rationale and feasibility of co-operation on socio-economic issues between
South Africa and the Mercosur countries, the next chapter looks at the quest for human
security as predicated on development and freedom from fear of hunger, violence,
environmental degradation and nuclear disasters of cataclysmic proportions. To achieve all
these, South Africa has to engage its neighbours across the Atlantic Ocean, not so much with
a view to ensuring national security in its Westphalian sense, but as a concerted effort aimed
at achieving human security as well.
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91
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1
Papp, D.S.
1992.
Contemporary International Relations: Framework for Understanding, Third
Edition. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, pp. 101-102.
2
Calvert, P. 1994. The International Politics of Latin America. Manchester: Manchester University
Press, p. 41
3
Hirst, M. "The Foreign Policy of Brazil: From the Democratic Transition to Its Consolidation", in
Muñoz, H. and Tulchin, J.S. (eds.) 1996. Latin American Nations in World Politics. Boulder:
Westview Press, p. 199.
4
Calvert, P. op cit, pp. 54-55.
5
Ibid. pp. 43, 55.
6
Kegley, C.W. and Wittkopf, E.R. 1993. World Politics: Trends and Transformation. New York: St.
Martin’s Press, pp. 180-181.
7
LATFA/ALALC consisted of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Bolivia
and Venezuela joined the association in 1966 and 1967 respectively.
8
Calvert, P. op cit, p. 24.
9
The Council of Arab Economic Unity members are Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, the Palestine
Liberation Organisation (PLO), Somalia, Sudan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
10
The ASEAN members are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
11
CARICOM members were: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada,
Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad
and Tobago.
12
ECOWAS members are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,
Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
13
Calvert, P. op cit, p. 24.
14
SADCC members were: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania,
Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
15
ALADI members are: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru,
Uruguay, and Venezuela.
16
www.iadb.or/int/intpub/nota/aladi.htm.
17
The members of SAARC were: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
18
Kegley, C.W. and Wittkopf, E.R. op cit, p. 188.
19
Calvert, P. op cit, pp. 75-76.
20
Ibid. p. 41.
21
Ibid. pp. 9-10.
22
Muñoz, H. “Collective Action for Democracy in the Americas”, in Muñoz, H. and Tulchin, J.S. (eds.)
1996, op cit, p. 19.
23
Inter-American Conference for the Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security, signed on 9
February 1947, at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
24
92
Atkins, G.P. 1995. Latin America in the International Political System, Third Edition. Boulder:
Westview Press, p. 40.
25
Organisation of American States (OAS) General Secretariat. 1997. Charter of the Organization of
American States, as amended by the following protocols: Protocol of Buenos Aires, signed on February
27, 1967, at the Third Special Inter-American Conference; Protocol of Cartagena de Indias, approved on
December 5, 1985, at the Fourteenth Special Session of the General Assembly; Protocol of Washington,
approved on December 14, 1992, at the Sixteenth Special Session of the General Assembly; and Protocol
of Managua, adopted on June 10, 1993, at the Nineteenth Special Session of the General Assembly.
26
Ibid.
27
Muñoz, H. op cit, pp. 17-18.
28
OAS General Secretariat. OAS Resolution 1080 on “Representative Democracy,” Twenty-first General
Assembly of the Organization of American States, Santiago, Chile, June 1991.
29
OAS General Secretariat. Protocol of Washington, approved on 14 December 1992, at the Sixteenth
Special Session of the General Assembly, Washington, D.C., United States of America.
30
Tulchin, J.S. “Continuity and Change in Argentine Foreign Policy”, in Muñoz, H. and Tulchin, J.S.
(eds.) op cit, pp. 165-167.
31
Hirst, M, in Muñoz, H. and Tulchin, J.S. (eds.) 1996 op cit, pp. 202-203.
32
Singer, P. “Globalization: What is all about?”, in Guimarães, S.P. (ed.) 1996. South Africa and
Brazil: Risks and Opportunities in the Turmoil of Globalisation. Rio de Janeiro: International Relations
Research Institute, p. 429.
33
Ibid, p. 430.
34
Ibid, p. 431.
35
Viejobueno, S.A.M. 1995. Mercosur: A Decisive Step Towards South American Economic Revival.
Occasional Paper No. 10, Pretoria, November, Unisa Centre for Latin American Studies, pp. 18-20. See
also Pereira, L.V.
“Toward Common Market of the South: Mercosur’s Origins, Evolution, and
Challenges”, in Roett, R. (ed.) 1999. Mercosur: Regional Integration, World Markets. Boulder:
Lynne Rienner Publishers, p. 8.
36
Viejobueno, S.A.M, op cit, pp. 19-21.
37
Pereira, L.V. op cit, p. 8.
38
Viejobueno, S.A.M. op cit, p. 23.
39
Hirst, M, in Muñoz, H. and Tulchin, J.S. (eds.) 1996, op cit, p. 213. See also Viejobueno, S.A.M, op cit,
p. 25 and Pereira, L.V. op cit, p. 9.
40
Treaty of Asunción signed on 26 March 1991 in Asunción, Paraguay. Member countries: Argentina,
Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
41
Heine, J. "South-South Relations After the Cold War". A presentation made by the Ambassador of Chile
to the Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly, South African Parliament. Cape Town, 7 June
1995.
42
Viejobueno, S.A.M. 1995. op cit, p. 4.
43
Zacarias, A.
1999.
"From Closed to Open Regionalism", in Mills, G. and Mutschler, C.
(eds.)
Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin America & SADC in Southern Africa.
University of Pretoria etd – Khyanyile, M B (2003)
93
Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), p. 69. See also Rosselli, E. 1999.
"Mercosur's External Agenda", in Mills, G. and Mutschler, C. (eds.) op cit, p. 131.
44
Cleary, S. 1998. “Mercosul’s Experience: Implications for the SADC.” South African Journal of
International Affairs, Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer, p. 55.
45
"Farmers Oppose Free Trade". NAFTA & Inter-American Trade Monitor, Vol. 3, No. 7, April 5, 1996.
46
Treaty of Asunción of 26 March 1991. op cit.
47
Ibid.
48
www.mercopress.com. 22 November 2000.
49
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 1996. "Chile and Mercosur Sign Pact." NAFTA & InterAmerican Trade Monitor, Vol. 3, No. 13, July 12. See also www.demon.co.uk/Itamaraty/artig6.html.
50
www.demon.co.uk/Itamarty/artig6.html. op cit.
51
Ibid.
52
Barber, J. “Regional Co-operation and Integration: South Africa, the Southern African Development
Community (SADC) and Mercado Comun del Sur (Mercosur)”, in Guimarães, S.P. (ed.) 1996, op cit,
p. 340.
53
www.demon.co.uk/Itamarty/artig6.html. op cit.
54
Protocol of Ouro Preto signed by the Mercosur member states at the city of Ouro Preto, Federative
Republic of Brazil, on 17 December 1994.
55
Krasno, J. "Brazil", in Chase, R.; Hill, E. and Kennedy, P. (eds.) 1999. The Pivotal States: A
Framework for U.S. Policy in the Developing World. London: W.W. Norton & Company, pp. 165-168.
56
Cleary, S. 1998. op cit. p. 53
57
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 1996. "Mercosur Fights Back". NAFTA & Inter-American
Trade Monitor, 13 December.
58
The Star (Johannesburg), 7 December 1999.
59
De Souza, A. 2000. “Lessons from Patagonia.” Finance Week, 7 April, p. 23.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
94
CHAPTER THREE
SOUTH AFRICA, SADC AND MERCOSUR: SOCIO-ECONOMIC
CO-OPERATION AND SECURITY
1.
INTRODUCTION
One of the salient features of the second half of the twentieth century has been the ascendance
of socio-economic issues in international relations. Through these issues states rewarded their
allies (in the form of preferential access to their markets, most-favoured nation status, easy
credit loans, and so forth) and 'punished' their enemies (through excessive tariff and non-tariff
barriers). Prior to, but especially after WW II, the globe was divided into two hostile
economic systems, namely, the capitalist bloc and the socialist bloc, led respectively by the
US and the former Soviet Union. States from both camps had to ensure a free flow of
essential raw materials and goods required for the military industrial complex. High on the
priority list were strategic resources such as oil, plutonium, uranium and gold. The attempts
to keep the supply lines open created tensions. These socio-economic tensions induced by the
imperative of maintaining large military industries, persisted until the late 1980s during the
demise of the former Soviet Union.
Consequently, the focus changed from ensuring
economic growth with a view to financing massive defence spending, to that of increasing
social spending. However, the protection of links and routes for transporting essential goods
and services remain crucial for all countries, given the threat posed by rogue states, and pirate
and terrorist groups.1
Regional co-operation and/or integration defy a single definition, but both concepts are
characterised by the desire to improve the welfare of parties by eradicating all or most forms
of restrictions on interaction and co-operation. Conceptually there is a fundamental, but
increasingly blurred, difference between integration and co-operation between states.
Generally, it is assumed that the natural progression process, especially among contiguous
states, is that co-operation should lead to integration. But this is not necessarily always the
case. According to Barber,2 co-operation refers to an “agreement between governments to act
jointly for specific ends, and usually does not involve the creation of a regional structure or
institutions.”
Unlike co-operation, integration involves the transfer of elements of
sovereignty to a regional organisation. As a general rule, closer economic co-operation
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
95
engenders mutual economic development, thus bringing about increased income and
efficiency, improved political stability in the region and strengthens the bargaining power of
members in multilateral forums. Throughout this discussion, 'economic integration' will be
seen as referring to "the process of reducing or eliminating the economic significance of
national boundaries within a geographic area, namely, the treatment of hitherto separate
economic units as a single economic area."3 It should be noted that economic integration is
normally facilitated by many factors, including political, military and strategic considerations.
For instance, the European Union idea originated from those unique historical, geopolitical
and economic circumstances of Western Europe. Similarly, NAFTA, comprising the US,
Canada and Mexico, has implications and arrangements that go way beyond strictly economic
issues. Through NAFTA, member states are able to deal with security threats such as drugtrafficking, illegal immigration and the environment.4
Relations between South Africa and the countries of the Mercosur group fall largely in the
realm of co-operation in socio-economic matters with a view to improving the living
standards of their citizenry. This chapter discusses co-operation within the context of South
Africa's relations with the Mercosur group, state-to-state interaction (namely, South Africa's
relations with individual countries) and, lastly, it analyses the potential impact of such
relations on the Southern African sub-region or the SADC of which South Africa is a
member. The common thread running through the analysis is based on the expanded notion
of economic security as discussed in Chapter 1. However, the emphasis is on socio-economic
relations and the potential impact this may have on security.
2.
SOUTH-SOUTH RELATIONS
Since the establishment of Mercosur and the advent of democracy in South Africa there have
been increased efforts to cement ties across the South Atlantic region. Unlike in the past
where the most glaring feature of international affairs was East-West confrontation, the
rallying point in the post-Cold War scenario was the promotion of South-South co-operation.
The economic polarisation of the globe into 'First' World (the rich industrialised countries of
the North), 'Second' World (the state socialism of Central and Eastern Europe) and 'Third'
World (the poor, developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America) became
inappropriate when the 'Second' World collapsed. Consequently, the North-South divide
became the new main fault-line characterising international affairs.
It was against this
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
96
background that post-apartheid South Africa, like many other countries in the region, sought
to strengthen economic, political and other forms of co-operation within the context of SouthSouth relations.
Historically, co-operation among the countries of the South has not been particularly good.
The watershed in South-South relations, according to the Jorge Heine, the former Chilean
Ambassador to South Africa up to 1995, was the 1973 oil shock, and the “New International
Economic Order” (NIEO) became the buzzword.5 Rich countries of the North realised the
magnitude of potential disruption that collective action by some Third World oil-producing
countries could have on their global industrial output. The seriousness with which NorthSouth issues were taken, in the aftermath of the oil shock, in international forums dwindled to
negligible levels by the late 1980s.
Despite the relative loss of strategic value of the
developing countries following the demise of the former Soviet Union, there were already
indications that some of that lost value could be recovered in the socio-economic realm. By
1995 the US had already identified ten countries as emerging markets that are critical for the
world economy for the period ending in 2005. These countries are: Greater China (the
Peoples' Republic of China plus Taiwan and Hong Kong), South Korea, India, Indonesia,
Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, South Africa, Poland and Russia. It was further speculated that
the combined exports of these countries would exceed those of Japan and the European Union
by the year 2005.6 It is notable that two of these countries are from the Mercosur group
(Argentina and Brazil) and only one from Africa  South Africa.
3.
SOUTH
AFRICA’S
SOCIO-ECONOMIC
RELATIONS
WITH
THE
MERCOSUR COUNTRIES AND SECURITY IMPLICATIONS
With the ascendancy of socio-economic issues topping international agendas, it is imperative
that individual countries identify strategic partners both at bilateral and multilateral levels.
While it could be argued that the investors, especially in the form of multi-national
corporations (MNCs), are generally pursuing profit targets and therefore would invest in any
country where that could be realised, the host country stands to benefit even more. Direct
investments ensure higher employment levels, increase the national tax base, improve a
country’s infrastructure, and the potential for political instability emanating from lack of
service delivery is vastly reduced. Thus it is crucial for all responsible governments to strike
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
97
valuable partnership and co-operation agreements with like-minded allies, as South Africa
sought to do with Mercosur.
3.1
SOUTH AFRICA’S OFFICIAL VIEWS ON CO-OPERATION WITH SOUTH
AMERICAN COUNTRIES PRIOR TO 1994
South Africa's quest for co-operation with its trans-Atlantic neighbours dates as far back as its
conceptualisation of the so-called 'outward movement' policy. That government policy was
geared towards gaining more acceptability from countries that had hitherto sidelined South
Africa due to the policy of apartheid. The first priority was to be southern Africa, then the
rest of Africa and lastly the rest of the world. It had become evident to the South African
government that military prowess had to be complemented with political (diplomatic) and
economic measures. To this effect, Dr Hilgard Muller, Minister of Foreign Affairs (19651977), identified South America in 1968, particularly Brazil and Argentina, as potential
strategic partners.
South Africa was at that stage experiencing tumultuous times in its
political history as the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan-Africanist Congress
(PAC) had just been banned (following the Sharpville events and other anti-government
activities) and the UN had also adopted resolutions calling for economic and diplomatic
sanctions against South Africa.7 The arms embargo imposed on South Africa in 1963 on a
voluntary basis was made mandatory in 1977. Nuclear arms deals were also specifically
proscribed.8 The South African government treated information on the impact of economic
sanctions on the country with utmost secrecy. When the issue of the impact of sanctions was
raised on 12 March 1965 for the first time in parliament by E.G. Malan, Member of
Parliament (MP), there was total unease about the question. Malan asked the Minister of
Economic Affairs, Dr N. Diedericks:
"Whether any countries have refused (a) to buy products from South Africa and (b) to
sell products to South Africa since 1960; if so, which countries and products." He
further wanted to know "what was the total value of (a) imports from and (b) exports to
the countries concerned in (i) the last year preceding the refusal and (ii) the latest year
for which figures are available." 9
To these questions, the Minister of Economic Affairs answered as follows: "I do not regard it
in the national interest to furnish this information."10
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
98
Faced with all odds from the West, South Africa highlighted the strategic importance of the
Southern Hemisphere. The argument was based two fundamental realities. The first one was
aptly articulated by J.J. Engelbrecht, National Party (NP) MP for Algoa, during the debate in
the House of Assembly concerning concerted efforts to expand South Africa’s relations with
other countries. He indicated that the first 15 or 16 years since taking over the reigns of
power, the NP government had to concentrate on consolidating its position and to ‘sell’ and
defend the apartheid idea to the international community.
He equated South Africa’s
isolationism with that of the US which had lasted for many decades.11
The second reality was the apparent nuclear stalemate between the US and the former Soviet
Union, and the possibility that the latter would extend its manoeuvrings southwards. South
Africa contended that the Soviet forces would attempt to outflank the US by overrunning the
countries in the Southern Hemisphere, and South Africa was particularly vulnerable due to its
geostrategic position. To counter such a move by the Soviet Union, a Western-oriented
military alliance fashioned along the lines of the NATO was to be established and called the
South Atlantic Treaty Organisation (SATO). This alliance was to comprise Argentina, Brazil,
Australia and New Zealand. It was hoped that the US would extend its nuclear umbrella to
cover the alliance as well. The net effect of such a move would be to alleviate South Africa's
international isolation. Ironically, most South American geopoliticians also argued along
similar lines that should South Africa fall under the Communist strategic umbrella, the
Communist government would have access to the Indian Ocean, South Atlantic and one of the
most strategic routes around the Cape of Good Hope.12
Even though the alliance idea never came to fruition (or at least, it was never publicly
announced to exist), the 'outward movement' policy helped improve South Africa's
acceptability in South America. By mid-1960, South Africa was already interacting with
some South American countries within specialised strategic clubs such as the Satellite
Communications Agreement which involved the US and other countries. While from South
America only Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia were invited to become members, from
Africa it was only South Africa.13 The main considerations for admitting South Africa to the
group, despite its suspension in the UN, were its technical expertise and geostrategic position.
Having been a South African ambassador in London where he got to interact with a number
of South American diplomatic representatives, Dr Hilgard Muller, paid official visits to
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99
Brazil, El Salvador, Paraguay and Uruguay on 8-30 July 1966 – the countries which, except
for El Salvador, later formed the Mercosur group. The primary objective of such visits, as Dr
Muller declared, was to implement the Department of Foreign Affairs’ policy of personal
visits to friendly countries and to ensure contact at government level with such countries.14
There was a realisation that these political initiatives had to be augmented with economic
ones as well.
By the late 1960s it had become evident that South Africa's isolation by the international
community was going to be exacerbated by the protectionist policies of the then European
Economic Community (EEC). Africa's lack of buying power of manufactured products
compounded the problem. Thus, the South African government undertook a number of
initiatives to stimulate trans-Atlantic trade flows. These included the following:
•
In 1968, the state bought bonds issued by the Inter-American Development Bank
to enable South African firms to tender for development projects financed by the
bank.
•
Latin American governments were offered export credits through the Credit
Guarantee Insurance Corporation (CGIC), while the Industrial Development
Corporation (IDC) provided assistance in the financing of projects for exporters.
•
Participation by South African companies in international trade fairs in Latin
America was facilitated by South African state officials.
•
State assistance was provided to improve air, shipping and telecommunication
links between South Africa and Latin America.
•
Diplomatic contact with Latin America was expanded through official visits and
the establishment of new missions.15
South American countries and South Africa, through the Minister of Economic Affairs, J.
Haak, criticised the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rules, as the latter
favoured the industrialised North to the detriment of the poor South. Thus South Africa
joined the proponents of the NIEO even though the former was regarded as an international
pariah state due to its political system.16 Viewed in this perspective, it is evident that South
Africa's decision to engage South American countries, including those that later formed
Mercosur, was prompted by threats to its broad national security.
Factors such as the
shrinking local market base, increasing international isolation and lack of buying power of
African states, all collectively conspired to threaten South Africa's economic security.
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100
Despite the above arguments indicating the involvement of South Africa in South America,
such involvement, especially on the diplomatic and economic fronts, remained
underdeveloped and subdued owing to the country’s internal political system which was
viewed by the international community with extreme abomination. Ironically, the only real
military threat that ever confronted South Africa came from Cuba. The former South African
Defence Force (SADF) faced the wrath of Cuban forces, which, at the height of the South
Africa-Angola War (or the so-called ‘Border War’) peaked at 50 000 soldiers. As a region,
South America as a whole did not have a common approach towards South Africa prior to
1994. Some even undermined the UN Resolutions to which they were party by secretly
engaging in economic and even military interaction with South Africa. For instance, for the
period 1966-1972, between 60 and 70 per cent of South Africa's total trade with South
America consisted of imports. The average total trade per year for the said period amounted
to a meagre R28 million, namely, R18 million in imports and R10 million in exports. By
1985 this pattern had changed as South Africa was importing R444 million of goods from
South America.17 It is notable that this increase in trade volume between South Africa and
South America coincided with the height of international sanctions and disinvestment
campaigns against the former. The long-standing South African government position towards
South America was that an investment in South America would be to South Africa’s
advantage, not only in terms of economic development for the country but also to gain the
favour of these countries so that they would support South Africa during the UN’s debates on
issues pertaining to South Africa. This was particularly important as the South American
countries normally voted as a bloc and therefore South Africa’s approach had to encompass
the whole region.18
However, such support from the South American countries would not be sufficient, especially
if the immediate neighbourhood was still extremely hostile. Thus, during the debate in
Parliament on 27 March 1968, it was decided that South Africa would have to invest heavily
in the friendly states in Africa, and that such investment should be in the form of loans at low
interest rates and supporting viable development projects. Legislation was enacted creating a
Loan Fund for the Promotion of Economic Co-operation. To this effect, an amount of R5
million, which was a budget surplus for the 1967-1968 financial year, was set aside for that
purpose.19 South Africa’s overall trade over the period 1957-1967 had grown by only half a
per cent.20 In 1968 South Africa’s imports from Africa amounted to R128 million, while
exports were R248 million. In that specific year, trade with Africa, in value terms, surpassed
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101
that of trade with Asia, North and South America. Exports to the whole of Asia were worth
R235 million, while to North and South America, exports amounted to R137 million.21
Another more pressing issue which forced South Africa to heed the necessity of strengthening
ties with its neighbourhood, was the increased expansion of communist presence in Africa.
By March 1971, the Chinese and the Russians already had 10 000 technical advisors in Africa
with a view to helping African countries recover from economic difficulties. At the same
time, more than 15 000 African students were being trained in China and Russia. At that
time, the main beneficiaries of communist involvement were Guinea, Burundi, CongoBrazzaville, Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania. There were growing fears that the take-over of
government by the communist-trained liberation movements in these countries would be
replicated further south as a successful model.22 It was therefore crucial for South Africa to
create a cordon sanitaire by supporting countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia and
Botswana which would serve as growth points for a safe zone.23 Thus South Africa sought to
ensure its own national security by countering the economic insecurity of its immediate
neighbours and those across the South Atlantic.
The suspension of South Africa’s membership of the UN General Assembly was a coup de
grâce in the history of its international relations. South Africa’s Ambassador to the UN was
recalled on 17 November 1974.24 The suspension constituted the ultimate rejection of the
country’s political system and made it extremely difficult to conduct open international
relations with other countries without such countries suffering collateral damage due to their
association with a pariah state. Thus it was a costly enterprise, both in diplomatic, financial
and security terms. Diplomatically, South Africa lost most of its existing and potential allies.
Financially, by March 1976 – after nearly 30 years of UN membership, South Africa had
already paid a total amount of R10 198 739,26 into the UN coffers. In addition to making
contributions in support of specific UN operations such as the Task Force in the Middle East
(UN Emergency Force - UNEF and UN Disengagement Observer Force - UNDOF), South
Africa also made voluntary contributions to UN subsidiary organisations such as the UN
Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).25 In the
security arena, South Africa suddenly could not openly declare some allies while the line
between its traditional foes and potential new allies became blurred. This caused much
unease and a sense of insecurity which only a change in the political system could resolve.
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3.2
102
THE END OF SOUTH AFRICA'S PARIAH STATUS AND THE BEGINNING OF A
NEW ERA
The advent of democracy in South Africa changed the international pariah status, thus
ushering in a new era in the trans-Atlantic relations in the Southern cone. Marking this
change in status were high-level state visits by senior government officials. The first visit to
the Mercosur countries by a democratically-elected South African President was by Nelson
Mandela when he was invited to address the Mercosur Heads of State Summit on 24 July
1998. He was the first head of state from outside Mercosur to be invited to address the
Summit. In his address he emphasised the existence of "new conditions" which prevailed on
both sides of the Atlantic.
Having visited other regional organisations such as the
Organisation of African Unity (OAU), the EU, the Caribbean Community and Common
Market (CCCM), concluding with Mercosur, Mandela lamented the limited achievements of
humanity in striving for peace and development, especially in the developing countries.
Complimenting the efforts made by nations to ensure human security during the last decade of
the twentieth century, he singled out the nations' determination to "pool their sovereignty in
order to achieve together what cannot be achieved separately."26 In this way, he was calling
for states not to over-emphasise their sovereignty but to view security, economic growth and
prosperity for their citizens as primary objectives of any government that is responsive to the
citizens’ needs.
According to Mandela, socio-economic co-operation would help strengthen the South and
also form the basis for advancing a mutually beneficial partnership with the North. Through
co-operation states would be able to face up to the challenges of development and peace
which are beyond the capacity of one nation to tackle alone. He further highlighted South
Africa's geostrategic position, which he thought has a potential of being a bridgehead between
South America, East Asia and Africa.27 Being the first speech by a South African head of
state in South America since the advent of democracy in South Africa, it is notable that he
dedicated a substantial portion of his speech to socio-economic, peace and security issues.
This could have been the laying of a foundation for future co-operation on security issues that
transcend national borders such as combating piracy at sea; narco-trafficking and abuse of the
environment through nuclear testing and global warming. The other countries which have
entered into almost similar bilateral arrangements of co-operation with Mercosur include
Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US. While these agreements are largely focused on
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103
socio-economic co-operation, they also recognise the undeniable fact there can be no
development without peace and security, thus hinting at the inconclusive nature of issues still
to be covered in the future.28
With Mercosur being the world’s fastest growing trading bloc and the world’s third largest
customs union, after NAFTA and the EU, the benefits that would accrue to South Africa for
associating itself with such a giant are only too conspicuous to ignore. It is against this
background that South Africa is attempting to secure a free trade agreement with Mercosur,
almost along the same lines as the one with the EU which came into effect in January 2000.29
However, South Africa will first have to become an associate member, like Bolivia and Chile.
This could take a long time to materialise because of various factors, including different tariff
structures and the question of incorporating SADC’s interests in the agreement as well.30
The trade relations between South Africa and Mercosur have increased quite substantially
since 1995. While the trade balance remains in favour of the Mercosur countries, particularly
due to the disproportionate influence of Argentina and Brazil in the group, exports to, and
imports from, the Mercosur group have grown since 1995 till 1997 by about 21.9 per cent and
20.4 per cent, respectively. If the associate members (Bolivia and Chile) are considered, the
trade volume in exports and imports increases over the same period by 18.5 per cent and 20.9
per cent, respectively. However, the 1998 Asian crisis in financial markets wreaked havoc on
Brazil and Argentina, the main trade partners in Mercosur. Consequently, there was a slump
in trade volumes as from 1998 to 1999 (see Table 6). Compared with the 1997 figures, this
decline in trade volume represents 12.9 per cent and 23.4 per cent less than the 1997 figures
for imports and exports, respectively.
Table 6:
SOUTH AFRICA’S TRADE TIES WITH THE MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
Country
1997
1998
Exports
(Rm)
Imports
(Rm)
1999
Exports
(Rm)
Imports
(Rm)
Exports
(Rm)
Imports
(Rm)
Argentina
1 260.0
467.0
1 153.3
560.2
1 121.4
457.7
Brazil
Paraguay
Uruguay
1 500.0
9.0
57.2
1 391.0
54.9
39.0
1 272.3
17.6
41.6
1 088.3
65.1
113.2
1 376.1
15.5
35.4
947.5
33.1
51.4
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
MERCOSUR
2 826.2
1 951.9
2 484.8
TOTAL
(-12.1%)
Bolivia*
1.6
9.5
0.5
Chile*
247.0
263.1
149.4
GRAND
3 074.8
2 224.5
2 634.7
TOTAL
(-14.3%)
* Denotes ‘associate members of Mercosur’
1 826.8
(-6.4%)
4.1
291.2
2 122.1
(-4.6%)
104
2 548.4
(-9.8%)
1.0
129.9
2 679.3
(-12.9%)
1 489.7
(-23.7%)
1.1
213.2
1 704.0
(-23.4%)
(%) Denotes decline in imports and exports since 1997.
Source:
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). 2000. South African Yearbook of
International Affairs, 2000/01. Johannesburg: SAIIA.
Foreign direct investment by the Mercosur countries in South Africa, and vice versa, gives a
clear picture of mutual recognition and the need for closer co-operation (see Table 7). These
investments are still largely in the indirect sphere, meaning they would use South Africa as a
launch-pad to pursue their interests in the neighbouring countries. However, owing to South
Africa’s commitment to regional development, such indirect investments have positive spinoffs for the country as well, such as keeping economic migrants away, and creating viable
markets for South African goods and services.
Table 7:
FOREIGN INVESTMENT BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE
MERCOSUR, 1996 (US$m)
SA Investment in Mercosur
Mercosur Investment in SA
Direct
Non-Direct
Total
Direct
Non-Direct
Total
Argentina
-
10
10
-
3
3
Brazil
-
9
9
1
6
7
Paraguay
-
1
1
-
1
1
Uruguay
-
-
-
-
1
1
Total
-
20
20
1
11
12
Source:
Mills, G. & Mutschler, C. (eds.) 1999. Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin
America & SADC in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: The South African Institute for
International Affairs (SAIIA).
Since former President Mandela's visit to South America, which culminated in his address to
the Mercosur summit, there have been frequent exchanges of high-level delegations by South
Africa and Mercosur members. His successor, President Thabo Mbeki, was also invited to
address the Mercosur summit on 15 December 2000. Like his predecessor, President Mbeki
emphasised the importance of building and strengthening the strategic alliance between the
two entities. Unlike his predecessor, Mbeki viewed such a partnership between South Africa
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and the Mercosur countries in the context of South-South relations and the need to exert
pressure on the North to accept responsibility for some of the socio-economic ills that are
being experienced by the South. To this effect he called for solidarity in the attempt to
restructure the world economic order. He posited that this would be done through negotiating
for the rebalancing of world trade agreements and international financial systems that are
tilted in favour of the North. Like Mandela, but in a much more explicit manner, Mbeki
indicated that trans-Atlantic co-operation should not be viewed as being limited to trade and
investment issues only, but as including such crucial aspects as conflict resolution and
prevention, peacekeeping operations, namely, the security dimension; and the reform of
international institutions of governance like the UN.31
3.3
RELATIONS WITH INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES
Despite the discrepancy in the manner in which South American countries dealt with South
Africa, especially prior to 1994, an analysis of relations of individual countries now
constituting Mercosur with South Africa, reveals a selective approach. Put differently, while
denouncing South Africa’s internal political system, most countries in South America
changed their foreign policies in respect of South Africa in accordance with their immediate
national interests. Similarly, South Africa’s relations with the individual countries have
evolved in a chequered manner, namely, its foreign policy towards these countries vacillated
from friendship to mild animosity as the situation dictated at the time.32
3.3.1 Argentina
The relations between South Africa and Argentina can be traced back to the arrival in
Argentina of three groups of white Afrikaans-speaking people  called Boers  between
1902 and 1905. It was just after the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) that these groups settled in
Comodoro Rivadavia, Chubut Province in Patagonia. Ever since their migration to Argentina,
the Boer community has multiplied and continues to practise their South African cultures,
including speaking Afrikaans.
In 1960 the South African government established an
Honorary Consulate in Comodoro Rivadavia. This community's contribution to the economic
and military security of Argentina has been significant since its arrival. They are even said to
have participated in the Falklands/Malvinas War of 1982 on the side of Argentina against the
British.33
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The foundation established by these socio-economic and cultural ties between South Africa
and Argentina, was never solid and the relations have since the 1960s been marred by the
inconsistency caused by successive military governments in Argentina. As Tulchin34 aptly
puts it, “Argentina … changed foreign policies and its posture on international issues more
frequently than Diego Maradona scored goals.” The imports from Argentina as a percentage
of the total imports from South America for the period 1966-1985 averaged about 18 per cent
per year.35 However, as Table 6 indicates, by 1997 South Africa’s exports to Argentina stood
at R1 260 million and imports R467 million, thus representing a 16.1 per cent and 12.2 per
cent increase from 1995. In 1997 Argentina was South Africa’s 27th largest export market,
while South Africa was Argentina’s 21st largest export destination.36
When Raúl Alfonsín became President of Argentina on 10 December 1983, one of his
priorities was to position the country in the international arena. To this effect he severed
diplomatic ties with South Africa in 1986. This was due to latter’s internal political situation
and international pariah status. President Alfonsín was keen to win greater international
acceptability and is said to have aspired to become the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement
(NAM). Thus he concluded that winning the hearts of the Third World countries would
require that he ostracised South Africa. Furthermore, disengaging from South Africa would
not only help endear him (and Argentina) in the eyes of the international community but
would also ensure support (in the form of votes) at the UN, especially with regard to the
Falklands/Malvinas question. However, President Carlos Saúl Menem reversed this situation
when he took power in July 1989. President Menem deemed the severance of diplomatic
relations with South Africa a ‘political error’.
It was only in January 1992 that an
Argentinean ambassador presented his credentials to then President F.W. de Klerk.37 In this
way, one of Mercosur's economic giants had joined the international community in readmitting South Africa to the international fold as the latter’s internal political situation was
improving. Nelson Mandela, who later became president of South Africa, had just been
released, political parties had been unbanned, and a serious political dialogue was underway
in the form of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).
In a process which Leysens calls a "new outward movement", there is renewed enthusiasm in
cementing ties between South Africa and Argentina.38
This policy is predicated on
strengthening economic ties as the significance of the military has receded in both countries.
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Hampering these efforts have been the creation of trading blocs with strong protectionist
tendencies. While Mercosur was initially fairly protectionist in its approach, it has realised
that it cannot achieve much without involving countries in the South as well. There is also a
realisation that all the countries in the Global South occupy an inferior position in the pyramid
of nations in the global political economy, and also with regard to the four primary power
structures, namely, security, production, finance and knowledge.39
The democratisation processes in both Argentina and South Africa have borne fruit in many
respects. As in South Africa, the international community has accepted the irreversible nature
of democratic transition in Argentina and, accordingly, rewarded it with favourable terms for
the refinancing of foreign debt. International lending agencies have also acknowledged the
economic liberalisation taking place within Mercosur, especially Argentina, which is
complying with the renowned ‘good governance’ or ‘second-generation reform’
conditionality clauses. As a group, Mercosur has also introduced democracy as a prerequisite
for membership. These conditions help generate economic prosperity and reduce the socioeconomic plight of citizens, thus reducing the probability of returning to military or autocratic
rule.40
The need for a politically stable and economically growing democracy is illustrated by the
role of Brazil within the group in fostering relations across the South Atlantic sub-region.
During his visit to Argentina in July 1998, President Mandela witnessed the signing of a
number of agreements among the Mercosur member states which provided strategic lesson for
the Southern African sub-region generally, and South African in particular. However, the
most important of these agreements, from a global peace and democratic perspective, was the
Democratic Protocol of Ushuaia. The Protocol  popularly known as the Democratic Clause
 prohibits “the participation in the bloc by countries in which the constitutional order is
violated”.41 The signing of the Protocol was a culmination of the process initiated at the San
Luis Summit (in Argentina) in 1996, following General Lino Oviedo’s threat of carrying out a
coup d'tat against the democratically government of President Juan Carlos Wasmosy of
Paraguay. The Mercosur countries were unequivocal in condemning General Oviedo’s plans
and they stated that they would impose sanctions on Paraguay and its membership to
Mercosur would be terminated if he went ahead with the coup.42 It was only a few months
after the signing of the Protocol that it was put to test during the assassination of Paraguay’s
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Vice-President Luis Maria Argaña, in March 1999. At that stage the country was facing a real
possibility of a civil war when the Mercosur countries boldly and unflinchingly acted in
averting the imminent disaster. This resulted in the resignation of President Raúl Cubas after
he was implicated in the assassination and the subsequent installation of Luis González
Macchi as the new president.43
The signing of the Protocol happened while the then President of South Africa, Nelson
Mandela, was still in Argentina. During his visit he signed three bilateral agreements between
South Africa and the Mercosur countries, namely, on combating drug-trafficking; reciprocal
investment promotion and protection to encourage greater investment flows between the two
countries; and on consultations about ‘issues of common interest’. The other agreements
signed by the Mercosur countries during a similar occasion, excluding the Democratic
Protocol of Ushuaia, were the following:44
•
Consumer protection. In terms of this agreement, member states undertook to
abide by a single consumer protection code, particularly with regard to health
products, combating abusive clauses in contracts, and unfair competition.
•
Gaming laws. Member states undertook to conduct studies towards a common
rule for raffles, lotteries, competitions and telemarketing.
•
Services. Member states undertook to liberalise their markets and provide lists of
proposals for ‘united services’. This was to be done in a phased manner, namely,
according to each country’s level of readiness with regard to liberalisation.45
These agreements signal a higher degree of commitment to regional co-operation which is
still absent in the SADC. By becoming an associate member of Mercosur, South Africa
would be able to link up to these agreements in a manner that is tailor-made for its conditions,
especially taking cognisance of unique conditions and needs of Southern African countries.
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3.3.2 Brazil
The strategic value of Brazil to South Africa was recognised by both countries early in the
historical development of relations between the two. These relations were rooted in a number
of commonalities and some mutually complementary differences in their national characters
and natural resource endowment. However, as was the case with Argentina, the development
of diplomatic relations between the two countries has been characterised by numerous
hurdles, largely emanating from South Africa’s previous political system and unacceptable
racial policies.
3.3.2.1
Historical development of relations
There are striking commonalities between the historical development of the political systems
of Brazil and South Africa.
Both countries have experienced oppressive military or
securocratic rule. Large-scale violation of human rights characterised such rule in both states.
Some left-wing political parties were banned in South Africa and Brazil in 1960 and 1965,
respectively. With the transition to multi-party democracy, both countries benefited from the
visionary and reconciliatory leadership of Presidents Nelson Mandela and Fernando Henrique
Cardoso of South Africa and Brazil, respectively, both coincidentally elected in 1994.46
Given their bloody and divided past, both countries are still faced with a daunting task of
national reconciliation and nation-building. The gap between the rich and poor remains one
of the challenges facing the two countries.
Brazil’s Real Plan and South Africa’s
Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) and the Growth, Employment and
Redistribution (GEAR) strategy, seek to address these socio-economic concerns. Brazil’s
linguistic and historic ties with Mozambique and, especially, Angola, and the mining and oil
investments in the latter country, imply that South Africa and Brazil shared the concerns
about the previous lack of peace and security in Angola.47 Furthermore, both countries have a
dominant status in their respective sub-regions (or areas of influence), in economic and
military terms. They are also aspiring to greater political ambitions that include permanent
membership to the reformed UN Security Council of the future.48
The historical ties between Southern Africa and Brazil are even more intriguing in many
respects. Contrary to popular belief, Brazil made contact with Southern Africa even before
Jan van Riebeeck set foot in the Cape. Salvador de Sá, Governor of Rio de Janeiro, sailed
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from Brazil in 1648 to rescue Angola that was being attacked by the Dutch.
110
After a
successful mission he sailed back to Brazil. It was only four years later that Jan van Riebeeck
arrived in the Cape. Even more intriguing is the fact that Riebeeck’s father died in Brazil
during the Dutch occupation and was buried in Pernambuco.49
The slave trade that characterised the economic activities of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries was responsible for a great number of Blacks (Negroes) who eventually became
citizens of Brazil. The main sources of Negro slaves were Angola, the Kingdom of Congo
and Sudan. 50 In 1822, the newly independent Brazilian nation only had about four million
citizens. About 50 per cent of the citizens were slaves  both Brazilian-born slaves and
those from Africa. In 1835, in the city of Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia, about
26,5 per cent of the population were African slaves, 15,5 per cent Brazilian slaves, 7,1 per
cent freed African, and 22,7 per cent freed Black Brazilians.51
During the period after the Anglo-Boer War up to 1922, trade relations between South Africa
and Brazil were still mired in a controversy that largely emanated from General C.J. Smuts’s
negative perception of Brazil. The Brazilian government sent a cable message dated 16
January 1922 to General Smuts in connection with trade links. The Secretary to the Prime
Minister of South Africa wrote to Owen Smith, the Commissioner of Customs and Excise
(Cape Town), suggesting that a cable message be published detailing Brazil-South Africa
trade relations. Dr Marais, South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, wrote to General
Smuts informing him of the situation. For reasons known only to himself, General Smuts was
not in favour of the appointment of a Consul-General representing Brazil in Cape Town. He
therefore suggested in a telegram (dated 23 January 1922) that Dr Marais should not
‘sanction’ the appointment of such a Consul-General. Unfortunately, by that time a certain
Senhor Paulo Semoro had already been appointed by the Brazilian government more than two
years before (that is before 1920), but he had not yet assumed office, pending confirmation
from the South African government. At that stage, H.W. Blackburn, who was already in Cape
Town, continued to exercise the functions of Consul of Brazil, albeit informally.
The
international practice was (and still is) that appointments are made by the foreign government
concerned and were only to be accepted by the Union government in this case.52 From
correspondence between General Smuts and his ministers, it appears that the former was not
in favour of the appointment of any person or Consul-General from Brazil. While the Consul-
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General was eventually appointed to Cape Town, it is also not clear if General Smuts’s
reluctance to accept a Consul-General from Brazil was reflective of strained political relations
between the two countries at the time or whether it was based on other considerations.
However, being a renowned internationalist, it is possible that General Smuts viewed such
relations as premature or unsuitable for his plan at the time.
It was only in 1941 that South Africa started to vigorously pursue the process of appointing a
Consul in Brazil. On 4 July 1941 General Smuts, who was the South African Prime Minister
and Minister of External Affairs and of Defence, wrote to the British monarch requesting
permission to appoint James Alexander Chapman (a British subject) as the Union Consul in
Brazil to be based in Saõ Paulo and responsible for that region and other neighbouring
regions.
Chapman was eventually appointed as the Union Consul.53
The British
representatives in Saõ Paulo would work separately from the Union representative. Chapman,
who would still be subordinate to the British Ambassador in Brazil, would be responsible for
all Union needs except passport-related issues which would be referred to the British
representatives. Chapman remained the honorary Union Consul in Brazil until 1944 and was
re-appointed to the same position in 1947. The items most suitable for trade at the time from
South Africa were dried fruit, wines and feathers, and from Brazil were timber, coffee and
cocoa.54
It is undeniably true that despite the long historical ties between the two countries, Brazil’s
foreign policy has always been double-edged and ambiguous. On the one hand, Brazil
politically denounced South Africa’s political system of exclusion, but embraced trade
relations on the other. By 1967, the trade balance between the two countries was 14 to 1 in
Brazil’s favour. It was only in the same year that South Africa – as a republic – opened a
commercial office in Rio de Janeiro.55 Since then relations between the two countries grew
from strength to strength. Obviously, South Africa made more concessions to Brazil in
strengthening the ties than vice versa. For instance, South Africa was offering generous
bursaries for Brazilian students to study in South Africa. It was hoped that Brazil would
reciprocate in kind.56
Brazil’s foreign policy towards Africa has developed and matured over time. The Itamaraty
(Brazil’s Foreign Office) increasingly became determined to pursue its foreign policy towards
Africa, irrespective of negative sensitivities especially from Washington.
The apparent
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crumbling of the Portuguese colonial empire in the mid-1970s enabled Brazil to develop
strong diplomatic ties with Africa; improve links with oil-producing Arab countries; and also
to play a significant role in regional affairs.57 For Brazil the rationale for cementing ties with
Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, was based on the following interests:
•
An increase in trade relations involving, on a preferential basis, the barter of
manufactured products for raw materials, destined for use in the new Brazilian
industries, or the general expansion of all types of sales to new markets.
•
Defence of national economic interests in the competition between commodities,
notably coffee, cocoa, sugar, cotton, including an attempt to persuade the African
states which are associated with the European Common Market to establish
common preferential tariffs.
•
The encouragement of solidarity between developing countries to make it possible
to negotiate as a group with the developed countries, in order to reverse
unfavourable trade terms and gain other economic concessions claimed by the
Group of 77.
•
Preservation of the Portuguese language and culture in Africa, to serve as a
facilitating factor towards a future Brazilian presence on the African continent.
•
The growth of national prestige as a leader among developing countries, an
emerging medium power, utilising the projected image of a civilisation that is
pacific, multiracial, and a model of tropical industrialisation.
•
The exchange of technical know-how in fields such as nuclear energy, tropical
medicine, tropical agriculture, civil aviation, architecture and road construction.58
Viewed from the South African perspective these areas of interests are important and there is
a symbiotic relationship from which both states benefit.
3.3.2.2
Current relations
The current state of socio-economic relations between the two countries was initiated on 2
September 1991 when the Chairman of the Brazilian Group in Latin American Parliament,
Congressman Ney Lopes, proposed to the Congress that economic sanctions against South
Africa be lifted. He also proposed that a Brazilian Ambassador be appointed in Pretoria. He
argued that Brazil was going to lose out on the South African market as many other countries
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were lifting sanctions. President Fernando Collor de Mello subsequently visited South Africa
from 8 to 14 September 1991. Following Lopes’ advice, the Sarney Decree No. 91524 of 9
August 1985 was rescinded on 17 January 1992. In terms of that announcement by the
Brazilian government, normal “scientific, cultural and sporting links with South Africa”
would be resumed.59 The UN embargoes on arms and petroleum remained in place.
Despite the relative increase of trade links between Brazil and South Africa, the personality
factor has on numerous occasions almost derailed trans-Atlantic co-operation. For instance,
former President Collor threatened to delink Brazil from the Third World, arguing that "it is
better to be the last country of the First World than the first country in the Third."60 However,
this never happened and his successor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, strengthened socioeconomic and diplomatic ties with Africa. In fact, when South Africa was readmitted into the
international family of nations, it identified twelve strategic partners, one of which was Brazil
 the only one in South America.61
As from 1994, Brazil became South Africa's biggest trading partner in South America and one
of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. While the bilateral trade figures between Brazil
and South Africa reached R2 billion, by 1995 Brazil's share of South Africa's export market in
South America was already over 50 per cent. During the same year South Africa enjoyed a
trade surplus with Brazil, despite the sheer size and diversity of Brazilian economy  the
state of São Paulo has a GDP that is larger than that of the whole of South Africa.62
The visit of the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Luiz Felipe Lampreia, to South Africa in May
1995, paved the way for the later visit of President Cardoso which took place on 26
November 1996. Lampreia's brief was reportedly to conduct exploratory talks with South
Africa. Given the fact that South Africa would like to entrench and market its regionalist
foreign policy and has a strong European tradition, and that Brazil would like to be associated
positively with the Indian Ocean Rim, Lampreia was reportedly instructed to investigate how
Brazil could forge meaningful ties with South Africa with the possibility of extending such
ties to involve Mercosur and SADC.63 Of course, this was a mammoth task. When President
Cardoso eventually visited South Africa, he stated unequivocally that his visit was aimed at
strengthening socio-economic co-operation between the two countries. While the visit was
largely for economic purposes, Cardoso indicated that he also wanted to cement political ties.
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The kind of co-operation he sought with South Africa was to be in all fields of human
endeavour but particularly culture, air services and anti-drug trafficking.64 During his visit
the following agreements were finalised:
•
Bilateral Air Services Agreement.
•
Control of Narcotics Agreement.
•
Cultural Co-operation Agreement.
•
The exchange of Notes for the reciprocal lifting of visas for tourism and business
purposes for all categories of passports (not exceeding 90 days).
•
The Presidential Declaration between South Africa and Brazil.65
For the first time in the history of Brazil-South Africa relations, a career diplomat was
appointed as ambassador to South Africa in April 1996. Ambassador Otto A. Maia was
appointed with the rank of Under Secretary-General, the highest ever appointment to a
diplomatic post by Brazil to any African country.66
As already indicated, former President Mandela had reciprocated the visit in 1998 which
included the signing on 21 July 1998 of the so-called Mandela-Cardoso Memorandum of
Understanding Concerning Consultations on Issues of Common Interest. On 21 October
1998, a Declaration of Intent on Land Policy was signed between Brazil and South Africa.
The other agreements that were to receive attention were, inter alia, those concerning
Technical Co-operation; Avoidance of Double Taxation; and Promotion and Reciprocal
Protection of Investments.67
President Mandela's successor, Thabo Mbeki, also made a
follow-up visit to Brazil from 12-15 December 2000, which culminated in his address to the
Mercosur Heads of States Summit.
In their bilateral deliberations, the two presidents
concluded that both countries are facing almost similar circumstances and challenges. To this
effect they signed an agreement establishing a Joint Commission which would focus on the
following areas of interest: trade, investment, human resource development and health cooperation. This was viewed as a basis for integration of the economies of Mercosur and
South Africa.68 Other issues that enjoyed their attention included international security issues
such as drug-trafficking and the trade in small arms.69
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The symbiotic link between Brazil's involvement in South Africa and Southern Africa is
further accentuated because the latter is expected to maximally utilise the former's
involvement in the sub-region even if such involvement is not in South Africa. For instance,
the involvement of the two major Brazilian construction companies  Mendes Júnior and
Odebrecht  which built a huge Campanda hydroelectric plant in Angola in 1992, rely on
South Africa being prepared to consume substantial energy.
According to the former
Brazilian ambassador to Namibia in 1991, Mario Augusto Santos, it was envisaged that a
strong partnership involving Brazil, Angola, Namibia and South Africa would be established.
He further demonstrated South Africa's indispensability if Brazil is to become meaningfully
involved in the sub-region.70
3.3.3 Paraguay
Historically, political, economic and social relations between Paraguay and South Africa have
never been a priority for both countries. Like some South American countries, Paraguay
never severed political (diplomatic) and economic ties with South Africa, even at the height
of international condemnation of the southern African state. Various heads of state and senior
ranking officials from South Africa continued to pay official visits to Paraguay.71 This was
not a demonstration by South Africa of any intrinsic value that she attached to that country as
such, but because it enabled her to counter international isolation.
However, with the
formation of Mercosur, following the signing of the Treaty of Asunción in Asunción  the
capital of Paraguay  this situation changed.
Relations changed from those based on
symbolism to those of realism. Despite the country's small geographic size, its partnership
with such countries as Argentina and Brazil in Mercosur, makes Paraguay an invaluable
strategic partner with a view to accessing Mercosur's massive market. It also has the potential
to serve as a launching-pad for South Africa's economic operations in the neighbouring
countries.72
3.3.4 Uruguay
Like Paraguay, Uruguay never severed, but scaled down, political (diplomatic) and economic
ties with South Africa during the apartheid era. However, it was only in 1991 that the
Uruguayan government, which had been inaugurated in March 1990, decided to establish a
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full diplomatic mission in Pretoria. It is generally believed that, from both Uruguay's and
South America's perspective, the main rationale for cementing diplomatic ties with South
Africa stemmed from the desire to secure the African vote in international forums and also to
be in the same camp as the Third World countries.
This is particularly important in
organisations such as the UN and the Latin American Group (GRULA), where member states
have to vote and support positions en bloc. Favourable political and economic ties facilitate a
positive inclination from member states if certain positions are to be adopted. Uruguay is
known for her extremely advanced financial system unparalleled in the whole of South
America  hence its popularity as "the Switzerland of Latin America".73 Thus South Africa
can capitalise on the skills-transfer programmes that could be entered into with Uruguay.
Being the administrative capital of Mercosur, Uruguay presents a unique opportunity to
influence and gain concessions from other Mercosur partners.
3.3.5 Bolivia and Chile
Both countries  Bolivia and Chile  but especially the latter, have maintained close
relations with South Africa even during the time of isolation. For a long period Chile was
under military rule and therefore suffered international isolation just like South Africa. Given
their similar international status, it was prudent for Chile and South Africa to interact quite
closely.
Their interaction spanned across the full spectrum of areas of mutual benefit,
including trade, defence and diplomatic relations. It is also notable that in both countries
(Chile and South Africa) the democratisation process commenced in earnest in the early
1990s. Chile had always been represented by a charge d'affaires in South Africa, until
President Patricio Aylwin (1990-1994) upgraded diplomatic representation to Pretoria to
ambassadorial level.74 Subsequently, in January 1995, the Chilean Minister of the Economy,
Dr Alvaro Garía, led a high-powered delegation to South Africa. The visit paved the way for
the official visit of the Chilean President and strengthened the already existing ties, especially
in the mining, manufacturing and forestry sectors.75
It was only with the state visit by the first democratically elected Chilean President Eduardo
Frei Ruiz-Tagle to South Africa that a new chapter in the political relations between the two
countries was opened. President Frei has always emphasised co-operation between the two
countries, not so much for security-related challenges, but with a view to increasing trade,
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development and direct investment. Like all other statesmen, President Frei maintains that
the bilateral relations between Chile and South Africa should encompass all facets of human
endeavour.76 As a stable and developing economy, Chile has succeeded in ensuring the
economic security of its citizens both by diversifying her export destinations and strategically
associating itself with winning successful regional groupings such as APEC, Mercosur and
NAFTA. As much as membership of too many organisations could compound the process of
standardisation and designing of suitable economic policies that are in accordance with
regulations of different organisations, it enables Chile to extract advantages without being
entangled in the intricacies of being a full member. It is against this background that South
Africa is seeking to link up with the Mercosur members both at bilateral and multilateral
levels. Overlapping membership helps cast the safety net much wider, thus providing a
comprehensive security framework for dealing with security threats across the whole
spectrum.
Unlike Chile, Bolivia maintained low-profile relations with South Africa, especially during
the period of isolation. However, with the reinsertion of South Africa into the international
community the Bolivian government has shown strong support for strengthening ties with
South Africa. Being a small country with limited resources, Bolivia has not succeeded in
elevating relations to ambassadorial level.
It is, however, envisaged that when Bolivia
becomes a full member of Mercosur, as it is of the Andean Community (AC), it will play an
important role in bridging the interaction between the AC and Mercosur, which will benefit
South Africa. In addition to that, it has substantial natural gas reserves which may require
South African technology and expertise to optimally exploit in terms of exports to Brazil and
other members of Mercosur.77
The relations between South Africa and the countries currently constituting (or associated
with) Mercosur have vast potential for having a positive and negative impact on SADC. This
is particularly important in the context that South Africa is a dominant member of SADC, and
therefore any bilateral trade or security agreement with any non-SADC member(s) could have
far-reaching consequences for the sub-regional organisation. Thus, it is crucial that South
Africa-Mercosur talks should include the dimension of inter-regional co-operation, namely,
linking up both Mercosur and SADC, with South Africa playing a facilitating role.
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INTER-REGIONAL CO-OPERATION: MERCOSUR AND SADC
The ultimate need for co-operation between the two sub-regional organisations  Mercosur
and SADC  cannot be over-emphasised. This stems from the reality that any gains that
could accrue to South Africa due to successful interaction with Mercosur or its members
would be negated by the adverse effect that such interaction might have on the southern
African sub-region. However, South Africa’s first priority is to confront some contentious
issues pertaining to its strategic orientation vis-à-vis Africa and sensitivities regarding its ‘bigbrother’ image.
4.1
THE DEBATE ON SOUTH AFRICA’S STRATEGIC ORIENTATION
Despite pronouncements indicating the contrary, South Africa is faced with a real dilemma of
political orientation which affects its socio-economic power base. The debate, which began
after South Africa’s readmission to the international community in the early 1990s, revolves
around the strategic orientation of its foreign policy, that is, whether it should be directed
towards the rich Global North and Asia or towards the poor Global South. Some analysts
argue that with the demise of the former Soviet Union and apartheid, there is a conscious
effort to de-ideologise international relations. Based on this understanding, South Africa
should actively participate in the globalisation process by penetrating global markets and
gaining a competitive edge. Others believe that solidarity with the poor South is more
appropriate, given South Africa's recent past where the poor nations of the world helped fight
for its liberation. Thus, contrary to those who take a global view, or globalists, this group
posits that South Africa should adopt a strong regionalist approach which seeks to improve
regional economic development and political solidarity, irrespective of the challenges of
globalisation. While a globalist approach would imply that South Africa should be cautious
in participating in such groupings as the Group of 77, the regionalists advocate a strong
involvement and even playing a leading role in NAM and developing the African continent,
especially SADC.78
The globalism–regionalism debate is particularly important as it could determine the extent to
which South Africa would be prepared to engage its trans-Atlantic neighbours in support of
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119
projects to develop the Southern African sub-region. The development of the sub-region
implies less dependence on South Africa and less pressure on the latter’s resources due to
economic refugees migrating southwards. However, South Africa has already decided that it
would apply a ‘butterfly approach’, but simultaneously seek to uplift the continent and the
sub-region. The imaginary body of the butterfly is clearly oriented north-south to the EU and
North America, along the axis of South Africa's traditional trading and investment flows, and
its wings extending laterally to South American markets and those of Asia. The South AfricaEU agreement was an unambiguous demonstration of this thinking.79
While individual countries in the South Atlantic endeavour to augment co-operation on a
bilateral basis, it is equally crucial that they keep their immediate sub-regional neighbours in
mind. All efforts by South Africa to engage Mercosur should concurrently include an interregional agenda. Therefore, for every political and economic deal struck between these
entities, South Africa should consider the potential impact of such a deal on the sub-region.
Both the Asunción Treaty and the SADC Treaty make provision for interaction with extraregional entities, provided such interaction is not prejudicial to the organisation’s goals.80
4.2
MERCOSUR AND SADC: A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
Comparing the level of focus on development which is displayed by Mercosur and SADC,
Alec Erwin, the South African Minister of Trade and Industry, expressed concern that the
latter organisation was originally established for socio-economic development of the region
but it is "pre-occupied with military conflict at the expense of its ostensible goal of economic
union and progress."81
Erwin was accentuating the inextricable link between economic
development, peace and security. While South Africa recognises the significance of SADC in
geographic terms, it is also conscious of the fact that the latter cannot be a means of the
former's economic salvation. It is against this background that South African trade policy is
driven by the so-called ‘trade butterfly’ approach. South Africa has adopted a regional
approach to development in realising that, as former Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo aptly put it,
it “cannot be an island of prosperity surrounded by a sea of poverty.”82 President Mbeki has
on numerous occasions demonstrated his commitment to alleviating the socio-economic
plight of African people by engaging and challenging the international financial and trade
regimes which militate against development in Africa. On numerous occasions Erwin and
Lampreia have publicly called for a closer co-operation between SADC and Mercosur.
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120
However, there is always a realisation that this is easier said than done. A tariff agreement
between Mercosur and the SADC will not easily be reached.83 Despite criticism from some
cynics, South Africa has negotiated trade deals with this in mind. Trans-Atlantic relations in
the Southern Cone should be geared towards assisting to achieve that goal.
SADC comprises 14 countries (Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and
Zimbabwe) while Mercosur only has four member states. In addition to the huge differences
in terms of population and territorial sizes, the performance of Mercosur far outstrips that of
SADC (see Table 8). In 1999 trade activity within Mercosur stood at 20 per cent compared
with 5-6 per cent in SADC. Some analysts posit that SADC is bound to fail given the number
of member states which are amongst the least developed in the world, operating with shoestring budgets incapable of servicing external debt (in 1996 the average debt burden as a
percentage of GDP was 50 per cent for SADC, compared with 28 per cent for Mercosur) and
providing basic services to citizens; plagued with protracted and almost intractable intra-state
conflicts; and having a legacy of poor governance. These conditions no longer apply in the
Mercosur group as the democratisation process is now firmly entrenched, sub-regional
rivalries have receded, and the economic growth rates of member states are impressive. There
Table 8:
COMPARISON BETWEEN MERCOSUR AND SADC
Area
(million km2)
Population
(millions)
GDP in 1996
(US$ bn)
9.2
186
178
Ave Annual %
Increase in Real
GDP (1990-1995)
1.3
8
148
51
2.3
Mercosur
11.9
207
1230
3.3
Mercosur plus associated
members
Mercosur excl. Brazil
13.8
229
1313
3.5
3.4
44
349
4.9
European Union
3.2
372
8093
n/a
SADC
SADC excl. South Africa
n/a = Not available
Source:
Mills, G. and Mutschler, C. 1999. (eds.) Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin
America & SADC in Southern Africa. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International
Affairs (SAIIA).
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121
is a conspicuously disproportionate influence of South Africa and Brazil with their
contributions in 1996 to regional GDPs amounting to 71 per cent and 72 per cent,
respectively. The average annual economic growth rate of Mercosur is about twice as high as
that of SADC. The GDP of SADC is almost one-fifth of the GDP of Mercosur, while the per
capita income of SADC is less by one-third.84
4.3
CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR INTER-REGIONAL CO-OPERATION
There are sensitivities about South Africa’s ‘big brother’ image, both on the sub-region and
the African region. While neighbouring states appreciate the positive role played by South
Africa in contributing towards regional development and integration, they resent the fact that
interaction between SADC and other sub-regions or regions is viewed mainly in terms of
South Africa’s involvement. For instance, more than 80 per cent of trade between SADC and
Mercosur is attributed to the involvement of South Africa. In 1996 SADC’s exports to
Mercosur amounted to US$722 million and imports US$667 million. Thus, the only true
potential partner with the Mercosur group is South Africa.85
The question occasionally arises whether South Africa should be concerned about being
perceived as a ‘big brother’, regardless of resentment and jealousy from the sub-region.
During the Mercosur-SADC conference on regional integration in the South that was held in
Cape Town on 26 October 1998, Guillermo Mondimo, the Director of Argentina’s
Mediterranean Foundation, posed the question: “Why isn’t South Africa leading the process
and setting parameters towards integration of the regional economy?” He further asked, “Is
South Africa feeling guilty for being rich? You have to lead your neighbours to (help them)
get wealthy.
The SADC should join forces and use the Rand (as a common regional
currency). Then you could use the revenue generated on member states’ reserves and share it
among countries adopting the Rand.”86
These sentiments seem to be prevalent among
observers from outside the sub-region. South Africa’s economic and political security are
inextricably linked to that of the sub-region and therefore it is imperative that something is
done to uplift the region for South Africa’s own benefit. However, issues of territorial
integrity, national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of another country
come to the fore and thus obscure opportunities beyond such issues. This is partly attributable
to the fact that some governments in the sub-region are insecure because of either having
come to power through military coups, rigging the election results, or winning with a
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122
perilously slim margin. It could also be attributed to the fact that South Africa, as a new
democracy and therefore relatively new in the international relations arena, could not be seen
as assuming leadership of a collection of states which are led by seasoned, tried-and-tested
statesmen who, for many years, represented regional interests in international fora and
organisations.
Further compounding the challenge of proper co-operation between the two blocs is the fact
that both are still grappling with the modalities of either including new members (especially
in the case of Mercosur) or to accommodate bilateral agreements that do not include all the
members of the group (such as the South Africa-EU Agreement). Mercosur is attempting to
gather Bolivia, Chile and Venezuela under its umbrella.
It is also involved with the
discussions on the American Free Trade Area (AFTA); it is conducting negotiations with the
EU in the framework of the agreement signed in 1995; and at the same time maintaining the
dialogue with the ANZERTA (Australia/New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade
Agreement).87 However, it already has preferential trade links with NAFTA, the AC and the
EU.
While Mercosur still aspires to have strong relations with other regional blocs and to
strengthen South-South trade, South Africa boasts of its geostrategic position which is suited
to furthering Mercosur’s ideal of creating a bridge which joins South America, Southern
Africa and Asia.88 Both Mercosur and South Africa have gained substantial experience
during their respective involvement in protracted FTA negotiations with organisations such as
the EU and NAFTA. Given that both South Africa and Brazil, a dominant member of
Mercosur, are extremely sensitive to socio-economic issues such as unemployment,
development and combating poverty, it can be expected that increased economic interaction
between the two countries will be characterised by sensitivity to the side-effects of a mutual
opening up of markets for certain industries. Their individual experiences  South Africa
and the EU with regard to specific agricultural products, and Argentina and Brazil with regard
to the automotive industry  should help them design a people-friendly accord. The urgency
in concluding such an FTA is further justified due to the collapse of the World Trade
Organisation ministerial meeting in 1999, as the EU members refused to compromise on the
question of subsidising agricultural products. It is therefore imperative to open new markets
and strengthen trade relations across the South Atlantic.89
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123
As much as South Africa is eager to ensure stronger trade relations with the North due to the
latter’s buying power and considerable market, there is general concurrence that relations with
the South will be even more beneficial in terms of long-term strategic, economic and political
goals.
Not only are the distances shorter to countries in the South, but there is also
congruence and mutual understanding of one another’s challenges. Co-operation between
SADC and Mercosur would help ensure lifting the standard of living of citizens and thus
more peace and stability will prevail as fewer people will be faced with basic challenges of
survival.90
By the end of 2001 there was still no formal trade arrangement or agreement
between SADC and Mercosur.
The only semi-official interaction between SADC and
Mercosur, as sub-regional organisations, was the conference co-sponsored by the members of
Mercosur and SADC, and hosted by the South African Institute for International Affairs
(SAIIA), in Johannesburg, from 27 to 28 October 1998. The theme of the conference was
“Mercosur/Mercosul and SADC: Regional Integration in the South”.91 Thus, trans-Atlantic
business transactions or foreign investments are conducted by private entrepreneurs outside
the formal framework provided by government. This excludes bilateral agreements that exist
between the countries on both sides of the South Atlantic Ocean.92
However, it is also for instance in the area of organised crime where both sub-regions and
individual countries could co-operate fruitfully. The concept of ‘organised crime’, as seen by
the South African Police Service (SAPS), refers to “a well-organised and structured group
with a clear leadership corps, which is involved in different criminal activities such as drug
trafficking, vehicle theft or money laundering.
Such syndicates have well-established
contacts with national and international criminal organisations, cartels or mafia groupings.”93
For ensuring successful operation, organised criminal syndicates, including those in South
Africa, share some common characteristics, which include the following:
•
a hierarchy of control, with clearly designated systems of promotion and payment;
•
sophisticated procedures, often via legitimate business interests, to launder money
obtained by means of illegal activities; and
•
the use of weapons to ensure that ‘business’ routes are protected and potential
competitors eliminated.94
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124
The need to use weapons is particularly prevalent amongst drug-traffickers and South Africa
is extremely vulnerable to this criminal activity, especially since the advent of democracy. It
is against this background that a brief analysis of drug-trafficking and its links with the South
American countries is warranted.
5.
DRUG-TRAFFICKING ACROSS THE SOUTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
As already indicated, the readmission of South Africa into the international fold resulted in an
unprecedented influx of foreigners, with both bona fide and mala fide intentions. At the time
when there were concerns about increased vulnerability to espionage (internal and external),
there were also concerns about the possibility of increased organised criminal activity,
characterised by being more transnational and difficult to detect. There is sufficient evidence
to demonstrate that the increase in organised criminal activity is particularly prevalent during
periods of political transition. South Africa was no exception to the rule. For instance, during
the demise of communist rule and the collapse of the East Bloc, there were literally thousands
of criminal organisations that mushroomed, involving current and former members of the
security establishment.95
Even though South Africa had a limited exposure to drug-
trafficking during the apartheid years, periodic gang fights erupted in the Western Cape due to
competition for clients for drugs and protection of ‘business’ routes. As the new political
dispensation was introduced, South African borders became even more porous, thus resulting
in relatively easy shipment of drugs in and out of the country. This coincided with a serious
clampdown on drug-traffickers elsewhere, especially in North America and Europe.
Consequently, the Southern African sub-region became a favourite ‘trade’ route, linking the
Far and Middle East, the Americas and Europe. Making it even more lucrative was the fact
that trans-shipment in South Africa could be conducted by sea, land or air. It was against this
background that South Africa, in particular, obtained the dubious recognition of having an
organised crime problem second only to Columbia and Russia. During the pre-1994 period,
mandrax was South Africa’s number one hard drug, followed by cannabis. In the post-1994
period, cocaine became the most popular hard drug.96
By 1998, the SAPS estimated that South Africa was home to approximately 192 organised
crime syndicates and only 96 were under police surveillance. About 96 of these syndicates
specialised in drug-trafficking, while 83 concentrated on vehicle-related crimes, and 60 were
involved in commercial crime or any combination of these.97 To deal with these syndicates
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125
the SAPS initiated a number of projects with a view to devising specific counter-measures for
specific types of organised crime (see Table 9).
Table 9:
SAPS PROJECTS ON ORGANISED CRIME, MARCH 1997
Category of Organised Crime
Drugs
37
Vehicles
18
Endangered Species
3
Diamonds and Gold
15
Firearms
9
Commercial Crime
6
Taxi Violence
5
Corruption
8
Highjackings of Freight
3
Armed Robbery
2
Gang-related Violence
1
Housebreaking
1
TOTAL
Source:
Number of Projects
108
Shaw, M. 1998. “Organised Crime in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Occasional
Paper No. 28, Institute for Security Studies, January, pp. 1-2.
Thus, drug-trafficking remains one of the greatest challenges ever to confront the law
enforcement agencies in South Africa. This cannot be dealt a severe and decisive blow unless
there is co-operation with the countries across the South Atlantic, which are the main source
of drugs flooding the globe today.
There seems to be a correlation between the incidence of drug-related crime and the
geographical position of the Western Cape Province, in relation to the main sources of drugs,
namely, the South American countries. In South Africa, some of the biggest drug busts have
occurred on the West Coast. For instance, on 20 July 2001, 116 kg of cocaine, worth R250
million, was seized from a Maltese-registered cargo ship in Saldanha Bay. The ship was
bound for China from Argentina.98 Less than a month later (2 August 2001), another ship
carrying 155 kg of cocaine worth an estimated R325 million  the biggest quantity ever
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126
seized in a single police operation  was searched by the South African Police Service. That
ship, Anangel Destiny, had left the Brazilian port, Porta da Madeira, on 17 July and was
bound for China. The search-and-seizure operation required that a special police task team be
constituted, comprising organised crime detectives, border police, the airwing, along with
police and navy divers, customs officials and a police sniffer dog.99 While the significance of
these seizures cannot be overemphasised, especially with regard to breaking the backbones of
transnational drug cartels, such seizures also have a serious side-effect on the general safety of
the community. Drugs busts usually result in limited supplies of drugs and therefore spark
gang wars as drug-lords have to fight for limited stock and space to sell. This has been
characteristic of the gang wars that have ravaged the Cape Flats in the Western Cape,
particularly during the period when the SAPS was making progress in combating illicit drugtrafficking.100
South Africa and the South American countries, especially those now constituting Mercosur,
still have much to do in the area of combating drug-trafficking. The drug industry, which is
reputed to be worth about R1,2-trillion or US$150-billion in global retail sales, cannot be
destroyed single-handedly.101 From a South African perspective, the situation is getting even
more dire as a result of trans-Atlantic drug-trafficking. For instance, as at July 2001, there
were 460 South Africans languishing in overseas jails, of whom 241 are related to drugtrafficking. South American countries alone hold about 110 (conservative figure) South
Africans on drug-related charges. In Brazil and Peru, there are 56 South Africans who are
suspected of being drug ‘mules’.102 Given these circumstances, it is crucial for countries on
both sides of the South Atlantic to synergise in their efforts to weed out drug-trafficking. The
US has a particular interest in these efforts as it remains the largest consumer of drugs,
originating from South America, shipped through South Africa and landing up in the US in
whatever form. Thus, in 2000 the US donated US$1,5-million to the South African drugfighting effort. The US government increased the figure to US$2,2-million in 2001. Efforts
of this nature are especially crucial as they have the potential to improve co-operation in other
areas such as combating piracy on the high seas, illegal fishing and increasing foreign direct
investment. These phenomena have a residual impact on security-related issues.
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6.
127
SOME BROAD SECURITY IMPLICATIONS
Following the discussion on the nature of socio-economic relations between South
Africa/SADC and the Mercosur countries, the question could be asked: What are the direct
security implications and how could the peace and security situation be improved on the basis
of strong socio-economic ties?
Firstly, the current popular neo-liberalist paradigm that increased economic growth enables
states to generate more funds for social spending, provides sufficient incentives for states to
co-operate.
This paradigm also emphasises the importance of the individual – hence
individual security. Welfarist states, such as the Scandinavian countries, hardly ever have
fundamental problems with their citizens, as social ills such as unemployment and lack of
access to basic human needs (particularly the physiological needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of
needs) are adequately addressed. As the adage goes, ‘A hungry man knows no boundaries’;
therefore it is crucial that any national development strategy should incorporate the interests
of the neighbours. For instance, the US had to bring Mexico on board through NAFTA, and
the EU countries are currently grappling with ways and means of accommodating the
countries from the former East Bloc in order to bring them on par with the EU in terms of
economic development and democratic governance. Failure to do that would expose them to
a multitude of social security threats emanating from these quarters. In this regard Papp103
cites testimony provided by the seminal works of Quincy Wright and Ruth Leger Sivard.
Wright concluded in 1942 that poorer states have the proclivity to initiate war or resort to
violence. In this respect, Germany is the exception to rule in that it initiated war while it was
an economically advanced state that had strong economic ties with its neighbours. Similarly,
Sivard concluded that of the more than 120 instances of armed conflict in the period between
1955 and 1979, all but six involved developing countries. Aggression could be a response to
frustration and relative deprivation. Frustrated by poverty, poor countries may be tempted to
lash out at neighbours "to overcome a sense of impotence."104 Former US Secretary for
Defence, Robert S. McNamara observed in 1966 that "there is no question but that there is
evidence of a relationship between violence and economic backwardness."105
Poverty could also generate internal political instability which may either spill over into
neighbouring countries or cause an exodus of refugees, internally-displaced persons, or mass
emigration. Large influxes of illegal immigrants or economic refugees are symptomatic of
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128
skewed economic development in a region. Unfettered illegal immigration poses a whole
range of challenges, including involvement in crime for survival because illegal immigrants
can hardly obtain proper permanent employment; straining the social service infrastructure
(health-care, educational facilities, shelter, etc) and threaten the environment (informal
settlements which mushroom outside the planning framework of the relevant authorities).
Thus, in dealing with illegal immigrants, as opposed to genuine verifiable asylum seekers in
South Africa, it is crucial that international norms in this regard are strongly adhered to and
complied with. Despite the draining effect of dealing with economic refugees, South Africa
has the responsibility of treating them humanely, especially given the fact that South Africa is
a prominent signatory to a multitude of human rights conventions and agreements. It is
against this background that South Africa has undertaken to contribute substantially towards
the development of the sub-region because it realises, as has already been mentioned, that it
cannot be an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty.
The main vehicle for addressing these social security challenges is through encouraging
foreign direct investment (FDI) and designing investor-friendly macro-economic policies.
Economic co-operation between states is best achieved where playing fields are level, and that
involved states make themselves mutually attractive to one another. With the increase in FDI,
the national income increases, which enables the government sufficient leeway to share it by
disbursing funds and supporting economically-viable labour-intensive regional projects which
have the capacity to improve the living standards of the citizens. This in turn stems the
propensity to emigrate while, at the same time, improves the security of the richer country’s
nationals.
Secondly, through economic co-operation, individual states benefit by pooling their resources
to ensure that the interests of the group are properly articulated at international fora, which in
turn helps governments to deal with aspirations of the population properly. While states are
equal in terms of the Westphalian principles, the reality is that they are unequal in terms of the
influence or pressure they can bring to bear on any given issue. The importance of territorial
size in international relations has diminished in favour of economic size. To compensate for
deficiencies with regard to the crucial power bases of the state, namely, natural resource
endowment, size of GDP, technological advancement, military prowess and political
influence, states enter into co-operative arrangements. This enables relatively smaller states
to gain collectively from the international system what they could have lost individually. For
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129
instance, South Africa in collaboration with Mercosur is currently attempting to influence the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) to adopt trade regulations that will be favourably biased
towards the developing world. Thus, states are able to pursue and secure national interests by
identifying like-minded allies. Besides basic challenges to social security, there is another
ominously powerful phenomenon called globalisation.
The post-Cold War international
scenario has catapulted regional Balkanisation and overlapping membership to various
international organisations as the main strategy to counter the side-effects of globalisation and
to avoid being subsumed by gigantic international role-players.
Thirdly, economic co-operation paves the way for co-operation in other more controversial
areas. In accordance with the adage, ‘States only have interests and no friends’, states are
inherently suspicious of one another’s motives. This explains the origins of the sense of
insecurity or security dilemma. Until there is general clarity on the actual intentions of
another state that is proposing closer co-operation, there always seems to be uncertainty as to
the extent that one party should trust the other. Although this was fairly easy to determine
during the Cold War because of the bipolar nature of the international system, the post-Cold
War era is even more complex. This stems from sensitivities such as the protection of
intellectual property rights and the eternal fear that vital skills and technologies might be
stolen through such diplomatic exchanges. There is general consensus that the main survival
strategy for maximally benefiting from the rewards of globalisation is developing specialised
skills, adding value to existing products, and identifying and captivating niche markets. This
is as much the responsibility of the private sector as it is of the government.
While
globalisation advocates the opening up of markets, it creates a situation of ‘unequal equality’
in the sense that it equally affords any entrepreneur a chance to sell products anywhere on the
globe, but the playing fields are not equal. Entrepreneurs from the developing countries do
not possess sufficient resources or skills to penetrate the markets of developed countries.
Thus, bilateral and multilateral arrangements are normally characterised by a gradual
incremental approach in terms of issues open for co-operation. Therefore, economic cooperation provides a first-level assessment for possible co-operation in other more sensitive
areas.
Fourthly, democratic states with strong economic ties tend to avoid war with each other as the
stakes are too high for both sides. As already indicated, Germany is an exception to the rule
because it initiated war while having strong economic ties with neighbours.
Mutual
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130
investments take a long time to build and this normally requires extensive harmonisation of
macro-economic policies for mutual benefit. Mutual trust guides interaction between the cooperating states.
This is further strengthened by adhering to universally-recognised
democratic principles. Woodrow Wilson, the former US President, argued that the main
enemy of peace "was neither private ownership nor conflict between senses and reason, but
rather the absence of political democracy."106
For democracies, jealously-guarded
technologies are sometimes partially shared, as most co-operative arrangements usually
include clauses on skills transfer and technological exchange.
With the increase in the formation of regional economic blocs, inter-state wars are
increasingly becoming obsolete.
However, this applies largely to highly developed and
functional regional economic blocs such as the EU and NAFTA. For dysfunctional regional
blocs such as SADC, war is still very much part of the conflict-resolution mechanism. As
already indicated above, there is limited intra-regional trade and investment within SADC,
while within Mercosur the trend is impressive. Similarly, mutual investments between South
Africa and the Mercosur countries show an upward trend. Economic co-operation therefore
provides a sound mechanism for establishing a long-term protective shield for citizens in
countries that buy into the arrangement.
Lastly, increased economic co-operation should not be marred by such phenomena as drugtrafficking and piracy on the high seas. Drug-trafficking in particular is extremely damaging
as in most cases it relies on the existing channels of official trade and makes use of legitimate
trading mechanisms such as registered ships, scheduled flights and regular land-transport.
Even though efforts should be geared towards reducing supplies of drugs, this should be
complemented with corresponding efforts to reduce demand as well. Anything in between,
that is control of transportation modes or facilities, requires a drastic overhaul for all countries
involved. National legislation and efforts by international agencies, such as Interpol, can only
succeed if countries in the South Atlantic region harmonise policies and standard operating
procedures at airports, harbours and border areas.
7.
CONCLUSION
Concurrently with the broadening of the concept of security, some military threats have
receded while certain non-military threats have increased. Non-military threats require a
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131
concerted effort from both developed and developing nations alike as their effects transcend
national and regional borders. Most of these threats lie in the socio-economic arena. They
range from financial crises to resource depletion, and from extreme poverty to environmental
degradation. While these threats do not necessarily constitute threats to national security
individually, their combination could pose a potent threat.
South Africa’s relations with the Mercosur countries is rooted in the understanding that socioeconomic development and long-term economic prosperity which seek to address some of
these incipient threats, are crucial for national security. This chapter has demonstrated the
inextricable link between socio-economic issues and national security. It also showed how
socio-economic co-operation has become the common currency, which defines international
relations in the post-Cold War era.
The historical development of socio-economic relations between South Africa and the
Mercosur countries was discussed. This section revealed the chequered manner in which
these countries interacted with South Africa, especially prior to the latter’s transition to a
democratic dispensation in 1994.
During the sanctions era, countries now constituting
Mercosur either maintained low-profile relations with South Africa or simply abrogated the
UN-imposed economic and military sanctions. With the demise of the Soviet Union in the
early 1990s and the advent of democracy in South Africa, a whole new era was ushered in
regarding trans-Atlantic relations involving South Africa. Interaction between the countries
on both sides of the Atlantic increased and these were underpinned by high-level diplomatic
visits which culminated in the signing of various agreements and memoranda of
understanding.
Being a regional giant, any agreement entered into by South Africa with any major extraregional country or organisation is bound to impact on SADC. A brief discussion of the
prospects for inter-regional co-operation between Mercosur and SADC was presented. Huge
differences were highlighted between Mercosur and SADC, especially on the level of
development and the nature of internal dynamics dominating the two regional organisations.
While both organisations concur that broad security for their nationals could be effected
through socio-economic development, there are clear indications that SADC still has much to
learn from such organisations as Mercosur and ASEAN, as the latter two organisations largely
consist of developing countries, as is the case with SADC.
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132
Applying the same approach as with regard to socio-economic co-operation, the next chapter
deals with military relations between South Africa and the Mercosur countries. Military
interaction between states usually demonstrate a higher level of mutual trust and commitment
to the economic and political ideals. Being the executive arms of governments, the military
occupy a unique position in international relations. An attempt will be made to demonstrate
that, as much as the military dimension of security has declined as a general global trend, it is
still being pursued quite vigorously by some states. The achievements attained in the socioeconomic arena require that they be buttressed by a credible capacity to secure them
militarily, if necessary.
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REFERENCES
1
Sperling, J. and Kirchner, E. 1998. “Economic Security and the Problem of Cooperation in post-Cold
War Europe.” Review of International Studies, Vol. 24, No.2, p. 221. See also Muñoz, H. "The
Dominant Themes in Latin American Foreign Relations: An Introduction", in Muñoz, H. and Tulchin,
J.S. (eds.) 1996. Latin American Nations in World Politics. Boulder: Westview Press, pp. 1-2.
2
Barber, J. “Regional Co-operation and Integration: South Africa, the Southern African Develoment
Community (SADC) and Mercado Comun del Sur (Mercosur)”, in Guimarães, S.P. (ed.) 1996. South
Africa and Brazil: Risks and Opportunities in the Turmoil of Globalisation.
Rio de Janeiro:
International Relations Research Institute, p. 333.
3
Viejobueno, S.A.M. 1995. Mercosur: A Decisive Step Towards South American Economic Revival.
Occasional Paper No. 10, Pretoria, November, Unisa Centre for Latin American Studies, pp. 6-7.
4
Ibid, pp. 7-8.
5
Heine, J. 1995. "South-South Relations After the Cold War". A presentation made by the Ambassador
of Chile to the Foreign Affairs Committee, National Assembly, South African Parliament. Cape Town, 7
June 1995.
6
Ibid.
7
Leysens, A. 1992(a). "The Political Economy of South Africa's Relations with Latin America: Past
Developments and Prospects for Future Co-operation within the context of South Africa." Unisa Latin
American Report, Vol. 8, No. 1, March, pp. 38-39. See also Leysens, A. 1992(b). "South Africa's
Relations with Latin America (1966 - 1988)". Occasional Paper, No. 6. Pretoria: Unisa Centre for Latin
American Studies, Pretoria, November, p. 4.
8
Whittaker, D.J. 1995. United Nations in Action. London: UCL Press, pp. 166-167.
9
Republic of South Africa. 1965. Debates of the House of Assembly (Hansard), Vol. 13, 12 March,
column, 2737.
10
Ibid.
11
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 22, 22 Maart, kolom
2787.
12
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. 1989. Strategy in the Southern Oceans: A South American View. London:
Pinter Publishers, p. 93.
13
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1966. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 16, 25 Januarie, kolom
23-24
14
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 24, 13 Februarie, kolom
437.
15
Leysens, A. 1992(a). op cit, p. 39.
16
Ibid.
17
Ibid, pp. 44-45.
18
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 22, 22 Maart, kolom
2790-2791.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
19
134
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 23, 27 Maart, kolom
2294-2295.
20
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 23, 2 April, kolom
3370-3371.
21
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1971. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 32, 12 Maart, kolom
2703.
22
Ibid, kolom 2692.
23
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 23, 2 April, kolom
3370-3371.
24
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1975. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 58, 14 Februarie, kolom
124-125.
25
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1976. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 64, 22 Maart, kolom 629.
26
Address by President Nelson Mandela at the Mercosur Heads of State Summit, Ushuaia, 24 July 1998.
Information provided by the Office of the President, Pretoria.
27
Ibid.
28
Golςalves, G.B. 1999. “Mercosur Today: Choices and Challenges”, in Mills, G. and Mutschler, C.
(eds.) Exploring South-South Dialogue: Mercosur in Latin America & SADC in Southern Africa.
Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), p. 28.
29
The Star (Johannesburg), 24 January 2000.
30
Beeld, 21 March 2000. See also The Star (Johannesburg), 9 June 2000.
31
Address by President Thabo Mbeki at the Mercosur Summit, Brazil, 15 December 2000. Information
provided by the Office of the Presidency, Pretoria.
32
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. "The Forgotten Dimension: South African/Latin American Relations Past
and Present." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 8, No. 2, September, pp. 5-6.
33
Ibid, p. 5.
34
Tulchin, J.S. op cit, p. 165.
35
Leysens, A. 1992(b), op cit, p. 46.
36
The Star (Johannesburg), 24 July 1998.
37
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992, op cit, p. 9.
38
Leysens, A. 1992(b), op cit, p. 49.
39
Ibid. p. 50.
40
Waisman, C.H. "Argentina: Capitalism and Democracy", in Diamond, L. et. al. (eds.) 1999. Democracy
in Developing Countries: Latin America, Second Edition. London: Lynner Rienner Publishers, p. 121.
41
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1999(a). “President Mandela Strengthens Relations: State Visit to Brazil and
Argentina, and Address to the Mercosur Summit at Ushuaia”. Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 15,
No. 1, p. 29.
42
Hakim, P. 1996. “Good News From Paraguay: A Coup d’Etat Falls Flat.” Christian Science Monitor,
Boston, 30 May, p. 19. See also Valenzuela, A. 1997. “Paraguay: The Coup That Didn’t Happen.”
Journal of Democracy, No. 8.1, pp. 43-55.
43
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1999(a). op cit, p. 29.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
135
44
Ibid, p. 28. See also The Star (Johannesburg), 24 July 1998.
45
Ibid, p. 29.
46
Banks, A.S., Day, A.J. and Muller, T.C. (eds.) 1997. Political Handbook of the World: 1997. New
York: CSA Publications, pp. 104-106, 766-771.
47
Business Day (Johannesburg), 20 July 1998.
48
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1999(b). "Consolidating Ties Between Brazil and South Africa: An Interview
with Ivan Cannabrava." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 49. See also Business Day
(Johannesburg), 20 July 1998.
49
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. op cit, p. 5.
50
Ibid, p. 6.
51
Pen, M. "Candomblé: A Glimpse at Brazil's African Roots, October, 22, 2000. www.infobrazil.com.
52
Republic of South Africa. National Archives. PM 37/2/20. Pretoria.
53
Republic of South Africa. National Archives. PM 4/2/46. Pretoria.
54
Ibid.
55
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. op cit, p. 7.
56
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1968. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 22, 22 Maart, kolom
2790-2791.
57
Muñoz, H. op cit, p. 2.
58
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992, op cit. p. 7.
59
Ibid, pp. 7-8.
60
Ibid.
61
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1999. "Consolidating Ties Between Brazil and South Africa: An Interview with
Ivan Cannabrava." op cit, p. 50.
62
Van Bleck, C. 1996. "SA – Brazil: A New Era of Friendship". SA Now, Vol. 1, No. 10, November,
p. 34.
63
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1995. "Brazil's New Role in South and Southern Africa: An Interview with Luiz
Felipe Lampreia." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol 11, No. 2, p. 52.
64
Van Bleck, C., op cit, pp. 31-32.
65
“Profile of Bilateral Relations: Federative Republic of Brazil”. www.dfa.gov.za/for-relations/bilateral/
brazil.htm. See also Business Day (Johannesburg), 20 July 1998.
66
Ibid. www.dfa.gov.za/ for-relations/bilateral/ brazil.htm.
67
Ibid. www.dfa.gov.za/ for-relations/bilateral/ brazil.htm.
68
Joint Statement by President Mbeki of South Africa and President Fernando Herique Cardoso of Brazil,
13 December 2000. Office of the President.
69
The Star (Johannesburg), 11 December 2000.
70
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. op cit, p. 8.
71
Republiek van Suid Afrika. 1975. Debatte Van die Volksraad (Hansard), Deel 58, 11 Februarie, kolom
84-85.
72
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992, op cit, p. 11.
73
Ibid.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
136
74
Ibid, pp. 9-10.
75
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1995. “Chilean Minister of the Economy Visits South Africa.” Unisa Latin
American Report, Vol. 11, No. 1, January – June, p. 73.
76
Address by President Nelson Mandela at the state banquet in honour of President Eduardo Frei of the
Republic of Chile, Pretoria, 12 November 1998.
77
Bouzas, R. 1999. “Mercosur’s External Trade Negotiations: Dealing with a Congested Agenda”, in
Roett, R. (ed.) Mercosur: Regional Integration, World Markets. London: Lynne Reinner Publishers,
p. 84.
78
Saraiva, J.F. 1997. “A Comparative Analysis of the Foreign Policies of South Africa and Brazil.” Unisa
Latin American Report, Vol. 13, No. 2, July – December, p. 33.
79
Cleary, S. 1998. op cit, p. 56.
80
Article 24 of the SADC Treaty signed in Windhoek, 17 August 1992. See also Articles 8 and 20 of the
Treaty of Asunción, op cit.
81
The Star (Johannesburg), 30 October 1998.
82
Barber, J. op cit, p. 346.
83
Finance Week, 7 April 2000.
84
Marckwald, R.A. “Mercosur-SADC: Prospects for a South-South Cooperation”, in Guimarães, S.P. (ed.)
op cit, p.500.
85
Finansies & Tegniek. 8 October 1999.
86
Cape Times (Cape Town), 29 October 1998.
87
Marckwald, R.A. op cit, pp. 508-510.
88
Sunday Independent (Johannesburg), 11 March 1997.
89
Campbell, K. 2000. “Good Time for South-South Trade Bridges.” Engineering News, Vol. 20, 21-27
April, p. 9. See also Business Day (Johannesburg), 25 April 2000.
90
Die Burger (Cape Town), 30 October 1998.
91
Information provided by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), SADC Desk, on 3
October 2001.
92
Thahane, T. and Van der Merwe, E. “Mercosur and SADC: Investment and Trade Linkages”, in Mills, G.
& Mutschler, C. (eds.) op cit, p. 110.
93
South African Police Service Organised Crime Unit. Anti-Organised Crime Measures, August 1997.
94
Shaw, M. 1998. “Organised Crime in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Occasional Paper No. 28, Institute
for Security Studies, Pretoria, January, pp. 1-2.
95
Ibid, p. 2. See also Cape Argus (Cape Town), 18 June 2001.
96
Leggett, T.
“Drugs in South Africa: The Latest Trends”, in Institute for Security Studies.
1999.
Nedbank ISS Crime Index, Vol. 3, No. 5, September – October. See also Cape Argus (Cape Town), 18
June 2001.
97
Shaw, M. op cit, p. 3.
98
SAPA. “Interpol to Investigate Cape Cocaine Bust”. www.iol.co.za (21 July 2001)
99
www.iol.co.za (2 August 2001).
100
Cape Argus (Cape Town), 31 May 2001.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
137
101
SAPA. “Legalise Drugs, says The Economist”. www.iol.co.za (26 July 2001)
102
Cape Times (Cape Town), 27 July 2001. See also www.iol.co.za (29 July 2001).
103
Papp, D.S. 1992. Contemporary International Relations: Frameworks for Understanding, Third
Edition. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, pp. 562-563.
104
Ibid, p. 562.
105
Kegley, C.W. & Wittkopf, E.R. 1993. World Politics: Trends and Transformation, Fourth Edition.
New York: St. Martin's Press, p. 444.
106
Papp, D.S. op cit, p. 563.
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138
CHAPTER FOUR
BILATERAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA
AND THE MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
1.
INTRODUCTION
The military establishments of both South Africa and the Mercosur countries have played
significant roles in the domestic political arena, particularly in the period following WW II.
These roles ranged from attempting to defend citizens against foreign aggression to usurping
the reigns of power or exercising undue influence over the political authorities. At different
times, the military have, on both sides of the South Atlantic, both defended and violated the
human rights of nationals in the name of national security or national interests.
This chapter firstly analyses the historical military interaction between South Africa and its
trans-Atlantic neighbours up to 1994. Secondly, the nature and scope of post-1994 military
relations are analysed according to military representation; high-profile visits by military
personnel; military training; mutual defence agreements; and co-operation among defencerelated industries.
The chapter concludes with a brief analysis of the existing military
capabilities of these countries with a view to highlighting potential areas for improving
military co-operation.
2.
HISTORICAL MILITARY RELATIONS
The roots of the interaction between the South African armed forces and those of the
Mercosur countries date back to the colonial relationship between these countries and their
colonisers. Furthermore, the role and nature of the dominant international system had a
profound impact on such relations. In most cases the interaction between South African and
South American armed forces was largely determined by the dominant balance-of-power
relations among the powerful nations of the North. In this respect, countries from the South
were used to satisfy or complement the military needs of the European colonisers, and served
as extensions of the colonisers’ foreign policy instruments. When the colonial era came to an
end, which happened much earlier in South America than in Africa, internal struggles for
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
139
political control ensued. In most cases the military intervened as moderators or contestants
for political power. This situation was aggravated by the superimposition of the Cold War,
during which some of the states were used by the superpowers as proxies for their global
political agenda. Consequently, the relationship between the countries on both sides of the
Atlantic Ocean  from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere  defined the
international relations of South Atlantic countries on the basis of their alignment in a bipolar
world. It is against this background that South Africa’s interaction with individual countries
now constituting Mercosur has historically been chequered and inconsistent.
2.1
ARGENTINA
The nature of military relations between South Africa and Argentina can hardly be described
as ever hostile because both in the pre-1994 and post-1994 periods, military interaction
continued unabated, albeit secretly in the pre-1994 period. The imposition of a mandatory
arms embargo against South Africa in terms of UN Security Council Resolution 418 of 1977,
was seen as a bearable inconvenience. Faced with a real threat on its borders, in the form of
Brazil, Argentina resolved to befriend any country that would help augment its military
capacity and diplomatic relations, and South Africa presented itself in that light.
2.1.1 Pre-1994 Argentine-South Africa military relations
South Africa was first militarily linked to Argentina in 1806 just after the British had captured
Cape Town. The British forces, under Sir Home Popham, launched an unauthorised attack on
the Spanish colonies along the River Plate, using Cape Town as a base. At that stage, the
Spanish Empire was on the verge of total collapse and therefore reluctant (or probably
incapable) of defending all its colonial possessions. The attack was a total failure as the
British had to abort the operation following fierce resistance from the Argentineans.
However, this had a profound effect on the way the Argentineans perceived their coloniser 
Spain. Some of the British forces occupied adjacent territory, which later became Uruguay.
Subsequently, there was a general feeling that the Argentineans and the inhabitants of the
neighbouring countries had proven beyond reasonable doubt that they were capable of
defending themselves and therefore did not need Spain for protection. Thus, the seeds for
liberation movements had been sown. It is highly unlikely that the attack on Argentina by
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140
Britain in the early nineteenth century would have taken place without having the Cape
Colony as a launching pad.1
Increasingly, both Argentina and South Africa realised their strategic value to the South
Atlantic region. This realisation became more conspicuous as the traditional rivalry for
hegemony and the quest for control of the River Plate intensified. Furthermore, Argentina
was engaged in bilateral negotiations with Uruguay about fishing rights, which the latter
wanted to exploit to the maximum. For Argentina, Uruguay represented an obstacle to the
former’s quest for hegemonic influence in the sub-region. For many years there had always
been a rivalry between the ports of Buenos Aires and Montevideo where the former was
regarded as the “door to the River Plate” and the latter as “the natural key to the coast”.2
Thus, based on global strategic considerations, parallel 350S from Punta del Este (Uruguay) to
the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) was regarded as the “new key to the global system of
defence.”3 Besides, both Argentina and South Africa had had to deal with Britain on issues
that had direct military implications. Britain had sought to establish a clear link between the
Indian and Atlantic Oceans both for economic, political and military considerations. To this
effect, following the Peace Convention in 1828, Britain secured a dominion over the River
Plate and in 1833 Britain took over control of the Falklands/Malvinas island. In 1967 Britain
ceded control of the Simon’s Town naval base back to South Africa.
After becoming a Republic on 31 May 1961, South Africa began a campaign to establish
diplomatic ties with like-minded countries. As was indicated in the previous chapter, there
was a growing realisation that it was imperative for South Africa to cement ties with the
South American states, under the pretext of solidarity against communism. Most of these
countries, including Argentina, were under military rule and therefore facing political
insecurity both internally and externally. Diplomatic relations between South Africa and
Argentina were regarded as crucial by both countries, but particularly so for the former than
the latter. South Africa extended its diplomatic relations with Argentina by creating an
embassy with a military attaché in Argentina. On 15 March 1968 the first Navy Attaché,
Commandant J.J.C. Rice, who had been the military attaché in Portugal, was appointed in
Argentina.4 While Argentina had a military representative in South Africa, it was loathe to
establish similar representation in the whole of Southern Africa.
For instance, it was
announced on 8 January 1975 that Argentina and Rwanda were going to establish diplomatic
ties at ambassadorial level, but that none of the two representatives would be resident in the
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
141
two countries.5 By this time, South Africa was represented in Argentina by Commander
P.A.H. Tomlinson until 15 February 1975 when he was replaced by Captain (SAN) J.C. Ferris
as the Armed Forces Attaché.6
By the time the Falklands/Malvinas War broke out in 1982 between Britain and Argentina,
the military relations between Argentina and South Africa were already at an advanced stage.
In fact, for many years speculation has been rife that South Africa actually provided covert
military support to Argentina during the Falklands/Malvinas War.
There were even
allegations that South Africa was supplying Argentina with missiles and spare parts for their
aircraft. It was speculated that the assistance stemmed from South Africa's ten-year old
military pact with Argentina, which also included Brazil, Paraguay, Israel and Taiwan.7
However, not a shred of evidence has ever come to light to confirm the allegations.8 It is
likely that these allegations were based on the fact that there were Afrikaans-speaking people
who participated during the Falklands/Malvinas War on the side of the Argentineans. Those
people were actually the descendants of the Afrikaans-speaking refugees who settled in
Argentina during the period 1902-1905, just after the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). Some of
them settled in Chile.9 Furthermore, South Africa’s records that document the Falklands
conflict do not mention any active participation of the country in the war, unless such
information was excised from the records or relevant records were destroyed.10 Of course,
military co-operation with countries such as Argentina, Iran, Israel, Uruguay, the United
Kingdom (UK), and many other states was shrouded in secrecy. In fact, there was a standing
policy within the South African defence establishment to destroy sensitive documents,
especially the monthly military reports called ISUMS. South Africa’s military attachés all
over the world were under strict orders to destroy these documents and to submit ‘destruction
certificates’ as proof that such documents had been destroyed.11
On 9 December 1983, South Africa promulgated a policy for mutual training with some South
American countries. The primary aim of the policy was to ensure that there were continuous
symbiotic exchanges between these countries and South Africa, especially in improving the
latter’s military skills. Furthermore, given the fact that South Africa was still subjected to
sanctions, such mutual training ensured skills transfer and strengthened political relations
among the countries involved. By the end of 1983, South Africa’s military training exchange
programme with Argentina was already fairly extensive (Table 10).
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
142
Table 10: ARGENTINA’S MILITARY STUDENTS TRAINED IN SOUTH AFRICA
(AS IN DECEMBER 1983)
Nature of Course
Rank Group
No. of Students
Commando Training
Sergeant; Lieutenant and
3
Captain
Training on board ship
Midshipman; Sub-Lieutenant
3
Intelligence Courses
Captain
3
Training on Ice-breaker
Lieutenant-Commander;
2
(ARA LIBERATAD)
Commander
Source:
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1/
Montevideo, 9 December 1983.
South Africa accommodated Argentinean military students on a number of courses,
namely, the SA Army Command and Staff course; the SA Air Force Staff course; the
SA Naval Staff course and the Junior Joint Warfare course. The primary aim of the
Command and Staff course was (and still is) to “qualify selected officers as Officers
Commanding and Senior Staff officers for utilisation on formation level in the field.”12
The Junior Joint Warfare course was designed to “qualify members to serve in a joint
organisation” and to “train them to be able to serve in a Joint Operation Centre in Joint
Planning Warfare”.13 One of the distinguishing characteristics of former SADF forces
was the emphasis on the training of junior leaders and their immediate superiors. Thus,
Argentina sought South Africa’s expertise in the management and conduct of operations
both at tactical and operational levels. This trend of military interaction persisted until
the political landscape in both countries changed.
2.1.2 Post-1994 Argentine-South Africa military relations
The military relations between Argentina and South Africa after 1994 were
characterised by a great deal of continuity and stability in many dimensions, including
military representation; high-profile goodwill visits; and training exchange programmes.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
2.1.2.1
143
Military representation
The advent of democracy in South Africa necessitated the revival of active and open
consultations between the military establishments of South Africa and Argentina. As
Table 11 indicates, extensive military representation of South Africa in Argentina
started in earnest in 1986. The restructuring process of South Africa’s world-wide
diplomatic representation resulted in South Africa’s representative in Argentina also
being accredited to Paraguay and Uruguay. 14
Table 11: SADF AND, AFTER 1994, SANDF ATTACHÉS IN ARGENTINA
Name
Period
Capt (SAN) L.N. Erleigh
December 1986 – December 1989
Capt (SAN) R.A.S. Hauter
December 1989 – December 1992
Capt (SAN) J.B. Rabe
December 1992 – December 1995
Capt (SAN) B.R. Donkin
December 1995 – December 1998
Capt (SAN) S.L. Pillay
December 1998 – to date*
Note: * Denotes “as at the end of 2002”
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
The Argentine military office in Pretoria was re-opened in February 1993. Like South
Africa, the Argentine military representative is responsible for all defence-related
matters, that is for all arms of service (Army, Air Force and Navy). It is also notable
that only naval officers have thus far represented the Argentine armed forces in South
Africa (Table 12). This may be indicative of the nature of the interests Argentina has in
South Africa or the type of military relations that have to be strengthened, that is, they
should be guided by naval interests.
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144
Table 12: ARGENTINEAN MILITARY ATTACHÉS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Name
Capacity/
Period
Designation
Capt (N) J.I. Abelleyra
Capt (N) R.D. Lozano
Capt (N) H.J. Santillan
Capt
Collavino
(N)
Naval, Military and Air
February 1993 – February
Attaché
1995
Naval, Military and Air
February 1995 – February
Attaché
1997
Defence Attaché
January 1997 – February 1999
L.A. Naval, Military
Attaché
Capt (N) M.E. Fenley
Naval,
Military
and
Air February 1999 – January 2001
and
Air January 2001 – to date*
Attaché
Note: * Denotes “as at the end of 2002”
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
2.1.2.2
Military visits
One of the prominent tasks of political and military representatives in a country is to
facilitate exposure of the host country's senior personnel to the countries from which
such representatives originated. This implies proposing, encouraging, and co-ordinating
high-profile visits to those countries. Thus, visits normally give a good indication of the
eagerness to identify and understand mutual interests. With regard to Argentine-South
Africa military relations, there have been limited exchange visits by high-profile
military leaders (both uniformed and civilian).
On the civilian side, Juan Carlos Melián, an adviser to the Defence Commission of the
Argentinian Parliament, visited the Unisa Centre for Latin American Studies (UCLAS)
on 19 March 1996. He was accompanied by Germán Domínguez, Cultural Attaché,
Embassy of the Argentine Republic in South Africa. According to Melián, one of the
long-term goals of his visit to South Africa was to strengthen co-operation in the South
Atlantic region. Being a member of the council of an association popularly known as
the Seguridad Estratégica Regional (SER or Regional Strategic Security), Melián stated
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145
that he wanted to "promote debate on security and defence problems on national,
regional and international levels." He further indicated that the SER was in the process
of establishing a database for such purposes.15
On the military side, the South African Chief of Navy twice visited Argentina (October
1996 and October 1997). In September 1996, the Argentine Chief of Army, General
Balza, visited the South African Army.
The then South African Chief of Army,
Lieutenant-General Otto, paid a goodwill visit to Argentina in February 1997. During
the following year, in April 1998, the Argentine Chief of Army Staff paid a goodwill
visit to the South African Army. The other significant visit by Argentine personnel was
during the "Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000", a Defence and Aerospace Industry
Exposition, and "SAAF 80", the SA Air Force' 80th birthday celebrations, all of which
took place from 5-9 September 2000 at the Waterkloof Air Force Base. Making the
2000 visit even more special was the fact that Argentina was the only South American
country attending the show that had sent two aircraft.16
2.1.2.3
Military training
Since the democratisation of South Africa in 1994, the Argentine armed forces have not
sent a single military student to attend any of the SANDF military courses in South
Africa by October 2001. It could be argued that because South Africa is still busy with
the integration process, there are limited slots for foreign students. Conversely, South
Africa has been able to secure training slots in the Argentine armed forces’ training
programmes. For instance, during 1995, the SA Navy sent a surface attachment to
Argentina. In the same year and the following one a SA Navy officer attended the
Naval Control of Shipping course. Similarly, in 1999 and 2000, a SA Navy officer
attended the Ice Navigation course in each year.17
As already indicated, there is a clear preponderance of navy-related activities between
the two countries. This could be ascribed to the existence of two agreements in this
respect. Firstly, the Agreement on the Exchange of Information on Maritime Traffic
which was signed on 30 August 1991.
The second one was the Agreement of
Peacetime Co-operation between Argentine-RSA Navies, which was signed in October
1997.18 While the first agreement seems to be a logical bilateral arrangement between
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two countries with large oceanic waters separating them, the second one seems to
exclude periods of conflict and/or war. It should not be misconstrued as a bilateral
mutual defence agreement which would guarantee mutual military assistance during
times of war.
It is therefore evident that Argentine-South Africa military relations continued through
the years of isolation for South Africa. Binding the two countries was their perceived
common threat of communism that would engulf the South Atlantic states.
The
outbreak of the Falklands/Malvinas War or the South Atlantic War in 1982, might have
increased South Africa's strategic value to Argentina. It is notable that most of the
Argentine-South Africa military interaction was largely with regard to training. South
Africa's training to the Argentineans was predominantly in the battle-handling arena,
while the Argentineans provided some technical military training.
With the
democratisation of Argentina, active military interaction with South Africa was reduced
when the former's military office in Pretoria was closed down. Even though there have
been increased military activities between the two countries in the post-1994 era, there
is still room for improvement in terms of quality of interaction beyond symbolism.
2.2
BRAZIL
The hegemonic rivalry in the region involving Brazil and Argentina, to a large extent
affected the way both countries interacted with South Africa. Being a pariah state at the
time, South Africa sought to exploit the situation to its advantage. Maintaining cordial
relations with the two countries would support South Africa’s position in international
fora such the UN General Assembly. However, historical events prove that this was not
always possible as both countries regularly reviewed their political stance towards
South Africa, especially when they democratised during the early to mid-1980s.
2.2.1 Pre-1994 Brazil-South Africa military relations
Military relations between Brazil and South Africa vacillated from cordial to almost
hostile. The cordiality of such relations was normally linked to the nature of the
government and the political system in Brazil.
During the period of military
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governments in Brazil, relations could not be characterised as positive due to the
international pariah status of South Africa. This limited cordiality during military rule
in Brazil did not translate into full-fledged military diplomatic representation. There
were interactions between the two military establishments, but most of it was shrouded
in secrecy. Ironically, South African and Brazilian armed forces fought alongside each
other during the WW II. In fact, during that war the South African 6th Division supplied
the Brazilian army  Forςa Expedicionária Brasileira (FEB)  with winter uniforms,
as “the Brazilian soldiers went to Italy unprepared for the Italian winter.”19 This could
partly explain the relations between the two military establishments, particularly in the
light of the arms embargo imposed on South Africa, which Brazil supported but did not
fully implement.
Being the target of UN-imposed sanctions, South Africa decided to devise strategies to
attract support, or at least, sympathy from the South American countries in international
fora. This stemmed from the so-called ‘special relationship’ that existed between South
Africa’s military attachés in South America and the senior authorities in the countries of
that region. South Africa, through the Defence Committee, therefore decided to design
a Psychological Action Plan – code-named ‘Project Birch’ – with a view to creating a
climate conducive to supporting national policy. To this effect, all the military attachés
in South America were requested to provide information on their countries of
accreditation and specifically also comment on Peru and Brazil. The military attachés
were to provide crucial information on the following priority areas: agriculture, animal
husbandry, forestry, sub-economical housing or “any other civilian sector where [South
Africa’s] defence force can possibly be of assistance.”20 They also had to find out more
about the extent and nature of formal and informal co-operation between the defence
forces in the region with respect to training, joint exercises and social/cultural
interaction.21
It is not clear what the impact of Project Birch was on the Brazil-South Africa military
relations. The implementation of Project Birch coincided with the period during which
the Brazilian government discouraged all forms of military interaction with South
Africa.
For instance, the government prevented EMBRAER, the state-run arms-
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148
producing company, from competing for the order to supply training aircraft to the
South African (SA) Air Force.22
Consequently, the South African government found itself in a dilemma. On the one
hand there was a possibility of using the military attaché in Montevideo to represent
South Africa’s military interests in Brazil. On the other hand, the sheer size and
importance of Brazil in the South American sub-region was such that it required
dedicated representation. Therefore, ignoring Brazil was not an option at all. During
the mid-1980s the South African military establishment, in consultation with
Department of Foreign Affairs officials, was contemplating placing an undercover
military representative in Brazil. The significance of military representation in Brazil
was further accentuated by the ever-increasing possibility of South Africa’s military
representation in other countries in the Southern Cone sub-region, being threatened. In
the likely event that South Africa’s military attachés in countries such as Argentina,
Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, were withdrawn (or would be forced to withdraw), it was
argued that the military interests of South Africa would then be better served by having
an undercover representative in Brazil. Another consoling factor for South Africa was
the perception that Brazil was predominantly anti-leftist and anti-communist in its
worldview. The Brazilian elíte shared South Africa’s concerns about the possible
infiltration of communist elements in the South Atlantic region.23
However, such
shared threats or perception of threats did not translate into closer interaction between
the two countries. It was only with the change of government in South Africa in 1994
that direct military interaction resumed in earnest.
2.2.2 Post-1994 Brazil-South Africa military relations
Military interaction between the two countries was largely in the area of diplomatic
representation; goodwill visits and training exchange programmes.
2.2.2.1
Military representation
As already indicated, overt military relations between Brazil and South Africa only
commenced in 1994 with the advent of democracy in the country. Therefore, there have
only been three military attachés representing South Africa in Brazil since 1994 (Table
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149
13). It is notable that the first black military attaché in South America was appointed in
Brazil. It is also notable that being a Lieutenant-Colonel, he was the first relatively
junior military representative for South Africa in such an important country.
Table 13: SOUTH AFRICA’S MILITARY ATTACHÉS IN BRAZIL SINCE
1994
Name
Capacity/Designation
Period
Col A.F. Prins
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1994 – December
1997
Col C.V. Geldenhuys
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1997 – December
2000
Lt Col K. Malloi
Armed Forces Attaché
December 2000 to date*
Note: * Denotes “as at the end of 2002”
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
Unlike South Africa, Brazil has since 1994 always sent two military representatives to
South Africa, one as military attaché (army and air force) and the other a naval attaché
(Table 14). As is the case with Argentina, the navy is hardly ever coupled with any
other arm of service, whereas the army is normally coupled with the air force. This
demonstrates in no uncertain terms the seriousness with which the Brazilian armed
forces regard South Africa from military, political and geo-strategic perspectives.
Table 14: BRAZILIAN MILITARY ATTACHÉS IN SOUTH AFRICA SINCE
1994
Name
Capacity/Designation
Period
Col J.E.C. Siquera
Military Attaché
February 1995 – February
1997
Capt (N) M.M. Torres
Naval Attaché
January 1995 – January 1997
Col R. Montechiari
Army & Air Attaché
February 1997 – February
1999
Capt (N) R. dos Santos
Naval Attaché
January 1997 – January 1999
Col M.F. Hennemann
Army & Air Attaché
February 1999 – January
2001
Capt (N) V.F. Japiassu
Naval Attaché
February 1999 – January
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150
2001
Capt (N) L. Zampronio
Defence and Naval Attaché
January 2001 to date*
Col M. Mandonca
Army & Air Attaché
January 2001 to date*
Note: * Denotes “as at the end of 2002”
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
2.2.2.2
Military visits
Given the high level of military representation of Brazilian interests in South Africa, it
is only logical that there would be substantial interaction and high-profile visits between
the two countries. The first official visit by a Brazilian naval vessel was in June 1995
when the hydrographic vessel  SIRIUS  conducted a routine visit to Cape Town.
In 1996, three SANDF yachts participated in the Rio Yacht Race. During that visit, the
Brazilian Navy provided essential support to the visiting members. During November
of the same year, two SA Air Force members visited Brazil when they attended a fighter
pilot symposium. The SA Special Forces paid an official visit to Brazil in 1997 and in
the same year, the SA Chief of the Navy visited Brazil. Members of the SA Navy
attended the South Atlantic Maritime Area Organisation meeting that was held in Brazil
in March 1998. In April of the same year, the Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Army was
hosted by the Chief of the SANDF. The SA Army Chaplain visited Brazil for the
World Council of Churches (WCC) conference in May 1998. In October 1998, South
African Rear-Admiral M.J.G. Soderlund and Commander Jamieson visited Brazil in
order to finalise preparations for “ATLASUR 1999”. During 1999 the Chief of the SA
Army paid a goodwill visit to Brazil and in April of the same year the Chief of the
SANDF was requested by DENEL to accompany their delegation to attend the “LAD
99 Defence Exhibition” in Brazil.24
One of the highlights of Brazil-South Africa military relations was during the 500th
celebrations of “Discovery of Brazil” which took place on 30 April 2000. For that
occasion, the SA Navy sent the SAS Protea, which is a hydrographic ship, to represent
the SANDF.25 When the SA Navy celebrated its 75th birthday, the Brazilian Navy
reciprocated by sending three ships to South Africa. In the same year, the “Cape to Rio
Yacht 2000” took place. The SANDF sent three yachts to participate in the race and the
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151
Brazilian Navy once again provided essential support to the SANDF participants.
During September 2000, the Chief of Staff of the Brazilian Navy paid a goodwill visit
to South Africa, and members of the SA Defence Intelligence community visited Brazil
for the Intelligence Exchange conference in November 2000. The Chief of SA Air
Force attended the “LAD Defence Exhibition 2001” in April 2001 and in June 2001, the
SA Chief of Army also paid a goodwill visit to Brazil.26
2.2.2.3
Military training
The SANDF has presented a few military courses to the Brazilian Armed Forces
personnel, mostly naval courses (Table 15). It is also noteworthy that the Brazilians
have been sending attachments to the SA Navy’s ships as part of their training and also
skills transfer programme from which both navies benefited.
Table 15: SANDF TRAINING PRESENTED TO THE BRAZILIAN ARMED
FORCES SINCE 1994
Nature of Course/Training
Year
A Navy officer attended the Naval Command and Staff course
1997
An attachment to SAS OUTENIQUA
1998
A submarine attachment to the RSA
1998
A Navy officer attended the Foreign Officers’ Orientation course
1998
An Army officer attended the SA Army Senior Command and Staff Duties
1999
Navy sent an MCM attachment
1999
A Navy officer attended the Naval Command and Staff course
1999
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
In accordance with the principle of reciprocity and complementarity, the SANDF has
also sent its members to attend courses in Brazil. In addition to providing training on
Naval Control of Shipping, the Brazilian Armed Forces have reserved slots for the
SANDF to do Senior Staff courses and also to be able to send attachments to Brazilian
ships, especially submarines (Table 16).
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Table 16: BRAZILIAN MILITARY TRAINING PRESENTED TO THE SANDF
SINCE 1994
Nature of Course
Year
SA Navy officer attended the Naval Control of Shipping course
1995
SA Navy officer attended the Naval Control of Shipping course
1996
SA Air Force officer attended the Brazilian Senior Air Force Staff course
1998
SA Army officer attended the Brazilian Army Senior Staff course
1998
SA Navy sent a submarine attachment to Brazil
1998
SA Navy sent an MCM attachment to Brazil
2000
SA Navy sent a submarine attachment to Brazil
2000
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters,
Directorate Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
2.2.2.4
Military agreements
Most of the post-1994 military interactions and exchanges between Brazil and South
Africa have been facilitated by substantial goodwill among politicians. Despite the fact
that there has been no formal military agreement binding the two military
establishments, their interaction surpasses other bilateral exchanges, which are based on
formal agreements. There were various military agreements that were being negotiated
during 2001.
These included those pertaining to the following areas:
merchant
shipping and related maritime matters; environmental co-operation; science and
technology; and aeronautical and maritime search and rescue services.27 There are
increasing indications that these could all be consolidated into a single Agreement on
Defence and Security Co-operation. This became necessary after the restructuring of
the Brazilian Ministry of Defence. It was generally expected that this agreement would
be finalised and signed by mid-2001, but this did not materialise.28 The finalisation of
this agreement would give impetus to the expansion and diversification of military
interaction between the two armed forces.
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2.2.2.5
153
Co-operation between the defence-related industries
The co-operation of Brazil and South Africa in defence-related industries has an
important sub-regional dimension. There has been increasing involvement of Brazil in
the SADC sub-region, particularly in Namibia where the Brazilian Navy is assisting
Namibia in creating a naval capacity.
The Namibian Minister of Defence, Peter
Mueshinghange, visited Brazil in the early 1990s with a view to soliciting assistance in
establishing a military infrastructure such as a naval base for Namibia. In fact, Namibia
had already ordered some patrol boats from Brazil. They also indicated interest in
acquiring the Brazilian military trainer aircraft Tucano and the transport aircraft
Bandeirante from EMBRAER. Thus, it would be necessary for Brazil to station some
naval and air force personnel in Namibia in order to provide for the training and
upgrading of Namibian defence force equipment.29
While the involvement of Brazil in Namibia should not be viewed as a threat to South
Africa’s security, it is important that both Brazil and Namibia should not harbour
negative perceptions of South Africa, particularly in the military sphere. For many
years, EMBRAER was prevented from providing weapons to South Africa due to
sanctions imposed on the latter.30 However, with the lifting of sanctions, co-operation
between the two countries in the area of defence-related industries has not been as
impressive as might have been expected. This is particularly due to the fact that South
Africa is also a significant arms supplier (in Third World terms). For instance, in 1999
South Africa’s DENEL was the only country listed in SIPRI’s 100 largest armsproducing companies from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) and developing countries. 31 There have been very modest orders
of military equipment by Brazil. In 1997, Brazil ordered the so-called Sensitive Major
Significant Equipment (SMSE) and Sensitive Significant Equipment (SSE) to the value
of R19 000 and R2,6 million respectively from South Africa. According to the South
African National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), which is a
statutory body responsible for designing and implementing South Africa’s arms trade
policy, the SMSE comprises “conventional implements of war that could cause heavy
personnel casualties and/or major damage and destruction to material, structures, objects
and facilities.” The SSE refers to “all types of hand-held and portable weapons of a
calibre smaller than 12,7 mm.”32
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It is speculated that DENEL and its subsidiaries will eventually be able to penetrate the
Brazilian defence market either as sole providers or entering into joint partnership with
Brazilian arms-producing companies. Areas of possible co-operation include, but are
not limited to, artillery and maintenance or provision of aviation-related requirements.33
It is undeniably true that Brazil-South Africa relations in the military sphere are very
much at an infancy stage. This is attributed to the strict adherence of Brazil to previous
UN resolutions which effectively isolated South Africa.
Both countries maintain
mutual recognition and understanding of their significance in their respective regions.
Furthermore, both countries have realised that in order for them to attain their global
strategic objectives, they have to co-operate in dealing with issues of regional
significance, particularly in the area of peace and security. Brazil's involvement in
Southern Africa, largely in the previously Lusophone countries, is crucial in terms of
peace-making in Angola and post-conflict peace-building activities in Mozambique. It
could be speculated that if it were not for the involvement of countries such as Brazil,
South Africa would arguably have had a much bigger problem in dealing with the
security concerns of its neighbouring countries.
The future of Brazil-South Africa military relations will, to a great extent, be
determined by the successful conclusion of relevant agreements, especially the proposed
Agreement on Defence and Security Co-operation.
This agreement is particularly
important because it is reportedly aimed at consolidating all other bilateral agreements
such as those pertaining to merchant shipping; environmental preservation; and searchand-rescue. Furthermore, it is in the area of defence industries where substantial cooperation could take place.
However, being part of the developing world, both
countries are likely to be caught up in competitive rather than co-operative roles as the
arms market is increasingly shrinking owing to limited national investment in arms
production, and also as a result of new entrants flooding the market with new products.
2.3
PARAGUAY
Unlike the case of Argentina and Brazil, Paraguay, as a small country, has been
particularly vulnerable to external influences. This was further exacerbated by the role
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155
played by the military establishment in the country. Paraguay could hardly resist
temptations of flouting the international arms embargo regimes in its interactions with
South Africa.
2.3.1 Pre-1994 Paraguay-South Africa military relations
While evidence abounds that commercial relations between South Africa and Paraguay
were established at an early stage, military relations only developed during the mid1970s.
One of the most comprehensive visits by a South African delegation to
Paraguay took place in January 1975, under the leadership of Brand Fourie, then
Secretary of External Affairs.34 The visiting delegation included highly influential
business people and other government officials.35
South Africa’s first Armed Forces Attaché to Paraguay, Colonel W.J. Piennaar took up
his position in August 1975. Two days after his arrival in Asunción , the South Africa’s
Prime Minister B.J. Vorster paid a state visit to Paraguay.36 Given the political situation
and regional dynamics of hegemonic rivalry, particularly between Argentina and Brazil,
it is not clear how South Africa managed to conduct defence diplomacy among hostile
neighbours. However, it could nevertheless be argued that representation in countries
such as Paraguay and Uruguay was symbolic and of no particular strategic significance.
Even though Paraguay is a land-locked country, and therefore of limited strategic
military value to South Africa, it appears as if South Africa’s view of South America
was that of a collection of states, which, as a group and under the leadership of
Argentina and Brazil, had to be treated as a collective. Furthermore, South Africa’s
interest in Paraguay had to be seen against the background of growing co-operation
between Paraguay and Argentina in the arms production arena. During the mid-1970s
the president of Fabricaciones Militares of Argentina, General Horacio Anibal Rivera,
and other high-ranking officers of the Argentine Army, signed an agreement with
Industrias Militares del Paraguay. The Paraguayan government was represented by
their Minister of Defence, General Marcial Samaniego. According to the agreement
Paraguay would produce military explosives, while Argentina would provide raw
materials, machinery, technical know-how and the training of Paraguayan personnel.37
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Similarly, Brazil’s President Geisel interacted closely with Paraguayan President
Stroessner on issues of mutual concern, including arms production issues. The two
presidents exchanged visits on a regular basis. In fact, on 19 May 1975 Brazil donated
more than seven T-6 training aircraft to the Paraguayan Air Force which was headed by
Brigadier-General Vicente F. Quinonez. Additional fighting equipment such as three
Douglas DC-6 aircraft was later donated to Paraguay. On the same day that donations
from Brazil landed at Asunción, the Argentine and Paraguayan navies started joint
exercises in the area of confluence of the rivers Paraná and Paraguay. The joint exercise
was known as Sirena 1 which was essentially a joint air-naval exercise involving
personnel from both countries.38
Co-operation between Paraguay and South Africa in the military sphere included
training, arms transfers and arms production. Paraguay ordered South Africa-made
weapons, particularly small-calibre weapons (9mm pistols, revolvers and shotguns),
ammunition for pistols and shotguns, and parachutes.
In some cases, Paraguayan
officials exploited South Africa’s status as a pariah state, by offering to order weapons
for the latter from legitimate arms merchants from the West. It is not clear if South
Africa ever made use of such offers.39
In the arms production arena, Paraguay faced a dual dilemma. On the one hand,
Paraguay wanted to be a significant role-player in the regional context with regard to
producing arms, but on the other hand, it did not possess the skills and capacity to do so.
Following the discussions between the Chiefs of Staff Intelligence of South Africa and
Chile in Pretoria in mid-1977, it transpired that Chile wanted to start a joint arms
production venture with Paraguay.
However, the latter did not have any arms
production industry. Paraguay therefore approached South Africa to become a partner
in the joint venture. The Paraguayan military representative discussed the matter with
president General Stroessner who was favourably disposed towards the suggestion.40 It
is not clear if this joint venture ever came to fruition and whether or not South Africa’s
proposed co-operation with Paraguay in the arms-production enterprise was to be done
overtly or covertly.
With regard to military training, as at December 1983, South Africa had already
provided military training to Paraguayan officers in the form of a SA Army Command
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157
and Staff course; a SA Air Force Staff course, training on Impala aircraft; exchange of
naval officers; Infantry Battle handling; and a Combat Group Commanders course.41
Further training was provided in 1985 in the form of the SA Army Command and Staff
course and also the SA Air Force’s Basic Pilots Training on Impala and Harvard for two
Paraguayan officers.42
However, most of the military interaction between Paraguay and South Africa was
conducted through their intelligence structures. South Africa’s Military Intelligence
Division (MID) and the 2nd Department (as the Military Intelligence body was known)
of the Paraguayan Armed Forces, held regular bilateral (and sometimes multilateral)
intelligence conferences with a view to dealing with topical issues of mutual concern.
One such bilateral conference took place during August 1984.43
Figure 4: THE ORGANISATION OF THE 2ND DEPARTMENT (MILITARY
INTELLIGENCE) OF THE PARAGUAYAN ARMED FORCES AS
AT AUGUST 1984
Chief of the 2nd
Department
Division of
Administration
Division of
CounterIntelligence
Division of
External
Intelligence
Division of
Internal
Intelligence
DAMIA*
Division
Responsible for
Liaison with
Military Attachés
* DAMIA: This division was responsible for collection of military intelligence, regional security,
feasibility studies and projects, military conferences and liaison with other defence forces in Latin
America.
Source:
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 3, Box 1,
MLVA-Buenos Aires.
File AMI/514/3/5/1/1,
Both Damia and the division responsible for liaison with military attachés (Figure 4)
were pivotal in South Africa-Paraguayan military interaction.44 Some of the salient
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158
issues under constant consideration between the intelligence organisations of the two
countries included the following:
•
The common intelligence problem of a communist threat;
•
the exchange of syllabuses of intelligence and counter-intelligence courses
by means of the military attachés as well as the attendance of applicable
courses; and
•
co-operation on the use or conduct of intelligence, especially using
computers and crypto-analysis.45
Given the limited purchasing power, natural resource endowment and also the political
system in Paraguay at the time, military relations with South Africa largely defined the
nature and scope of the two country’s interaction with each other.
Most of the
interaction was veiled in secrecy in order to avoid political embarrassment to Paraguay
for associating with a pariah state. With the advent of democracy in South Africa and
increased intolerance of undemocratic rule in South America, particularly among the
Mercosur countries, relations between South Africa and Paraguay were bound to
change.
2.3.2 Post-1994 Paraguay-South Africa military relations
The eminence enjoyed by the military establishment especially with regard to pursuing
covert diplomatic relations, which could not be done in the overt political structures,
waned and eventually came to an end when a new political dispensation was introduced
in South Africa.
Consequently, the office of South Africa’s armed forces attaché in
Paraguay was closed down. Since then, South Africa’s armed forces attaché posted in
Buenos Aires, Argentina, is also accredited to Paraguay as a non-resident attaché.
Similarly, Paraguay no longer has any military representation in Pretoria.46
At end of 2001, there were still no military agreements between the two countries and
none were being planned for the future either. Furthermore, only limited arms transfers,
which are largely in the non-sensitive and non-lethal category, have taken place
between the two countries since 1994.47
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Despite political inexpediency and international condemnation, pre-1994 ParaguaySouth Africa military relations were rooted in the inherent weakness of the political
systems and the lack of industrial infrastructure in Paraguay. Paraguay had strong
regional ambitions that could not be translated into action, owing simply to the fact that
its neighbours were potential rivalries.
Thus, South Africa presented an ideal
opportunity to fulfil that ambition. However, it is noteworthy that it was not only the
need for military industrial development, which prompted Paraguay to defy the
international call for the isolation of South Africa, but also socio-economic factors. The
strong bilateral military relations that existed prior to 1994 evaporated during the post1994 restructuring and consolidation process of South Africa's foreign missions. The
closing down of the South African embassy in Asunción demonstrated a change of
direction by the post-1994 government of South Africa.
2.4
URUGUAY
Another country that had strong military relations with South Africa during the
sanctions era was Uruguay.
The general nature and scope of Uruguay’s military
relations with South Africa resembled, to a large extent, those between South Africa and
Paraguay.
2.4.1 Pre-1994 Uruguay-South Africa military relations
Prior to 1994, the Uruguayan government maintained high-profile diplomatic-military
relations with South Africa. There was general congruence in terms of their internal
political policies as Uruguay was intermittently under military rule that was not very
popular among the liberal democratic states. In South Africa the military establishment
had excessive influence in the decision-making processes of government. Civil liberties
were limited and some organisations were proscribed. Another aspect contributing to
the unfavourable Western (particularly British) perception of Uruguay, stemmed from
the latter’s active support of Argentina’s claim to the Falklands/Malvinas island. This
was confirmed on 2 December 1974 when the Uruguayan delegate to the UN, J.L.
Bruno, publicly expressed support for the Argentine aspiration to exercise sovereignty
over the Falklands/Malvinas island, much to the dismay of Britain.48
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South Africa’s cordial relations with Uruguay, which were characterised by increased
co-operation in the military sphere, were not being supported by most Uruguayans.
This came to the fore when the Uruguayan military government closed one of the
popular Protestant newspapers  Mesajero Waldense  which had published some
information on the WCC. The Uruguayan protestant leader, Reverend Emilio Castro,
believed that the government’s hostility towards the WCC was mainly due to that
organisation’s opposition to South Africa’s political system. Some prominent clerical
members from South Africa such as Desmond Tutu and Alan Boesak were playing
crucial roles in vilifying and criticising South Africa. The WCC members were barred
from visiting South Africa and later Uruguay as well.49
South Africa’s armed forces attachés enjoyed widespread acceptability and they
normally paved way for non-military exchanges as well. For instance, in October 1976
a journal called Latin America reported that a group of industrialists and business
people from South Africa came to visit Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. While
the discussions with Argentina were attended by representatives from mining
companies such as Anglovaal and Union Corporation, and financial houses such as the
South African Financial Corporation, the Afrikaanders Ltd, and the Royal Insurance,
the discussions with the Uruguayans centred largely around military issues. The Chiefs
of the Navy and the Air Force of both countries reportedly explored the possibility of
South Africa investing in ship-building, fishing, mineral exploration and the
aeronautical industry.50
Furthermore, there were reportedly discussions about contingency plans for possible
white refugees coming to Uruguay and other neighbouring countries in the event of a
take-over of government by a Black majority in South Africa. Both Argentina and
Chile had indicated that they would be positively disposed towards such an eventuality.
According to the Uruguayan daily El país, 10 000 Rhodesians had expressed interest in
settling in Uruguay.51 Bolivia was particularly enthusiastic about the prospects of
hosting a large number of white immigrants from Namibia, Rhodesia and South Africa.
This would be in reciprocation for a similar gesture by South Africa during the late
1970s when it attempted to secure financial assistance from the World Bank, the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) and private organisations to settle 150 000 White
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immigrants from Bolivia in South Africa between 1978 and 1988. There was neither
acknowledgement nor denial of the allegations contained in the report. As South Africa
was still facing sanctions at that time, this was understandable.52
Ironically, the complex national security management system that was developed by
South Africa during the late seventies and early eighties, seems to have been
significantly influenced by its relations with Uruguay. This stems from the resemblance
of that country’s national security system to that of South Africa. The main area of
considerable similarity was the psychological warfare or the ‘hearts and minds’
campaign that was waged inside and outside South Africa by the MID. The whole of
the Uruguayan Armed Forces was responsible for specific civic action activities. Each
ministry, government office and municipality had on its staff an armed forces officer,
responsible to the Joint Staff. The Army was responsible for building roads, bridges,
railways; providing transport in the outlying areas and also helping in the construction
of schools and providing bathrooms and other facilities to such schools.53 The Navy
helped with oceanographic, hydrographical and meteorological services. These services
included co-operating with the municipality of Montevideo in obtaining several
oceanographical parameters for the final layout of the sewerage system of Montevideo,
and the preservation and improvement of beaches. The Uruguayan Navy also helped in
public schools with regard to repairing buildings and providing community aid to the
islanders of the Uruguay River.54
The Uruguayan military establishment had tremendous influence in the political affairs
of the country. This became even more evident after the Human Rights Conference
held in Geneva during February and March 1977. During that conference Uruguay
voted against South Africa and the latter’s armed forces attaché expressed his
disappointment over the situation. Uruguay’s Director of Servicio Inteligencia del
Estado (S.I.D.E)  their Military Intelligence  General Amauri Prantl, assured South
Africa's armed forces attaché that the “military were taking steps to re-organise the
Uruguayan Department of Foreign Affairs.”55 By that time, South Africa-Uruguay
military relations were so cordial that Uruguay was also contemplating sending a
military attaché to Pretoria. However, apart from possible international condemnation
of such a move, there were prohibitive financial implications which the Uruguayan
government was not in a position to bear.56 Furthermore, the Uruguayan government,
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162
and the military establishment in particular, were prepared to flout sanctions and the
arms embargo imposed on South Africa. There were already talks about possible
transfers of small arms from South Africa to Uruguay.
Both the South African
Ambassador and armed forces attaché to Uruguay were positively disposed towards this
possibility.57 A similar request was once again made by the Uruguayan Navy during the
official visit by South Africa’s military intelligence officers to that country.
The
Uruguayan Navy was also keen to purchase South Africa’s fighting vessels.58 It is not
clear if such transactions eventually materialised or not, as these were shrouded in a veil
of secrecy.
One of the main areas of co-operation between the militaries of South Africa and
Uruguay was training. Military training was seen, especially by South Africa, as an
important dimension of its efforts to acquire knowledge and strengthen political and
cultural ties between the two countries. There was, however, growing unease about the
level of openness that should govern such training to foreigners. Consequently, in early
1983, the SA Department of Defence decided that given the fact that the “SD (Staff
Duties) course is now largely based on the Army strategy and other classified material,
it is suggested that foreigners should only be allowed to attend a part of the SD
course.”59 While this did not only indicate a relative lack of mutual trust, it also
demonstrated that for South Africa these exchange programmes were essentially
symbolic in nature.
The syllabus of the SD course in which the Uruguayans were particularly interested,
comprised the following subjects: communication; management; organisation of the
SADF; strategy; combat services; operations theory; intelligence theory; finance;
logistics; personnel; specialist arms; formal training and finishing including the
planning cycle at divisional level; counter-insurgency (COIN) and counterrevolutionary warfare; and joint warfare. The last three subjects were not available to
foreigners. The other subjects from which foreigners were barred were: strategy (which
included the utilisation of power bases); South African philosophy; infantry; armour;
artillery; engineers and signals.60 This shows that despite close military-diplomatic
relations between the two countries, South Africa remained cautious as there was
always an eternal fear that governments from the then friendly nations could change and
the country’s operational secrets would have been lost for ever. By December 1983,
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163
South Africa had already provided military training to Uruguayan troops at the SA
Naval Staff course and through secondment to the SA Navy.61
As already indicated, the MID spearheaded South Africa’s diplomatic relations in South
America. During their visit to Uruguay in August 1984, the MID had formal and
informal discussions with their Uruguayan counterparts. The issues that dominated the
discussions revolved around the following aspects:
•
Establishing the office of the military attaché in Pretoria;
•
exchange of photographs of East bloc fishing boats and military ships in the
RSA’s and Uruguay’s territorial waters;
•
exchange of intelligence with regard to methods to counter infiltration of
Russian spies in the respective countries’ armed forces;
•
the possible visit by Uruguayan officers to South Africa in order to see the
weapons confiscated from the liberation movement (presumably of Russian
origin);
•
the possibility of Uruguayan technical personnel visiting South Africa in
order to help the latter in improving the SADF’s electronic warfare capacity;
and
•
the SADF had to make the syllabuses of its intelligence and counterintelligence courses available to Uruguay.62
These undertakings demonstrated the cordiality of military relations between South
Africa and Uruguay. However, by mid-1986 there were increasing indications that
South Africa’s military representation in Uruguay was being threatened. This was
communicated by the South African armed forces attaché during August 1986. There
was going to be a United Nations sitting during which the question of Uruguay-South
Africa relations would be discussed. It was against this background that the Uruguayan
Police Chief called in the South African mission head to inform him that Uruguay
would like to indicate to the UN that South Africa's military representation in Uruguay
was no longer acceptable. The manner in which the matter was communicated to the
South African officials indicated that Uruguay still valued their relations with South
Africa. The South African government responded by informing its missions that it was
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164
not prepared to be embarrassed by the dismissal of its military attaches from the South
American countries.
Therefore, it was decided, if the situation allowed, that the
incumbent attaché should stay until December 1986. However, it was further decided
that if the indications from the Uruguayan government were that they wanted to take
action against South Africa's armed forces attaché, the latter would have to withdraw as
soon as possible in order to keep the initiative. The South African armed forces attaché
suggested to the South African Ambassador that there should be no further accreditation
requested from the Uruguayan government, unless there were indications that such a
request would be treated favourably. Furthermore, it was suggested that South Africa
should not attempt to place an undercover military operative in that country.63
Obviously, Uruguay, which was also democratising, wanted to comply with the
international community’s call for compliance with the UN resolutions regarding
sanctions against South Africa.
2.4.2 Post-1994 Uruguay-South Africa military relations
With the closure of South Africa’s diplomatic and military representatives’ offices in
Uruguay, the relations remained strained but not hostile.
When the new political
dispensation was ushered in South Africa, no effort was made to re-open the offices.
Instead, the South African defence attaché posted in Buenos Aires is also accredited to
Uruguay as a non-resident attaché. Uruguay only closed its defence attaché’s office in
South Africa in December 1999.64 It could be argued that the motivation for such a step
was largely based on considerations other than dissatisfaction with South Africa’s
political system. These considerations could include financial issues and the fact that
South Africa does not have a resident defence attaché in Uruguay, which could possibly
be perceived by the latter as an indication of limited strategic or political value that the
former attaches to Uruguay.
By the end of 2001, there were no military agreements existing between South Africa
and Uruguay nor are there any being planned for the future. It is notable that, with the
exception of Argentina and Brazil, South Africa seems to approach Paraguay and
Uruguay on issues of common interest within the framework of Mercosur.
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Since their inception, South Africa-Uruguayan military relations have always been
biased in favour of South Africa. This was largely owing to the relatively higher level
of economic and military development in South Africa and the corresponding
dependence of Uruguay on South Africa with regard to certain technical military
expertise. South Africa prudently exploited these weaknesses until the democratisation
process started in Uruguay. It is notable that Uruguay's change in political approach to
South Africa was in line with the actions of other South American countries.
2.5
BOLIVIA
For a long time, Bolivia had been confronted with a violent opposition to its political
system, which was characterised by the preponderant role of the military. Civil liberties
were limited and human rights not protected. Under such circumstances the security
forces, especially the military establishment, play a crucial role both in propping up the
incumbent government and in ensuring law and order, which normally gravitates
towards quashing opposition. Political parties and labour unions were prohibited.65
By early 1975, the South African Armed Forces Attaché, Captain (SAN) J.C. Ferris,
situated in Buenos Aires, reported to the Chief of Staff Intelligence in Pretoria that
Bolivia had “curtailed press freedom to extreme levels.” 66 This followed the expulsion
of two Catholic priests, both Belgian nationals and members of the Peace Commission,
who had been arrested on 14 December 1974 for participating in the publication of a
pamphlet  The Valley Massacre  which described the clashes between the military
and peasants. The pamphlet claimed that over 100 people had died while the official
figures stood at 13 killed and 16 injured.67 The Bolivian government was facing a
formidable challenge from the extreme leftist guerrilla movement known as the Union
of Poor Peasants (UCAPO), particularly dominant in the province of Santa Cruz.68
The pre-1994 relations between South Africa and Bolivia should be seen against the
background of serious internal political challenges to the two governments; the status of
Bolivia as a land-locked country; and both countries having hostile relations with the
neighbours in their respective sub-regions. As already indicated, the fact that the
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166
political system of Bolivia was not acceptable to the international community and the
subsequent suppression of civil liberties, made South Africa a natural ally.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Bolivian government adopted a foreign
policy that was based on non-alignment. In this respect, the government argued that it
would like to establish and maintain cordial diplomatic relations with all the countries
of the world.
For South Africa, this presented a window of opportunity for
strengthening its case in the South American region.69
Furthermore, being a land-locked country, Bolivia relied on co-operation from its
immediate neighbours to assist in the transportation of its import and export
commodities. Thus, Bolivia had to ensure friendly relations with Chile and Peru.70
However, this was not going to be easy because both Chile and Peru were on numerous
occasions on the brink of going to war against each other. In fact, at some stage the
Centre of National Studies (CEN), whose members are graduates of the School of
Higher Military Studies, published a document in which the need to arm in self-defence
was stressed. This was in view of a possible war between Chile and Peru.71 Bolivia
succeeded in securing access to the port of Montevideo after Bolivian President Hugo
Banzer paid an official three-day visit to Uruguay. In terms of the trade and economic
agreements signed on 24 July 1975 Bolivia was ceded a free zone in the port of
Montevideo.72 Bolivia had lost access to sea during the Atlantic War of 1879-1883
involving Bolivia, Chile and Peru.73 The relations between these countries remained
lukewarm until August 1975 when Chile acceded to Bolivian President Banzer’s
proposal that an organisation of mineral-producing countries be established. In his
Five-Point Plan, President Banzer proposed that Bolivia should have access to the sea.
Venezuela’s President Perez supported the idea quite strongly, while Chile, which was
represented by Chief of Staff General Sergio Arellano, announced that it would be
prepared to sign a non-aggression pact with both Bolivia and Peru.74
Thus, when South Africa started strengthening military relations with Bolivia in the
early to mid-1970s, the latter was in the process of normalising diplomatic relations
with her neighbours. Facilitating the realisation of good military relations with Bolivia
was the fact that most of the neighbouring countries were already in good diplomatic
standing with South Africa. It is not unlikely that South Africa exerted indirect pressure
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through its South American allies to gain favour with Bolivia. This is against the
background that, at that stage, there really was no immediate strategic value that South
Africa attached to Bolivia. But it was argued that military relations would facilitate the
process of negotiating agreements with other South American countries through
Bolivia. In fact, South Africa’s relations with Bolivia were much stronger in military
than in political and diplomatic terms. During early 1983, in correspondence between
the armed forces attaché in Montevideo and the Chief of the SADF, it was stated that
the “SADF representation in Uruguay and Bolivia should not be seen in isolation but in
a regional context … Owing to the fact that South Africa's missions in Uruguay and
Bolivia were understaffed, there was a slow flow of information into the country. Thus,
the role of armed forces attachés in countries such as Bolivia and Uruguay should not
restrict themselves to military issues.”75 This instruction enabled armed forces attachés
in those countries to become involved in political and economic matters.
The SADF constantly received requests from Bolivia for military training. This was
despite the fact that there was a wave of democratisation processes taking place within
Bolivia. By early 1983, the diplomatic and political situation was not in favour of South
Africa as the Bolivian Embassy in Pretoria had been ‘temporarily closed’. Similarly,
other countries’ embassies in Pretoria followed suit. Thus, the SADF was always
willing to help Bolivia with military training in order to maintain some kind of military
representation in that country, regardless of who was in government. In fact, the SADF
offered to carry the full financial burden of such training for Bolivia, which was
contrary to the standing policy of reciprocity or quid pro quo approach.76
The period of cordial relations with Bolivia came to an end when Dr. H. Siles Zuazo
won the elections in June 1982 thus becoming the Bolivian president. However, Siles's
Unidad Democratica Popular (UDP) failed to obtain an absolute majority.
Siles'
victory was not in line with South Africa's hopes that General Banzer would win.
General Banzer was admired by Pretoria because he was inclined towards the West in
his political and economic outlook. The Bolivian mission in Pretoria and that of South
Africa in La Paz were opened during his term and there were even talks of upgrading
Bolivian representation in Pretoria to ambassadorial level. Until then, Bolivia’s voting
record in the UN on issues involving South Africa showed a moderate stance, except in
the case of the South West Africa/Namibia question where Bolivia followed the Third
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168
World position. However, relations with South Africa came to an abrupt end when the
Siles government took over the reigns of power. In his first speech in the UN General
Assembly, Siles launched a scathing attack on South Africa, demanding the tightening
of UN sanctions against South Africa and the immediate independence of Namibia.
Before the Siles government took over power, Bolivia was the only country among the
Andean Pact countries that had diplomatic relations with South Africa. Consequently,
South Africa withdrew quietly from the country without even attempting to revive
military relations as had been the case during the previous dispensation.77
The Siles government did not last even a year as it was overthrown by a military coup
(Bolivia's 200th coup d'état in 160 years) under the leadership of General Luis Garcia
Meza. Despite protestations and threats of sanctions by the Andean Community and the
Organisation of American States (OAS), countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Paraguay, Uruguay and El Salvador recognised the military government.78 Confusion
reigned in Bolivian national politics until general elections were held in 1985.
In the tightly contested elections of 14 July 1985, where General Banzer, Siles Zuazo
and Victor Paz Estenssoro were candidates, Estenssoro emerged victorious.
Once
again, victory by Estenssoro flew in the face of South Africa’s desire to have General
Banzer at the helm again. It was not the first time that Estenssoro became the president
of Bolivia. He was the president in 1952-1956, and again in 1960-1964, but his last
term was interrupted by a military coup d'tat. However, the simmering tensions and
instability in Bolivia gave South Africa some hope that its military assistance, of any
kind, might once again be solicited. Tensions emanated from then dubious economic
and monetary policies of the Bolivian government and there was serious disagreement
even among cabinet members about them. Until September 1985, the local currency
(Peso) was pegged against the US Dollar. But this resulted in precarious devaluations,
thus plunging the country’s economy into trouble. On 21 January 1986, the whole
cabinet resigned, thus enabling President Estenssoro to form a new one.
The
diplomatic/military relations with South Africa never improved with the new
administration.79
The advent of democracy in South Africa did not change the situation drastically in
terms of diplomatic and military relations and the post-1994 South African government
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169
did not open an embassy in La Paz. Thus South Africa does not have a resident military
attaché in Bolivia, and nor does Bolivia have one in South Africa. By the end of 2001,
there were no military agreements in existence or due for future consideration.
However, the absence of direct diplomatic/military representation does not reflect any
negative perceptions of one another but is largely based on other considerations,
including financial constraints. With the possibility of Bolivia becoming a fully-fledged
member of Mercosur, South Africa may have considered it more prudent to deal with
that country within a collective framework. It is undeniably true that being a landlocked
country and also having lukewarm to strained diplomatic relations with its immediate
neighbours, Bolivia is bound to attempt to cast its diplomatic net much wider to include
most countries in the Andean Community and beyond, including South Africa.
However, this may not always be possible due to limited resources. It is not clear as to
what the actual or perceived strategic value of Bolivia was to South Africa in the period
prior to 1994. Nevertheless, Bolivia had a relationship of dependency with South
Africa, which was optimally exploited by the latter for political purposes.
2.6
CHILE
One of the most enduring military relations that South Africa ever had with a South
American country, was with Chile.
As was the case with Bolivia, Paraguay and
Uruguay, South Africa’s diplomatic relations with Chile were spearheaded by the
military establishment. Through military intelligence structures both countries managed
to achieve what they could not achieve through overt, non-military structures and
processes.
2.6.1 Pre-1994 Chile-South Africa military relations
Barely a decade after South Africa had declared a Republic, an active campaign was
launched to win support from the like-minded countries across the South Atlantic
Ocean. As was the case with other South American countries, South Africa found a
reliable and compatible ally in the form of Chile. At that stage Chile was under a
military government with General Augusto Pinochet as the Supreme Head. On 17
December 1974, the military junta passed a decree in terms of which General Pinochet
was declared President.80
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170
The military relations between Chile and South Africa went from strength to strength as
these were not clearly discernible from political activities. Of primary concern to Chile,
as was the case with South Africa, was the isolation by the international community
which impacted negatively not only on its socio-economic development but also on the
military sphere. The latter aspect was particularly crucial as Chile still had unresolved
conflicts with neighbouring Argentina over some islands on the Beagle Channel.
Further aggravating the situation was the imposition of an arms embargo by the US
against Chile, together with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru and
Uruguay in 1977. The US insisted that these Southern Cone countries should improve
their human rights record before arms embargoes could be lifted.
South Africa was already subject to the UN-imposed arms embargo. However, the
international political situation was such that the US could not afford to have the whole
South Atlantic region falling under Soviet influence. The Cuban crisis of 1961 was still
too fresh in the collective memory of the Americans. When Ronald Reagan became the
US president in 1981, he wanted to review the prohibitions on arms transfers that had
been introduced by the Carter administration. Consequently, the Reagan administration
introduced legislation to repeal the ban on US arms transfers to Argentina and Chile.
The Congress only agreed to the legislation with the proviso that a ‘presidential
certification’ was provided as proof that such countries had made significant progress
on human rights. However, these processes came to an end in March 1982 with the
outbreak of the Falklands/Malvinas War. With the election of Raúl Alfonsín as a
civilian president on 10 December 1983, Argentina certified that sufficient progress had
been made in the human rights area. Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay followed Argentina.
Thus, Chile (under General Pinochet) and Paraguay (under General Alfredo Stroessner)
stood alone as military regimes, and continued to be subjected to the arms embargo.81 It
was against this background that political, but particularly, military relations with South
Africa, were crucial for Chile.
The main areas of interest for Chile in South Africa largely concerned arms production
and arms transfers, and also military training.
As was the case with other South
American countries, South Africa-Chile political and military relations were conducted
with significant assistance of the MID. The military intelligence structures held regular
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171
bilateral conferences during which threats to each other were analysed and individual
requirements (such as training and arms transfers) were discussed. By 1983, the student
exchange programme was already at an advanced stage (Table 17). Sixteen SADF
members in the ranks varying from Midshipman to Commandant (now known as
Lieutenant-Colonel) had already been trained in Chile.
In line with the standing policy of the SADF that military training had to be symbiotic
and complementary, the SADF had specific training requirements which were not
identical to those of the Chileans. The SADF seemed to be interested in specific areas
of training, while the Chilean Armed Forces wanted to seize every opportunity for
Table 17: CHILEAN MILITARY TRAINING PRESENTED TO SOUTH
AFRICAN STUDENTS IN CHILE, (AS AT DECEMBER 1983)
Nature of Course
Rank Group
No. of Students
Air Force Staff Course
Commandant; Major
2
Training on board ship
Midshipman; Lieutenant (SAN)
2
Mounted Training
Lieutenant; Captain
2
Attendance of naval exercise
Lieutenant-Commander
1
Attachment to Mirage Squadron
Major
1
Intelligence Courses
Sergeant; Captain; Major
6
Special Operations
Captain
1
Command and Staff Course
Lieutenant-Commander
1
Source:
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1,
Montevideo, 9 December 1983.
training in every area of warfare. By December 1983, Chilean Armed Forces personnel
had attended the following SADF courses82:
•
SA Army Command and Staff course.
•
Strikecraft training.
•
Maintenance of Mirage III aircraft.
•
Artillery courses.
•
Infantry training.
•
Sea training.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
•
Special forces training.
•
Strikecraft gunnery course.
•
Mirage operational training.
172
During the bilateral intelligence conference that was held in Chile in August 1984, both
parties expressed satisfaction with the level of co-operation, particularly with regard to
exchange of students. The SADF would also identify intelligence courses that were
deemed suitable for Chilean students. There was a general feeling that more emphasis
should be placed on technical co-operation between the two countries. To this effect,
Chile wanted to second personnel to the SADF for electronic warfare training during the
course of 1985.83
As military relations became stronger and mutual trust grew, the SADF increasingly became
more eager to offer the Chileans an extended list of opportunities. During 1985, the SADF
offered the following training courses to Chile:
•
SA Army Command and Staff course.
•
Gun Position Officer/Troop Leaders course (SA Artillery – Field Ordnance
Position Commander Art 8534).
•
Troop commanders course (SA Ordnance Artillery Troop Commander Art 8515).
•
Battle group commanders course.
•
Unit commanders (DTKS 8501 and 8502).
•
Radar section commanders course (Radar Troop Commander), presented by the
SA Army.
•
Section commander meteorology, presented by the SA Army.
•
Senior image interpretation course, presented by the SA Air Force.
•
Operational training for Operations Room personnel, presented by the SA Air
Force.
•
Interrogation course, presented by Military Intelligence Division.
•
An advanced intelligence course, also presented by Military Intelligence
Division.84
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From the list of courses presented, it is evident that military training tended to cover almost
the whole spectrum of warfare, namely, ranging from information gathering and interpretation
to operational effectiveness and command and control.
With the ascendance to power of F.W. de Klerk as President of South Africa, the political
landscape of the country was irreversibly changed. For many years the military establishment
in South Africa was highly influential in the political decision-making processes. One of the
significant changes that President De Klerk made immediately after he took over the reigns of
power was to confine the military establishment to military issues and to conduct a massive
‘clean-up’ in the administration. This had a far-reaching impact, as the country’s foreign
policy was no longer going to be largely determined or influenced by military imperatives
alone. Thus, under these circumstances, Chile’s political and military relations with South
Africa waned. South Africa was increasingly being accepted into the international fold, and
could therefore not afford being associated with Chile in the same manner as was the case
before the democratisation process commenced.
2.6.2 Post-1994 Chile-South Africa military relations
Military relations between Chile and South Africa can be viewed along various dimensions,
including military-diplomatic representation; visits by military personnel from each country;
military training; and co-operation or interaction regarding defence-related industries.
2.6.2.1
Military representation
Despite the drastic change in the political situation in South Africa which prompted the
revisiting of military relations with Chile, military interaction between the two countries
continued even after 1994, albeit scaled down in intensity.
South Africa’s military
representation in Chile continued until December 2000 when the armed forces attaché’s office
in Santiago was closed down (Table 18). While the closing down of that office coincided
with the Department of Foreign Affairs’ world-wide restructuring of diplomatic missions due
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174
Table 18: SOUTH AFRICA’S MILITARY ATTACHÉS IN CHILE
Name
Capacity/Designation
Period
Col C.J. Saaiman
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1984 – December 1988
Col A. de S Hendriks
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1988 – December 1992
Cdr J.J. Viljoen
Naval Attaché
December 1990 – December 1992
Col P.J. Swart
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1992 – December 1994
Col J.J. van Heerden
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1994 – December 1997
Capt (SAN) A.H. de Vries
Armed Forces Attaché
December 1997 – December 2000
Closing Defence Office
Source:
December 2000
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate
Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
to financial constraints and other strategic considerations, it could be argued that the mere fact
that Chile and South Africa used to have secret agreements on how to deal with their political
adversaries, could have caused the decision to be taken with relative ease.
Ironically, contrary to South Africa’s decision to close down the armed forces attaché’s office
in Santiago, Chile’s military representation in South Africa has appreciably intensified.
While South Africa used to have only one military representative for all arms of service,
Chile’s military representation has since 1995 been quite significant (Table 19). Unlike
Argentina and Brazil, Chile’s air attaché is always independent, whereas the Army is always
coupled with the Navy.
Table 19: CHILEAN MILITARY ATTACHÉS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Name
Capacity/Designation
Period
Brig J.L. Pacheco
Army and Naval Attaché
January 1994 – July 1995
Col Bodadilla
Air Attaché
January 1994 – January 1995
Brig V.A Rojas Martinez
Army and Naval Attaché
January 1995 – January 1997
Col M. Bascuñan
Air Attaché
January 1995 – January 1997
Col P.V. Cartoni
Military and Naval Attaché
January 1997 – January 1998
Col P.V.C. Viale
Army and Air Attaché
January 1997 – July 1998
Col J. Anabalon
Air Attaché
January 1997 – January 1998
Col C.M.E. Solar
Military and Naval Attaché
July 1998 – January 2000
Col F. Gonzales
Air Attaché
January 1999 – December 2000
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175
Col J.O. Valenzuela
Military and Naval Attaché
February 2000 – July 2001*
Col J. Cancino
Air Attaché
January 2001 – to date*
Col R. Toro
Military and Naval Attaché
July 2001 – to date*
Note: * Denotes “as at the end of 2002”
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate
Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
2.6.2.2
Military visits
Since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994, there have been quite a number of
high-profile visits by South African military personnel to Chile. In 1997, the SA Naval
personnel were invited to Chile to help them develop their 76/62mm OTO MELARA gunoverhauling course. It is possible that the invitation stemmed from the interaction between
the two countries prior to 1994. As already indicated, during the mid-1980s South Africa
used to provide, among others, artillery training to Chilean armed forces. In October 1997,
two SA Air Force members visited Chilean Naval facilities and later attended the Digital
Battlefield symposium. The SA Chief of the Air Force paid a goodwill visit to Santiago over
the period 23-29 March 1998. The visit was reportedly a great success. During October
1999, some members of the Policy and Planning division of the Defence Secretariat attended
a Defence Seminar that was held in Chile and the Chief of SA Air Force, together with some
members from Armscor and DENEL, attended the “FIDAE 2000” in Chile during March
2000. In April of the same year, the Chief of Joint Operations attended the Naval Control of
Shipping Critique conference and in October, SA Naval personnel attended the CHRIS
(hydrographic) meeting.
In December 2000, the Chief of the SA Navy attended the
EXPONAVAL.85
While there seems to have been a number of high-profile visits by SANDF personnel to Chile,
this does not seem to have been reciprocated. In fact, by the end of 2001 the only visit by a
prominent member of the Chilean Armed Forces was the one which took place in March 2000
when the Chief of the SA Navy hosted the Chief of Chilean Navy Procurement, Admiral O.
Torres, on behalf of African Defence Systems (ADS), which is one of South Africa’s
companies in the defence-related industry.86
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
2.6.2.3
176
Military training
It is in the area of military training where most of the interaction has taken place. During
mid-2001 military training to Chilean students was presented by the SA Air Force. This
reflected a drastic departure from the pre-1994 student exchanges, which were largely hosted
Table 20: SANDF TRAINING PRESENTED TO CHILEAN ARMED FORCES
AFTER 1994
Type of Training
Period
Arm of Service
Number of Students
Cheetah D Simulator
15 January – 15 February 1996
Air Force
5
Cheetah D Simulator
3-28 January 1997
Air Force
6
Cheetah D Simulator
29 May – 24 June 1998
Air Force
6
Cheetah D Simulator
6 July – 1 August 1998
Air Force
6
Cheetah D Simulator
30 April – 28 May 1999
Air Force
5
Cheetah D Simulator
4 June – 2 July 1999
Air Force
5
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate
Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
by the SA Army. From 1994 to mid-2001, the SANDF had already trained at least 33
Chileans in Cheetah D Simulator course (Table 20). This could be an indication of the
confidence in the SANDF simulator training or an interest which could later result in the
purchase of the Cheetah or its related components.
In line with the principle of reciprocity and complementarity, the military courses offered by
the Chilean Armed Forces to the SANDF were largely in the area of naval co-operation
(Table 21). It is undeniably true that there has been a reduction in the number and frequency
of students and courses that are being exchanged between the two countries. Furthermore,
with the closure of South Africa’s defence attaché’s office in Chile, it can only be expected
that there would be a corresponding reduction in the intensity and frequency of training
opportunities.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
177
Table 21: CHILEAN MILITARY TRAINING PRESENTED TO THE SANDF
PERSONNEL AFTER 1994
Type of Training
Year
Arm of Service
Surface Attachment
1995
Chilean Navy
Surface Attachment on BE
ESMERALDA
OTO Malara Gun Overhauling course
1996
Chilean Navy
1997
Chilean Army
Helicopter Mountain Flying course
1999
Chilean Air Force
Source:
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate
Foreign Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
2.6.2.4
Mutual agreements and defence industry co-operation
The nature and scope of political support and political congruity normally guide much of the
formal interaction between states. However, in the case of Chile-South Africa relations, it is
noticeable that all the military training provided to each other’s military organisations, was
never preceded by a formal bilateral agreement between the two countries. This situation
demonstrates without doubt the cordiality of relations between the two countries. There is a
strong possibility that a defence co-operation agreement could be signed in the near future
which would result in increased exchanges and more formal interaction.87 It is not envisaged
that the South African defence attaché’s office in Santiago will be re-opened soon.
However, the signing of a defence co-operation agreement may have considerable impact on
the defence-related industries. Most of the beneficiaries from the South African perspective
would largely be in DENEL’s Aviation wing. Aircraft components and flying training,
including simulators, may be in demand in Chile. Chile’s status as a significant potential
export market for South Africa did not change after 1994. In 1997 alone, Chile imported
R16,2 million worth of so-called SMSE and R805,000 worth of Non-Sensitive Equipment
(NSE).88 NSE includes “all support equipment usually utilised in the direct support of combat
operations, and that has no inherent capability to kill or destroy. This could not be regarded
as an indication of a reduced strategic value of South Africa by Chile, but the reality that there
is increased fluidity in the arms export market. The new tendency includes counter-trade and
skills-transfer clauses in the contracts for arms transfers which are such that only stronger and
well-established arms suppliers are likely to survive. Strictly military effectiveness of weapon
systems is no longer sufficient to secure military contracts. A cursory look at the inventories
of most South American countries shows a strong presence of military hardware that
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
178
originates from high-profile global players in the arms production industry. Given all these
factors, it remains to be seen if military relations between South Africa and the Mercosur
countries can still be improved beyond the current levels of interaction to include aspects such
as intelligence training, and technology transfer, especially in the area of ship-building.
Based on the above discussion, it is evident that military relations between South Africa and
Chile remained relatively vibrant almost throughout the period when the former was still
under UN sanctions. Main areas of interaction were military training and high-profile visits.
The military intelligence communities from both countries facilitated most of the bilateral
activities, including economic and political activities. While the use of military intelligence in
diplomatic matters was not anomalous and unique to the Chile-South Africa relations alone, it
could be argued that it has not helped the situation in re-normalising bilateral relations in the
post-1994 era. The closure of the South African defence attaché’s office in Santiago was a
serious set-back to both countries' military relations. It is an irrefutable fact that with the
ascendance of socio-economic issues, the military have assumed a low profile. This is
particularly true in South Africa's relations with countries across the South Atlantic.
However, it can be assumed that the level of interaction will, to a large extent, depend on the
attractiveness of defence capabilities that each country in the Southern Cone possesses
relative to South Africa, and vice versa.
3.
THE NATURE OF MILITARY CAPABILITIES OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE
MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
It remains important to determine whether the current level of military interaction between
South Africa and the Mercosur countries is commensurate with the military capacity of
individual countries. The main relevant indicators in this respect would be the military
expenditure over the last few years and the size of their armed forces.
Consistent with the global trend, there has been a steady decline in the level of military
expenditure among South American countries since the end of the Cold War. The Mercosur
countries have managed to keep military expenditure below the accepted norm of two per cent
of GDP. The associate members, namely, Bolivia and Chile, have not always succeeded in
staying within the traditional norm. Unlike Bolivia whose military expenditure increased in
1997 and 1998, Chile has consistently maintained expenditure exceeding three per cent
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
179
(Table 22). South Africa on the other hand has since 1996, like other Mercosur countries,
maintained the traditional norm of not exceeding two per cent.
Table 22:
MILITARY EXPENDITURE OF MERCOSUR COUNTRIES AND SOUTH
AFRICA (US$M) – 1995-2000, AND AS PERCENTAGE OF GDP
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
Country
Argentina
Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Paraguay
Uruguay
South Africa
4 450
4 210
4 067
3 964
4 196
4 524
(1.7%)
(1.5%)
(1.4%)
(1.3%)
(1.5%)
(n/a)
144
141
168
205
154
n/a
(1.9%)
(1.8%)
(2.1%)
(2.4%)
(1.8%)
(n/a)
11 011
9 499
11 648
10 976
10 132
14 866
(1.5%)
(1.3%)
(1.5%)
(1.4%)
(1.3%)
(n/a)
2 091
2 216
2 244
2 564
2 259
[1 747]
(3.1%)
(3.2%)
(3.1%)
(3.5%)
(3.1%)
(n/a)
[115]
[116]
113
104
88.7
85.6
(1.4%)*
(1.3%)*
(1.3%)
(1.2%)
(1.1%)
(n/a)
296
282
279
272
n/a
n/a
(1.5%)
(1.4%)
(1.3%)
(1.2%)
(n/a)
(n/a)
2 691
2 337
2 151
1 921
1 833
2 127
(2.2%)
(1.8%)
(1.6%)
(1.4%)
(1.3%)
(1.1%)
Notes:
- All figures at constant 1998 prices and exchange rates
-
“N/a” denotes “not available”
-
[] and * denote “SIPRI estimate”
Source:
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 2001. SIPRI Yearbook: Armaments,
Disarmament and International Security. Stockholm: Oxford University Press.
The general downward trend in budgetary allocations for defence forces world-wide, and in
South America in particular, has had a tremendous impact on the force levels, force designs
and force structures of many countries. While in South Africa there is tremendous pressure to
downsize or ‘rightsize’, as it is popularly called, there is correspondingly high pressure to
restructure and transform the armed forces in order to reflect the integration forces that are
now part of the SANDF. As can be seen in Table 23, the Mercosur countries have a
substantial portion of their populations under arms. 89 Brazil’s military personnel has, in some
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
180
arms of service, more than the total number of people under arms for all Mercosur countries
and South Africa combined. It could be argued that the size of Brazil’s armed forces are
commensurate with its economic capacity and geographical size, but it is not clear whether
this is proportionate with the requirements for dealing with threats to national security. It is
not inconceivable that the instability that exists in neighbouring Colombia has the potential to
spill over into the bordering countries such as Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. It is
against this background that these countries have stepped up their military presence on their
common border with Colombia. For Brazil, one of the concerns pertains to the proper
protection of the Amazon region. The Amazon region constitutes about 42 per cent of
Brazil's land mass and is reputed to have vast mineral deposits and other valuable resources.
Consistent with the analyses of past and present geopoliticians, the Amazon is viewed as a
key to achieving the country's destiny of grandeza (national greatness). Thus, the call for the
internationalisation of the Amazon sparks negative reaction from the Brazilian population,
especially the military establishment.
Furthermore, the US's military activities in the
neighbouring countries such as radar installations and military exercises are perceived as a
‘military belt’" that is designed not only to combat the narcotics trade but also to monitor the
activities of Brazil in the Amazon.90
There is also a perennial fear that the Colombian rebels could use the Amazon region as
sanctuary, or for drug-trafficking and the illicit transfer of weapons. Thus, Brazil has started a
US$1.4 billion project, called SIVAM (Sistema de Vigilancia de Amazonia  Amazon
Region Surveillance System) which seeks to monitor the Amazon basin by using radar, earlywarning aircraft and ground sensors. However, still more than 70 per cent of Brazil's total
military budget goes to salaries and pensions. Since Argentina and Brazil do not perceive
each other as rivalries or potential enemies in the region anymore, both countries consult
regularly on defence matters within the Mercosur framework. Brazil has embarked on a
US$3.5 billion programme that includes acquisition of new aircraft and helicopters and the
upgrading of existing aircraft. Brazil’s fleet of river patrol boats are to be upgraded to be able
to carry helicopters. These would all be used to protect the Amazon region.91
Based on the data provided in Table 23, it is evident that Brazil probably will still continue to
host a number of South African military students, simply because it has the resources and
capacity to do so. The rationale for downsizing and/or closing the military attachés’ offices in
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181
some of the countries seems conspicuously self-evident. Some of the military services such
as the air force or navy in some countries are largely symbolic and do not pose any threat to
neighbouring countries. With the formation of Mercosur, there has been a significant increase
in the trend where states depend on their neighbours or sub-regional structures to deter any
attack against them. It could therefore be surmised that South Africa can expect increased
military interaction on substantive issues mainly with Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Table 23: UNIFORMED MILITARY PERSONNEL IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE
MERCOSUR COUNTRIES, 2000/2001 (Excluding Civilians and Reserves)
Army
Navy
Air Force
Paramilitary
Total
Argentina
41 400
17 200
12 500
31 240
102 340
Bolivia
25 000
3 500
3 000
37 100
68 600
Brazil
189 000
48 600
50 000
385 600
673 200
Chile
51 000
24 000
12 000
29 500
116 500
Paraguay
14 900
3 600
1 700
14 800
35 000
Uruguay
15 200
5 500
3 000
920
24 620
South Africa
42 490
5 190
9 640
5 290**
62 610
Total
378 990
107 590
91 840
504 450
1 082 870
Note: ** South Africa does not have paramilitary forces, but has the South African Military
Health Service (SAMHS) as a fourth service (in addition to the Army, Air Force and the
Navy).
Source:
4.
International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). 2000. The Military Balance, 2000/2001.
London: Oxford University Press.
CONCLUSION
The military relations between South Africa and the Mercosur countries have been
determined by the nature of political systems in place. Both South Africa and most of the
Mercosur countries have been under direct control or influence of their respective military
establishments. During the Botha administration, the SADF had an undue influence in the
political decision-making processes of the country and in some South American countries the
military took over the reigns of power.
When South Africa experienced UN-imposed
sanctions, the countries now constituting Mercosur were being condemned by the
international community due to their praetorian governments. Consequently, this provided an
ideal environment for South Africa to find credible allies. However, prevalent praetorianism
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
182
in South America was not the only binding factor with South Africa, but their shared aversion
towards communism was even more crucial. As will be discussed in the next chapter, it was
this anti-communist stance on which future regional military co-operation in the South
Atlantic was to be based.
The nature of pre-1994 military relations was largely in the areas of exchange programmes for
training, diplomatic military representation, and arms transfers. Given the fact that South
Africa was still subject to UN sanctions, transfers of weapons and related technologies were
shrouded in secrecy. It is also noticeable that the countries which abrogated arms embargoes
against South Africa were not necessarily those in South America alone, because South Africa
had significant military relations with countries such as Israel, Republic of China (Taiwan)
and the UK. Consequently, military training and military representation enjoyed priority.
Even though the countries which later formed Mercosur provided limited military training to
South Africa, it was the latter that played the role of a significant provider of military training
on a larger scale than any of the relevant Southern Cone countries combined. Reputed for its
operational effectiveness, South Africa provided combat and operational intelligence training
to most of these countries. It is difficult to explain the asymmetries in the exchange and
training programmes that South Africa had with the South American countries, despite the
former's standing policy that military training would be provided on a the basis of reciprocity
or a quid pro quo basis. However, it could be argued that South Africa stood to benefit more
from being selectively generous in providing for the military needs of some countries.
Countries like Argentina and Brazil withdrew their official interaction with South Africa
during the mid-1980s when the latter was already on the verge of transforming. With the
advent of democracy in South Africa and the Mercosur countries, normal military relations
were reinstated. When the South African Department of Foreign Affairs started a world-wide
restructuring process of South Africa’s diplomatic missions, it affected the country’s military
representation in some countries. Paraguay and Uruguay are being militarily represented by a
defence attaché in Buenos Aires. Concerning training, most countries (such as Argentina)
have not been sending many of their personnel to South Africa for training. It could be
argued that there has been a realisation among most South American countries that South
Africa is still grappling with contentious issues of integration, demobilisation and
transformation. The SANDF itself has a massive backlog with regard to training due to the
integration process.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
183
As was the case with the previous chapters, this chapter has demonstrated the nature of
bilateral interaction between South Africa and the countries that later formed Mercosur.
While the previous chapters also identified various forms of multilateral co-operation in the
security arena, this chapter has shown that co-operative regional security is best effected
through genuine bilateral arrangements which are based on mutual or shared goals or threats.
However, such arrangements should be sustainable in the long-term. The democratisation of
South Africa and all the Mercosur countries brought about drastic changes in the strategic
perception and the nature of bilateral and multilateral relations. This has resulted in the
closing down of South Africa's diplomatic and military offices in countries such as Bolivia,
Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay  notably the countries which were staunch allies of South
Africa during the sanctions era.
Having discussed the various dimensions of potential and actual bilateral military cooperation between South Africa and the Mercosur countries, the next chapter analyses the
military interaction of these countries within a regional framework. Its point of departure is
that co-operative and collective security in the South Atlantic region is based on the
understanding that the littoral countries of that region face virtually common threats in the
form of sea piracy, drug-trafficking and potential environmental disasters. In order to counter
these threats and to enhance confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) it is
imperative that these countries learn to interact at operational level.
Thus, the next chapter identifies and discusses the historical forms of regional security cooperation that the countries on both sides of the South Atlantic Ocean have engaged in. These
regional efforts include the attempts to establish the Southern Hemisphere Security Alliance,
followed by the South Atlantic Treaty Organisation; the Zone of Peace and Co-operation in
the South Atlantic; and the possibility of establishing the South Atlantic Ocean Rim. It will
also discuss the various joint military exercises in which the South Atlantic regional countries
are involved. Throughout the discussion it will be emphasised that the participation of these
countries in such joint military exercises are not necessarily by virtue of their membership to
Mercosur. Furthermore, the significance of South Africa's participation in these exercises and
the necessity for South Africa to engage these countries within the Mercosur framework, will
also be accentuated. In addition, the role of extra-regional powers such as the US, the UK and
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
184
Russia will be discussed with a view to highlighting the complexity and nature of the strategic
value of the South Atlantic region. The strategic value of the region will be viewed in
political, economic and military terms.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
185
REFERENCES
1
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. "The Forgotten Dimension: South African/Latin American Relations Past
and Present." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 8, No. 2, September, p. 6.
2
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. 1989. Strategy in the Southern Oceans: A South American View. London:
Pinter Publishers, pp. 91-92.
3
Ibid, p. 92.
4
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/1/1 Chief of Defence Staff,
11 January 1968.
See also SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File
G/LIA/1/1 Chief of Defence Staff, 31 January 1968.
5
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4 Armed Forces Attaché
(P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 3 February 1975.
6
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4 Armed Forces Attaché
(Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris) to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 3 March 1975.
7
Leysens, A. 1992. "South Africa's Relations with Latin America (1966-1988)." Unisa Centre for Latin
America Studies Occasional Paper, Pretoria, No. 06, p. 37.
8
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992, op cit, p. 9.
9
Ibid, p. 6.
10
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 11, File WA/M/203/2/19, Montevideo
Intelligence Collection of Information Uruguay.
11
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 1, File WA/M/3/1,
9 May 1977.
12
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1/13, Montevideo Training
Aid to Paraguay.
13
Ibid..
14
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
15
Roeloefse-Campbell, Z. 1996. “Argentinean defence specialist visits the centre”. Unisa Latin American
Report, Vol. 12, No. 2, July – December, pp. 85-86.
16
Campbell, K. 2000. “Argentina at Africa Aerospace and Defence 2000 and SAAF 80.” Unisa Latin
American Report, Vol. 16, No. 2, p. 79.
17
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
18
Ibid.
19
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. op cit, p. 6.
20
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 26, File PARA/311/1/21, Montevideo, June
1977.
21
Ibid.
22
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1995. "Brazil's New Role in South and Southern Africa: An Interview with Luiz
Felipe Lampreia." Unisa Latin American Report, Vo. 11, No. 2, p. 51.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
186
23
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 4, File WA/M/105/11/B, Montevideo.
24
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
25
Campbell, K.
2000.
“South African Navy Participates in Fleet Review Commemorating 500th
Anniversary of the Discovery of Brazil.” Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 72-73.
26
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
27
www.dfa.gov.za/ for-relations/bilateral/ brazil.htm.
28
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
29
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1992. op cit, p. 8.
30
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1995. "Brazil's New Role in South and Southern Africa: An Interview with Luiz
Felipe Lampreia." Unisa Latin American Report, Vo. 11, No. 2, p. 51.
31
Sköns, E, et al. op cit, p. 311.
32
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence, Directorate Conventional Arms
Control, 26 August 1998, Pretoria. See also, Khanyile, M.B. 2000. “South Africa’s Arms Transfers in
1997: Morality and Reality.” Africa Insight, Vol. 29, No. 3-4, p. 28.
33
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
34
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4 Armed Forces Attaché
(P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 11 February 1975.
35
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4, Armed Forces Attaché
(P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Intelligence, 6 January 1974.
36
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4
(Argentinié), Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 13 September 1975.
37
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4 (Argentinié), Capt (SAN)
J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 31 March 1975.
38
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre): Chief of the Army, File G/LIA/3/4 (Argentinié)), Capt
(SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 12 June 1975.
39
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 26, File PARA/311/5, Montevideo.
40
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 26, File PARA/311/1/21, Montevideo,
18 July 1977.
41
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1, Montevideo,
9 December 1983.
42
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1,
File WA/M/103/7/1/13, Montevideo
Training Aid to Paraguay.
43
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 3, Box 1, File AMI/514/3/5/1/1, MLVA-Buenos
Aires.
44
Ibid.
45
Ibid.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
46
187
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
47
Ibid.
48
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 39, File G/LIA/3/4, Armed Forces
Attaché (P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 7 January 1975.
49
Buenos Aires Herald (Buenos Aires), 6 February 1975.
50
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 3, File WA/M/3/3,
Intelligence Uruguay & Other Countries, and ‘Atlantic: Latin Laager?' 1976. Latin America, Vol. X, No.
49, 17 December, p. 390.
51
Ibid.
52
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 61.
53
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 2, File WA/M/1/6,
Uruguay Army.
54
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 2, File WA/M/1/7,
Uruguay Rou Armada Nacional Navy.
55
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 2, File WA/M/1/4,
Uruguay Local Visits.
56
Ibid.
57
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Military Attaché: Uruguay, Group 1, Box 1, File WA/M/1/5,
Uruguay Military Equipment.
58
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 3, Box 1, File AMI/514/3/5//1/1, MLVA-Buenos
Aires.
59
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1, Montevideo.
60
Ibid.
61
Ibid.
62
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 3, Box 1, File AMI/514/3/5/1/1, MLVA-Buenos
Aires.
63
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 15, File WA/M/203/2/19/1, Montevideo.
64
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
65
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4
(Argentinié), Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 14 August 1975.
66
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4
(Argentinié), Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 31 March 1975.
67
Ibid.
68
SANDF Archives (Documentation), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4 (Argentinié),
Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 10 June 1975.
69
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1/13, Montevideo.
70
Ibid.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
71
188
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 39, File G/LIA/3/4,
Armed Forces Attaché (P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Staff Intelligence.
72
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4
(Argentinié), Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 6 August 1975.
73
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit, pp. 12, 15.
74
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 40, File G/LIA/3/4
(Argentinié), Capt (SAN) J.C. Ferris to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 3 September 1975.
75
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 4, File WA/M/105/11/B, Montevideo.
76
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1,
File WA/M/103/7/1, Montevideo,
18 February 1983.
77
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 16,
File WA/B/203/2/20/1, Montevideo,
5 January 1983.
78
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. pp. 26-27.
79
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 16, File WA/B/203/2/20/1, Montevideo.
80
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Chief of the Army, Group 10, Box 39, File G/LIA/3/4,
Armed Forces Attaché (P.A.H. Tomlinson) to Chief of Staff Intelligence, 10 January 1974.
81
Atkins, G.P. 1989. Latin America in the International Political System. Oxford: Westview Press,
pp. 130, 292.
82
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1,
File WA/M/103/7/1, Montevideo, 9
December 1983.
83
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 3, Box 1, File AMI/514/3/5/1, MLVA-Buenos Aires.
84
SANDF Archives (Documentation Centre), Group 2, Box 1, File WA/M/103/7/1, Montevideo.
85
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign
Relations, Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
86
Ibid.
87
Ibid.
88
Information provided by the South African Department of Defence, Directorate Conventional Arms
Control, 26 August 1998, Pretoria. See also, Khanyile, M.B. 2000. op cit, p. 28.
89
International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). 2000. The Military Balance, 2000/2001. London:
Oxford University Press.
90
Martins, D. 1995. "Brazil - The Armed Forces of a Regional Superpower." Jane's Intelligence Review
Yearbook: The World in Conflict 1994/95. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group Ltd, p. 141.
91
Sköns, E, et al. “Military Expenditure and Arms Production”, in Stockholm International Peace Research
Institute (SIPRI). 2001. SIPRI Yearbook: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security.
Stockholm: Oxford University Press, pp. 263-264, 278-279, 284-285.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
189
CHAPTER FIVE
MULTILATERAL SECURITY CO-OPERATION IN THE SOUTH
ATLANTIC REGION
1.
INTRODUCTION
The large expanse of oceanic waters separating Africa and South America are now viewed as
bridges that need to be strengthened on all fronts, that is politically, economically, socially
and in the security sphere. It is therefore not surprising that South Africa’s attempts to engage
her neighbours across the Atlantic Ocean are intensifying.
While it is true that some
interaction, especially in the diplomatic arena, takes place on the mainland of the countries
involved, it is equally true that the main area of concern is the security of the vast area
covered by the contiguous waters of the ocean. It is also critical to note that these waters are
the navigation routes for many other countries, which may affect (both positively and
negatively) the way that such security is ensured in the South Atlantic region. To this effect,
countries on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean have to take cognisance of other extra-regional
powers that have a direct or indirect interest in the region. There are eternal fears that the
region could be used in future as a battle theatre for nuclear exchanges as almost occurred
during the Cold War, or even be used for nuclear testing of weapons of mass destruction. It
could also be used to transport dangerous materials that, in the event of an accident through
negligence, ignorance or sabotage, would seriously affect the littoral states. In addition to
these fears, the region provides the lifeline or umbilical cord that links countries on both sides
of the ocean. Thus, in economic terms, there is a need to protect the environment, and combat
trans-oceanic criminal activities such as drug-trafficking, sea piracy and marine poaching.
The previous chapters have demonstrated the nature of the interaction between South Africa
and the Mercosur member countries in the economic and military spheres. Most of the
activities discussed take place on a bilateral basis and also largely on the mainland of the
countries concerned. However, this chapter seeks to highlight the geographic nature of the
South Atlantic region and the totality of activities that involve all the littoral states in the
region. It is also important that the South Atlantic region be clearly demarcated both for
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analytical purposes and also because potential conflicts emanate from the various
interpretations of the geographic parameters of the region, and how it extends into Antarctica.
It further identifies possible areas that could have a potential for conflict and the mechanisms
that have been developed to deal with them. It analyses the nature and significance of strong
military capabilities in order to be able to protect the natural resources for the benefit of
humanity and littoral states. It concludes with the efforts that have been undertaken in order
to ensure co-operation and co-ordination of military establishments and the role of extraregional powers in such initiatives. These initiatives are highlighted through some of the
major joint military exercises in the South Atlantic region in which South Africa participated.
2.
DEFINING THE SOUTH ATLANTIC REGION
There is no absolute agreement about the geographic parameters of the so-called South
Atlantic region. However, there is a general understanding and consensus that it is that
portion of the South Atlantic Ocean which is situated between the latitude somewhat north of
the Equator and Antarctica, south of parallel 700S, and between the approximate longitudes of
700W and 200E. Further south, there is the Antarctic Circle, latitude 66033’5”1 (see Map 2).
The South Atlantic region comprises four main archipelagos and islands of any significant
size, that can be viewed as American, Antarctic, African and mid-Atlantic groups. The midAtlantic islands are Ascension, Santa Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Gough and Bouvet. The
African island group consists of Fernando Po, Annobon, Príncipe and São Tomé. On the
American side there are Fernando de Noronha, Trinidad, Martin Vaz, Falklands/Malvinas,
South Georgia and South Sandwich. The so-called Antarctic group, which is located south of
the parallel 600S, includes the South Orkneys and South Shetlands. It is noteworthy that,
geographically-speaking, South Georgia, South Sandwich and Bouvet could also be regarded
as sub-Antarctic islands. Tierra del Fuego and Staten Island are not included in these groups
simply because they belong to the main South American continental mass.2
The main feature of the region is that it has three coastlines, namely, the African, American
and Antarctic. The African coastline extends from Guinea-Bissau to the Cape and stretches
over 7 800km of which 1 200km cover the deserts of Angola and Namibia. There are sixteen
African states sharing the same coastline in the region. The coastline also includes six other
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191
Map 2:
SOUTH ATLANTIC REGION
Source: Adapted from Pinheiro Guimarães, S. (ed.) 1996. South Africa and Brazil: Risks and Opportunities
in the Turmoil of Globalization. Rio de Janeiro: International Relations Research Institute, p. 48.
Mediterranean countries. There are relatively few natural harbours with the following being
the most important: Freetown in Sierra Leone, Boma in the Congo, Libreville in Gabon,
Duala in Cameroon, Luanda in Angola, Walvis Bay in Namibia and Cape Town in South
Africa.3
The American coastline stretches from Cabo San Roque in the North-East of Brazil to Cape
Horn in the Archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It extends for 9 000km, of which 4 179km
belong to Brazil, 330km to Uruguay and 4 500 to Argentina. The American coastline is wellendowed with good natural harbours, particularly in the northern part which includes Brazil
and Uruguay. These include Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro, Paranaguá, Santos, Porto
Alegre and Río Grande.4
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The Antarctic coastline extends from the Antarctic Peninsula to the Land of Maud (or Queen
Maud) facing Cape Town. This is one of the most inaccessible coastlines in the world,
particularly from the Wedell Sea side. Given the fact that the area south of the Southern
Ocean and the Antarctic constitute a separate geo-strategic subsystem, the 600S latitude is
regarded as the southern limit of the South Atlantic region.5 The South Atlantic region can be
accessed from three fronts, namely, from the North Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the
South Pacific Ocean.6 It is this inter-connectedness which, among others, necessitated the
creation of a security architecture which embraced all the Americas.
3.
THE INTER-AMERICAN SECURITY SYSTEM
The immediate post-World War II environment was characterised by the dominance of the
‘balance of power’ notion of the international political system and the concomitant strategic
positioning of military forces. This saw the seeds of the subsequent Cold War blossoming
beyond the areas of influence of the arch-rivals, namely, the US and the former Soviet Union.
From the Soviet Union's perspective, a strong foothold had already been established in the
South Atlantic region. With the creation of the South American Secretariat of the Comintern
in 1928, Communist parties were flourishing in the region.
Countries such as Chile,
Colombia and El Salvador had strong communist parties. However, the Soviet Union realised
that there was an increasing threat of renewed attacks from Nazi Germany against it, and that
it needed to open negotiations with the US and the UK. In order to be able to deal with Adolf
Hitler in a credible manner, all the international resources had to be focused on defence.
Consequently, Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, dissolved the Comintern in 1943, just before the
end of WW II in order to re-position the Soviet Union on a sound strategic footing with
Roosevelt and Churchill from the US and the UK respectively.7
From the US’s conceptualisation of her southern neighbours, Latin America was perceived as
a single entity with which it had to create a relationship of dependency in virtually all spheres,
especially politically, economically and militarily. But the most prominent of these spheres
was the military one. Thus, the US proposed during the Inter-American Conference for the
Maintenance of Continental Peace and Security, held in Mexico City, that there should be a
comprehensive security system for the whole Western Hemisphere. The primary aim of such
a system would be to prevent and repel threats and acts of aggression against any of the
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193
countries of the Americas. Consequently, the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance
– popularly known as the Rio Treaty – was signed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 2 September
1947 and entered into force on 3 December 1948.8
As Table 24 indicates, all the Mercosur countries, including the associate members, were the
original signatories of the Rio Treaty. However, the ratification and accession process was
done in a chequered manner. With the exception of the US which ratified the treaty only
three months after it was opened for signature (12 December 1947), the other Mercosur
countries delayed by at least a year. These could be attributed to many factors, including that
the US was the driving force behind the conclusion of the treaty in order to thwart Soviet
penetration of the region, and that countries such as Argentina and Brazil were still
experiencing simmering tensions in the internal political sphere.
Table 24:
SIGNATURE AND RATIFICATION OF RIO TREATY BY SELECTED
COUNTRIES
Country
Signature
Ratification
Argentina
2 September 1947
19 July 1950
Bolivia
2 September 1947
18 July 1950
Brazil
2 September 1947
5 March 1950
Chile
2 September 1947
28 January 1948
Paraguay
2 September 1947
7 July 1948
United States of America
2 September 1947
12 December 1947
Uruguay
2 September 1947
7 September 1948
Source:
United Nations Information Service. United Nations Treaty Series (UNTS).
www.untreaty.un.org
The Rio Treaty is essentially a hemispheric-wide mutual defence pact. It was largely based
on an asymmetrical relationship between the US and other states. The causus foederis (or the
hair-trigger clause) of the pact is found in Article 3 which states that “[t]he High Contracting
Parties agree that an armed attack by any State against an American State shall be considered
as an attack against all the American States and, consequently, each one of the said
Contracting Parties undertakes to assist in meeting the attack in the exercise of the inherent
right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the
United Nations.”9 [own emphasis added] It is notable that the Rio Treaty was concluded at
the time when the bipolar international system led by the US and the former Soviet Union was
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194
beginning to take shape but had not reached the intensity and sophistication of the late fifties
and early sixties.
Through the Rio Treaty the US succeeded in ensuring that the whole of the Western
Hemisphere fell under its strategic military umbrella and that any possible penetration
(overtly or covertly) by the Soviet Union would be rendered impractical. In line with the
asymmetry of the defence pact, the US built in a clause that would enable it to unilaterally
take action if there was a perceived or real threat to security of the Western Hemisphere.
Article 3(2) of the Treaty states that “[o]n the request of the State or States directly attacked
and until the decision of the Organ of Consultation of the Inter-American System each one of
the Contracting Parties may determine the immediate measures which it may individually take
in fulfilment of the obligation contained in [Article 2] and in accordance with the principle of
continental solidarity.” Both of these articles became useful during the Cuban crisis of 1962
when the former USSR attempted to position missiles in Cuba. In addition to the UN Charter
and other relevant resolutions, the US invoked Article 6 of the Rio Treaty in order to gain
support among the American states to thwart Soviet penetration of the Western Hemisphere.
Article 6 states that:
If the inviolability or the integrity of the territory or the sovereignty or political
independence of any American State should be affected by an aggression which is not
an armed attack or by an extra-continental or intra-continental conflict, or by any other
fact or situation might endanger the peace of America, the Organ of Consultation shall
meet immediately in order to agree on the measures which must be taken in case of
aggression to assist the victim of the aggression or, in any case, the measures which
should be taken for the common defense and for the maintenance of peace and
security of the Continent.10
However, the Rio Treaty remained an essentially military response to a greater strategic
challenge posed by the Soviet Union. It was against this background that subsequent to the
conclusion of the treaty, the Organisation of American States (OAS) Charter was signed on
30 April 1948 in Bogota, Colombia, which enabled the US to entrench its dominance. The
OAS Charter stipulates in Article 2 that its purposes are, amongst others,
•
To strengthen the peace and security of the continent;
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•
195
to prevent possible causes of difficulties and to ensure the pacific settlement of
disputes that may arise among the Member States; and
•
to provide common action on the part of those States in the event of aggression.11
Thus, the Rio Treaty and the OAS Charter were mutually complementary and therefore
became major instruments for engaging other countries across the Atlantic Ocean.
With the demise of the former Soviet Union, there has been a drastic change in the approach
and possibly in the nature and intensity, of the commitments of the Rio Treaty. However,
there have been a series of confidence-building measures (CBMs) with a view to ensuring
hemispheric security. In 1991, the OAS General Assembly adopted a resolution in terms of
which a set of CBMs were to be developed.12 In 1993, the General Assembly adopted another
resolution which entrusted the Assembly with the task of convening experts on CBMs.13 The
experts’ meeting eventually took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March 1994. The
process of ensuring broad regional security in the Western Hemisphere (longitudinal) was
concurrently being complemented, if not rivalled, by another one that sought to create
hemispheric security in the Southern Hemisphere (latitudinal).
4.
SOUTHERN CROSS ALLIANCE
The geographic location of South Africa has always been recognised as strategic from
economic and military points of view. Being flanked by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and
also having powerful maritime nations on both sides such as Argentina and Brazil in the west
and Australia in the east, South Africa found it prudent and crucial to highlight the geostrategic importance of the sea route around the Cape of Good Hope. To this effect, South
Africa argued that since the formal boundary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
(NATO) was the Tropic of Cancer, there was a strategic vacuum in the South Atlantic and
Indian Oceans. There was also a strong perception that the West's maritime traffic would
require a well-developed land base from which to operate during crisis situations. In this
respect, South Africa could play an important role due to her geo-strategic location. Based on
these factors, South Africa, which lies between the 5th and 45th latitudes, shared hemispheric
interests and therefore formed a “natural geographic-military-strategic belt” known as the
“Southern Cross Belt”.14
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196
Furthermore, the threat of communist infiltration was also perceived as posing a serious
danger to the countries in the Southern Hemisphere. There was a general understanding by
the West of the Soviet Union's maritime-strategic designs. These designs were known to
include the following: the development of a global maritime capability; the establishment of
a maritime presence of a military as well as non-military nature in distant areas; the
procurement of supporting base facilities that could be used to deny or undermine Western
maritime presence; the diplomatic use of the Soviet Navy in support of Soviet expansionism
and the extension of its influence especially in Africa; and lastly, the ability to ensure
successful interdiction of Western shipping.15 From this perspective, the military significance
of South Africa's Simonstown Naval Base both as a possible target of the Soviet Navy and its
potential use for interdiction of shipping, was highlighted. Given this geo-strategic relevance
and being vehemently anti-communist in orientation, South Africa felt it had a valid case for
being politically sheltered by the West.
By the mid-1970s, the US-led anti-communist alliance-formation process was almost
complete. The US had already signed the Rio Treaty which covered the Western Hemisphere.
The US had also signed the ANZUS Treaty, which involved Australia, New Zealand and the
US, and the South East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) had also been formed. There was
no similar organisation in southern Africa, which, as South Africa argued, left a strategic gap
that might be filled by Soviet forces. In most cases, the initiative to establish such regional
military groupings was taken by significant regional powers with the help of the US.
Similarly therefore, South Africa was justified to call for the creation of a Southern Cross
Alliance. The alliance would 'seal' the open flank in the West's defence system. It would be
responsible for conducting appropriate political and military operations in order to thwart any
possible incursion by the Soviet bloc. According to some analysts, there was already an
increasing Soviet presence in the South Atlantic through front organisations (liberation
movements) and the OAU, which was also perceived to be opposed to white governments in
southern Africa.16
The Cape sea route was particularly well-suited for interdicting any maritime traffic that was
bound for either East or West. Through the creation of the southern alliance, a credible
maritime force, comprising of such powers as Argentina, Australia and Brazil and with
appropriate land bases in South Africa, could be grouped together. However, without a
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197
properly co-ordinated link with the West's nuclear capability, the strategy would be bound to
fail because its deterrence value would be diminished. Thus, it was important that the US's
nuclear shield would have to be extended southwards to cover the Southern Hemisphere as
well.17
However, South Africa's ego-perceptions of the country's maritime-strategic
significance did not resonate well with her potential Western partners, thus resulting in
measured responses from the West. As the idea of a hemisphere-wide military alliance
fizzled out, it became necessary to realign the strategic focus towards the Western front,
namely, the South Atlantic region.
5.
THE SOUTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANISATION
The failure of South Africa to successfully convince the Western nations, especially the US,
to support the formation of a latitudinal hemisphere-wide defence organisation, necessitated a
re-look at other strategic options. It became apparent to the South African military strategists
that a hemispheric defence pact was an over-ambitious enterprise. The best alternative was to
concentrate on the South Atlantic region where there was a possibility of tacit and measured
support. For the US, such a move would be more viable if it would also include some
signatories to the Rio Treaty. It is noteworthy that the idea of forming a South Atlantic
defence organisation was not new. When General Castello Branco became the President of
Brazil after the military take-over in 1964, he discussed the question of defending the route
around the Cape with Prime Minister Salazar of Portugal.
Both countries (Brazil and
Portugal) were already economically and politically bound by the 1953 Luso-Brazilian Treaty
of Friendship and Consultation.18 However, the idea never enjoyed popular support among
the immediate neighbours as it included the involvement of South Africa. Thus, it receded
without any concrete action.
The idea of a South Atlantic defence organisation was revived in 1977 when a commander of
the Uruguayan Navy proposed that a military pact involving all the countries in the South
Atlantic region should be concluded. An organisation to be known as the South Atlantic
Treaty Organisation (SATO) would be modelled along the lines of NATO. The proposal
purported that the pact would be able to thwart Soviet Union military aggression against any
state in the region. It was discussed at length during the eighth meeting of the Foreign
Ministers of River Plate basin countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay).
Unlike in the mid-1960s, the new government of Brazil, a crucial regional hegemon, was
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198
vehemently opposed to the proposition.19 The Brazilians believed that the formation of
SATO would trigger an arms race in the region and that it could not be formed without cooperation from the Western powers, especially the US. In addition to being bound by the
provisions of the Rio Treaty and the OAS Charter, the South American countries would not
have sufficient resources to face up to the challenge of confronting the Soviet Union.20
Argentina and South Africa usurped the SATO idea and became its principal advocates. Both
countries argued that the formation of SATO would also help ensure safe passage and secure
trade routes around the Cape of Good Hope. For South Africa, the SATO idea presented an
ideal opportunity to obtain allies for South Africa and therefore partial nullification of the
country’s international pariah status.
According to the South African ambassador to
Argentina at the time, SATO would facilitate "joint defence of Christian and democratic
principles" against international communism.21 While Argentina was in favour of the SATO
idea, reservations were expressed about participating in a military alliance that included Chile
before the dispute over the Beagle Channel had been resolved.22
Furthermore, it was
increasingly becoming unpalatable and imprudent to be seen by the international community
as a South African ally.23 This was even more so when some of the South American states
started democratising.
Argentina, which had always been vacillating in its alliance-formation strategy from being
close to the Third World and Western countries, was shocked to be informed that the UK, the
US and South Africa were contemplating to establish a military base on the
Falklands/Malvinas islands. Argentine Foreign Minister, Nicanor Costa Méndez, expressed
concern over the proposal during the meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement,
in Havana, Cuba. South Africa vehemently denied the allegations and countered by accusing
Argentina of using ‘transitory strategic digressions’ in her diplomacy.24
However, the
outbreak of the Falklands/Malvinas War (also known as the South Atlantic War) in 1982
interrupted the debate on the formation of a SATO. The accusations against South Africa and
the subsequent outbreak of the war over the Falklands/Malvinas islands, negatively affected
South Africa’s relations with Argentina and Brazil, and also disrupted the momentum of
South Africa's thrust to counter international isolation. Ironically, there were allegations, as
stated previously, that South Africa gave military support to Argentina during that war.
However, it is irrefutably true that South Africa denied the UK permission to use Simon's
Town as a halfway station for logistic purposes during the war. At the time of the outbreak of
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the South Atlantic War, South Africa was already bound by a ten-year old military pact which
also involved Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Paraguay and Taiwan.25 It is not clear what the
impelling reasons for concluding such a pact were, nor is there an indication of the extent of
its obligations towards member states. But the immediate post-South Atlantic War period
saw South Africa being ostracised or mildly isolated by other pact members. This change in
attitude towards South Africa could not be explained by the changes in the internal dynamics
of the pact countries, because all of them were still either pariah states or under military rule.
It is possible that external pressure from potential allies was exerted on the pact countries to
downgrade interaction with South Africa.
South Africa therefore decided to exert more pressure on Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru to
pursue the idea of SATO, and also to induce them into adopting more South Africa-friendly
policies. However, being a member of the Andean Group, Peru was pressurised into severing
ties with South Africa. At that stage, that is the early 1980s, South Africa entered into a joint
partnership with the UK in constructing a giant irrigation project in Peru. It was this joint
project which became a determining factor in Peruvian-South Africa relations. Unlike Peru,
Bolivia was a different case as it was of no immediate strategic value to South Africa, except
for providing alternative shipping routes and ports in case there were problems with the
Peruvian routes. Furthermore, South Africa had very strong relations with Chile, which
would also provide alternative port facilities. It was only Paraguay that really had become
excessively dependent on South Africa. This followed the signing of four agreements on
mutual co-operation with Paraguay, which were maintained, despite the subsequent
introduction of democracy in Paraguay.26
On a broader scale, some South American countries had global aspirations that contradicted
their national realities. One of the dilemmas in this regard was to follow the Third World
agenda without alienating themselves from the rich North. Was it to be neutrality or nonalignment as the NAM was proposing? A vexing question, which remained a challenge for
the developing countries of the South, was how they could ensure security, albeit limited, on a
regional basis without aligning themselves with either of the superpowers. Alignment with
either the US or Soviet Union had as many advantages for the country or region concerned as
it had disadvantages. Nasser, for instance, once argued that “[a]n independent policy based
on non-alignment and positive neutralism will make of our countries a great force permitting
an independent say.”27 The developing countries believed that non-alignment would not only
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200
“be sufficient to reduce world tension and conflict, and to enhance world peace, cooperation,
and stability”, but was also “essential in establishing cooperative arrangements among
developing nations and reducing the chances for regional animosity.”28 However, geographic
proximity to the superpowers often left the neighbouring countries with little or no choice
when deciding on alignment.
The SATO idea was a potential solution to the security dilemma of the South Atlantic region
but it soon receded as well. It could be argued that while South Africa remained a militarily
strong state that would be capable of carrying out trans-oceanic operations in co-operation
with other SATO states, the country politically presented a weak link that caused division
among potential alliance partners. This observation is largely based on the fact that the SATO
idea was deemed logically defensible and therefore it intermittently continued to re-emerge.
Thus, a plethora of factors militated against the realisation of a regional defence organisation
(to be known as SATO). These included the following: firstly, the geographic scope of the
area and sheer distances separating Southern African and South American sub-regions.
Secondly, the superimposition of cultural differences on geographic factors aggravated
difficulties associated with social, political and economic exchanges. Thirdly, there were
limited maritime capabilities of the South Atlantic littoral states, especially from the African
side, with the exception of Nigeria and South Africa, which had relatively superior sea-going
naval capabilities. Lastly, there was the reluctance of the littoral states to relinquish or subject
self-centred national interests for the benefit of the South Atlantic region.29 This situation
allowed for other strategic avenues to be explored to ensure co-operative trans-Atlantic
relations in the Southern Cone.
6.
ZONE OF PEACE AND CO-OPERATION IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
(ZPCSA)
As it increasingly became evident that the SATO idea was not viable and therefore not likely
to materialise in its original form, the newly democratising countries on the western South
Atlantic region, particularly Brazil, realised that an alternative had to be found. This became
even more urgent as the South Atlantic remained vulnerable to numerous security threats ranging from sea piracy to possible infiltration by the Soviet Union as the latter's fishing
conflict with Argentina in 1978 signalled. Furthermore, there was a conscious effort to
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remove the East-West conflict from the South Atlantic region by marginalising British
military presence in the southern islands. As already indicated, the need for a regional
defence organisation was indisputable, but the composition and mechanisms of such an
organisation necessitated accommodating South Africa - a proposition that could prove
politically expensive to entertain.30
6.1
The ZPCSA AS A NEW ALTERNATIVE
The late 1970s and early 1980s were crucial periods for the South Atlantic region. Internal or
sub-regional challenges relating to disputed borders (for example, Chile and Argentina);
regional hegemonic rivalry (Argentina and Brazil); military rule (most of Latin American and
some African countries); and apartheid in South Africa, plagued countries bordering on the
South Atlantic. On the African side of the South Atlantic Ocean, South Africa was militarily
involved in both South West Africa (now Namibia) and Angola. As already indicated, both
superpowers were actively involved in Africa, especially, in Angola. South Africa’s foreign
policy alignment was inclined towards the West but her internal political situation was a
matter of great concern to the UN member states. The UN sought to take strong action
against South Africa, and, to this effect, various resolutions were adopted. However, some
key countries occasionally abstained from voting for such resolutions.
These countries
included the UK, the US and France – South Africa’s significant trading partners without
whose support, no decision could have the desired effect.31
On the Latin American side, it was only after the partial resolution of the Chile-Argentina
border dispute in the late seventies, and the realisation by Argentina and Brazil (starting with
the signing of the Tripartite Agreement – involving the two countries and Paraguay – on 19
October 1979) that rivalry between them was not benefiting either of them, that relatively
stable interstate relations were restored on the western shores of the South Atlantic Ocean.
According to some analysts, this signalled the beginning of Argentina’s reluctant acceptance
of Brazil’s hegemony in the region.32
However, the outbreak of the war over the Falklands/Malvinas islands in 1982 focussed
attention on the South Atlantic region.
The possibility of escalation involving the two
superpowers increased. The aftermath of the South Atlantic War, particularly from the British
government’s side, demonstrated beyond doubt the strategic importance of the South Atlantic
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202
region to the UK in its dual capacity as a claimant of the Falklands/Malvinas islands33 and a
member of NATO. During the process which De Hoyos calls the “Gilbratization34 of the
[Falklands] islands”, and captured in what Margareth Thatcher called “Fortress Falklands”,
the UK spent over three billion pounds on fortifying the islands and stationing more than
3 800 professional soldiers on them.35 The strategic value of these islands to NATO was
perceived to be securing US and West European access to Antarctica, the Drake Passage and
the South Atlantic sea lanes.36 Some of NATO’s, but specifically the US’s, large aircraft
carriers could find it difficult to pass through the Panama Canal.37 Also noteworthy, is the
fact that the UK maintained (and still maintains) a significant presence in the South Atlantic
region through its islands – Ascension, St. Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Gough and South
Georgia.
During the mid-1980s, Brazil proposed the formation of the ZPCSA as a countervailing idea
to SATO. Being a major regional power in South America, Brazil succeeded in mustering
adequate support among the littoral states of the South Atlantic Ocean, excepting for South
Africa and Namibia where the former was isolated and the latter still governed by the former.
Brazil’s erstwhile arch-rivals – Argentina and Chile – supported the proposal. The watershed
in trans-Atlantic relations in the Southern Cone came when the UN General Assembly passed
Resolution A/RES/41/11 on 27 October 1986 during its 50th plenary meeting.
This resolution declared the Atlantic Ocean, in the region situated between Africa and South
America, a zone of peace and co-operation of the South Atlantic. Article 2 of the resolution
called upon "all States of the zone of the South Atlantic to promote further regional cooperation, inter alia, for social and economic development, the protection of the environment,
the conservation of living resources and the peace and security of the whole region". In
Article 3, it further called upon "all States of all other regions, in particular the militarily
significant States, scrupulously to respect the region of the South Atlantic as a zone of peace
and co-operation, especially through the reduction and eventual elimination of their military
presence there, the non-introduction of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction
and the non-extension into the region of rivalries and conflicts that are foreign to it." It is
noteworthy that in voting for the resolution, 124 states voted in favour, eight abstained (all
from the industrialised countries) and only one – the US – voted against it.38 This is quite
understandable as the establishment of the ZPCSA essentially implied the total
‘demilitarisation’, and therefore ‘denuclearisation’, of the South Atlantic region. Lastly, in
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Article 5, the resolution reaffirmed that "the elimination of apartheid and the attainment of
self-determination and independence by the people of Namibia, as well as the cessation of all
acts of aggression and subversion against States in the zone, are essential for peace and
security in the South Atlantic region, and urges the implementation of all United Nations
resolutions pertaining to colonialism, racism and apartheid."39
Thus, Resolution A/RES/41/11 covered four major areas that had far-reaching consequences
for the South Atlantic region, namely, socio-economic development; the environment; peace
and security; and lastly, emancipation of South Africa and its colonial territories. While these
areas are mutually reinforcing and complementary, a brief discussion of the peace and
security focus is particularly relevant for this section. In previous chapters it was noted that
the modern understanding of security is no longer limited to the military sphere, but
incorporates other aspects such as socio-economic development and the environment.
However, it is undeniably true that the existence of credible and adequate military capabilities
help ensure that other endeavours such as development and environmental conservation
succeed.
The successful implementation of these focus areas would require that littoral states and extraregional powers complied with the provisions of the resolution.
Therefore, specific
programmes would have to be devised and implemented by the relevant parties, for example
restricting military activity in the zone area. To this effect, UN General Assembly Resolution
42/16 of 10 November 1987 urged the international community to assist the region in the
implementation of such programmes.40 Similar calls have been made to the ZPCSA member
states since the ZPCSA's first meeting that was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from 25-29 July
1988; then in Abuja, Nigeria (25-29 June 1990); and lastly in Brasilia, Brazil (21-22
September 1994).41 Beside the Ministerial meeting of the ZPCSA that was held at the UN
Headquarters on 5 October 1993,42 the fourth ZPCSA meeting held in South Africa, in April
1996, was unique in many ways. Held under the theme "Bridging the South Atlantic", the
1996 ZPCSA meeting not only welcomed South Africa into the South Atlantic littoral states,
but also emphasised the strategic importance of the region to both sides of the South Atlantic.
Various organisations pledged their support for the ZPCSA activities. For instance, the
International Maritime Organisation (IMO) indicated that “it could assist the zone to address
the degradation of the marine environment resulting from sea-based activities and enhance
their capacity to prevent and mitigate the impact of marine pollution, with particular emphasis
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204
on the implementation of internationally agreed standards for the protection of the marine
environment.”43
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO) stated that with its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, it could
contribute to the implementation of UN resolutions, through "the encouragement, promotion
and support of regional co-operation among the countries of the region in the study and
observations of the South Atlantic.”44 However, it was the question of control of nuclear
weapons prevalence on the South Atlantic that was to prove contentious for the extra-regional
nuclear powers.
6.2
DENUCLEARISATION
The formation of the ZPCSA and its denuclearisation clause was not the first initiative to rid
the whole of South America and the South Atlantic region of weapons of mass destruction.
The global impact of the emerging South Atlantic security architecture became conspicuous
when, at the height of the Cold War, Brazil proposed in 1961 that the whole of Latin America
should become nuclear-free. The consequences of the proposal were going to be far-reaching,
not only because of the geographic extent that it would cover but also because it would prove
restrictive for the US in its containment strategy against the Soviet Union. The Cuban Missile
Crisis in October 1962 revitalised and gave impetus to the Brazilian idea, culminating in the
joint declaration by the Presidents of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico, which
expressed the desire to conclude the treaty declaring South America a nuclear-free zone. The
military take-over in Brazil in 1964 proved to be a temporary setback but Mexico took the
lead and the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the
Caribbean was signed in Tlatelolco, Mexico – hence the Treaty of Tlatelolco – on 14
February 1967. When the UN gave its support to the treaty, it entered into force for a very
limited number of states on 22 April 1968.45
In terms of Articles 1 and 4 of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, the whole of Latin America and its
“territorial sea, air space and other space over which the State exercises sovereignty” became
the zone within which “the testing, use, manufacture, production or acquisition by any means
whatsoever of any nuclear weapons, by the Parties themselves, directly or indirectly, on
behalf of anyone else or in any other way” is prohibited.46 Taking the interests of the US into
consideration, the treaty did not prohibit the transport of nuclear weapons in the zone, nor the
use of nuclear power in general. With Cuba refusing to sign the treaty, both Argentina and
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205
Chile conditionally signed and ratified it with a proviso that it would only apply to them when
all the other relevant states had done so as well. Failing to secure the co-operation of Cuba,
the military governments of Argentina and Brazil went ahead with their nuclear weapons
programme, thus rendering the whole treaty a dubious achievement.47
However, the adoption of Resolution A/RES/41/11 of 27 October 1986 by the UN General
Assembly, gave impetus to the notion of total denuclearisation of the South Atlantic region.
It also became evident that some form of co-ordination and harmonisation had to be achieved
between the ZPCSA and the signatories to the Treaty of Tlatelolco. During the twelfth
regular session of the Council of the Agency for the Treaty of Tlatelolco, it was decided that a
viable formula would have to be devised in order to establish an appropriate mechanism for
co-operation between the two nuclear weapons-free zones.48 The Treaty of Tlatelolco came
into force in 1992 for twenty-four states in the region when Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
signed it.49
Unlike the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which had two additional Protocols to provide for states
falling outside the Western Hemisphere, the ZPCSA relies on Resolutions 49/26 of 22
December 1994 and 49/84 of 11 January 1995 of the UN General Assembly in requesting
extra-regional states to comply with the nuclear-free status of the Zone. Protocol I of the
Treaty of Tlatelolco, which was later signed and ratified by The Netherlands and the UK but
rejected by France and the US, urges the signatories "to undertake to apply the status of
denuclearization in respect of warlike purposes as defined in Articles 1, 3, 5 and 13 of the
Treaty [of Tlatelolco] in territories for which, de jure or de facto, they are internationally
responsible and which lie within the limits of the geographical zone established in that
Treaty."50 Protocol II obliged the signatories from the nuclear states to respect the nonnuclear status of Latin America and to "undertake not to use or threaten to use nuclear
weapons against Contracting Parties" of the Treaty of Tlatelolco.51 This Protocol was signed
by almost all known nuclear powers (People’s Republic of China, France, the UK and the
US), except the former Soviet Union. However, Russia later signed it after the dissolution of
the Soviet Union.52 Cuba only signed the Treaty of Tlatelolco on 25 March 1995 but has still
not ratified it. By 1995, the amended Treaty of Tlatelolco was already fully in force for
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay — the majority of
the Mercosur countries.53
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206
In Resolution 49/26 of 22 December 1994, the UN General Assembly expressed its
satisfaction with the decisions, particularly the Declaration on Denuclearisation, adopted by
the ZPCSA member states during their third meeting in Brazil on 21 and 22 September
1994.54 The subsequent UN resolutions, notably, Resolution 49/84 of 11 January 1995, once
again commended the Declaration on Denuclearisation as it contributed to the UN’s efforts at
“disarmament [and ensuring] effective international control [of] nuclear weapons and other
weapons of mass destruction with a view to strengthening international peace and security.”55
Resolution 49/84 further recognises and promotes international co-operation on the peaceful
uses of nuclear energy. It concludes by calling upon “all states to co-operate fully for the
achievement of the objective to turn the region of the South Atlantic into a nuclear-weaponfree zone.”
In South Africa, the issue of peaceful use of nuclear energy and the
operationalisation of the agreements to that effect on the whole African continent, has preoccupied officials particularly since 1993 when the Nuclear Energy Act of 1993 and the
Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1993 were passed.56
The declaration of the ZPCSA was a welcome addition to other zones declared free of nuclear
weapons. The other nuclear-free zones are the Treaty of South Pacific Zone of Peace (also
known as Treaty of Rarotonga, signed on 6 August 1985); the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free
Zone Treaty – also known as the Pelindaba Treaty – signed in Cairo, Egypt, on 11 April 1996;
and the South East Asian Zone of Peace (Treaty of Bangkok, signed on 15 December 1995).
These treaties, together with the Antarctic Treaty (signed on 1 December 1959), collectively
contribute towards rendering the Southern Hemisphere and more than 50 per cent of the globe
free of nuclear weapons. It is notable that, with the exception of the Pelindaba and Bangkok
Treaties, all other zones of peace treaties were negotiated during the height of the Cold War.
Thus, the process of ratifying these treaties seems to have been much easier in the post-Cold
War era than was the case before.
Furthermore, treaties such as the Limited/Partial Test Ban Treaty (8 August 1963); the Treaty
on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1 July 1968); the Seabed Treaty (11 February
1971); and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (10 September 1996) contribute to
the objectives of both non-proliferation and disarmament of nuclear weapons. Thus, there is
an emphasis on non-possession, non-deployment and non-use of nuclear weapons. Most of
the ZPCSA countries have signed and ratified most of these treaties. Of all the ZPCSA
member states, only Brazil, Argentina and South Africa have ratified the Comprehensive
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207
Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) – ratified respectively on 24 July 1998, 4 December 1998
and 30 March 1999, while Cameroon, The Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone had still not yet
signed it by the end of 2001. The significance of the ratification of the CTBT stems from the
capability of Argentina and Brazil to detect any nuclear explosions. For instance, by 1998, of
the 321 monitoring stations and 16 laboratories available world-wide to detect nuclear
explosions, Argentina had eight stations, Brazil six and each had one laboratory.57
Concerning the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), all the ZPCSA countries have signed it.58
For many years, Argentina, together with countries such as Pakistan and India, was
diametrically opposed to the NPT due to the latter’s discriminatory nature. Argentina argued
that the NPT entrenched the monopoly of nuclear weapons in favour of the known nuclear
states of the North. However, Argentina acceded to the NPT on 10 February 1995.59 The
Limited Test Ban Treaty has not yet been signed by Angola, Congo (Brazzaville), Equatorial
Guinea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Sao Tomé e Principe and Uruguay. The Seabed
Treaty still needs to be signed by Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon,
Namibia and Nigeria.60 It is also noteworthy that South Africa was the first country in the
world “that had fully developed, and then voluntarily dismantled her military nuclear
capability.”61 This is reflected as part of South Africa’s efforts to rid the continent of
indiscriminate and excessively harmful weapons, including landmines.
As much as a need was identified for co-operation and co-ordination between the ZPCSA
countries and the signatories of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, similarly, an appropriate mechanism
will have to be devised to synchronise the undertakings of the Pelindaba Treaty with those of
the ZPCSA. However, one major weakness of the two Treaties (Tlatelolco and Pelindaba), as
is the case with other zones of peace, is that they cover land and territorial seas, but do not
cover the high seas.62
This leaves a strategic vacuum which could be exploited by
unscrupulous elements such as sea pirates, illicit traffickers of drugs, and nuclear and
radioactive materials, who normally have extensive resources to pose a credible challenge to
the navies of most littoral states in the South Atlantic region. According to the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) there is a dramatic increase in incidents of illicit trafficking
of nuclear and radioactive materials, especially from the territories that constituted the former
Soviet Union. The IAEA maintains an extensive database to try and keep track of illicit
trafficking in weapons-grade nuclear and radioactive materials. As of 31 March 2001, the
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208
IAEA recorded more than 550 incidents of illicit trafficking in these materials with the peak
being between 1993 and 1994.63
Given these weaknesses and threats, there have been suggestions that the treaties that declare
nuclear-free zones should be consolidated into a single document that declares the whole
Southern Hemisphere and adjacent areas to be nuclear-free. However, numerous factors
militate against such a prospect.64 Among these are the lack of total contiguity among the
various zones and the complexity of the negotiation process. For instance, from the four
nuclear-free zones (Tlatelolco, ZPCSA, Pelindaba, Rarotonga and Bangkok, excluding
Antarctica, there are 108 countries plus the five nuclear weapons states, but only less than
half, namely 47, are situated in the Southern Hemisphere. The challenge becomes even more
acute for South Africa which is a party to most of these regional arrangements, namely the
ZPCSA and the Pelindaba Treaty.
6.3
SOUTH AFRICA AND THE ZPCSA
When South Africa and Namibia joined the ZPCSA, with the former subsequently assuming
the chair in 1996, the ZPCSA gained momentum in consolidating peace and security in the
Atlantic region. The value of the ZPCSA to its member states, in general and to South Africa,
in particular, varies significantly. This is largely determined by factors such as the length of
the coastline (for instance, the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC – compared with South
Africa); maritime traffic on the immediate coastline; and the dependence on, and the capacity
to, optimally utilise marine resources.
From the South African perspective, both economic and strategic considerations justify
military involvement in the ZPCSA region. The vulnerability of South Africa's western
shores to drug trafficking and small arms proliferation, and also the need to protect fishing
resources, the environment, communication sea lanes and trade routes on the Atlantic, remain
among the main concerns for the country. The former South African Deputy Minister of
Defence, Ronnie Kasrils, once observed that “[t]hose thousands of kilometres of open sea and
coastline beckon the gunrunners, the drug smugglers, the international mafia, the terrorists
and the pirates of all nationalities, who are fast becoming the greatest security threat of our
time.”65 However, it is economic considerations which increase South Africa’s justification
for military involvement in the region (see Table 25).
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209
The fishing industry alone, which directly employs some 30 000 people, contributes about R2
billion to South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and operates about 3 000 vessels
out of 13 harbours. Besides, about 85 per cent of South Africa’s trade (by value) and 55 per
cent of the country's oil imports are conducted by sea.66 The other ZPCSA member states on
the African side of the Atlantic Ocean with significant fish catches, include Benin, Cameroon,
the DRC, Côte d’Ivoire, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.67
Table 25:
SOUTH AFRICA’S TRADE WITH THE ZPCSA MEMBERS, 1999
SUB-REGION
ECOWAS
COUNTRY
Benin
Cape Verde
Côte d’Ivoire
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Liberia
Nigeria
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
MERCOSUR
Argentina
Brazil
Uruguay
SUBTOTAL
SUBTOTAL
SADC
Angola
DRC
Namibia
UDEAC/CEMAC68
Cameroon
Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
São Tomé e
Principe
SUBTOTAL
SUBTOTAL
GRAND TOTAL
Source:
IMPORTS (Rm)
0.005
0.7
106.0
0.6
25.4
0.6
0.5
2.1
1 236.1
3.5
7.9
63.5
EXPORTS (Rm)
84.5
20.9
239.3
10.5
560.4
62.9
0.8
11.6
514.0
72.9
15.7
39.7
1 446.905
1 121.4
1 376.1
35.4
1 633.20
457.7
947.5
51.4
2 532.90
196.8
18.0
3.8
1 456.60
1 280.0
807.4
0.001
218.6
18.9
19.0
3.8
25.0
0.01
2 087.401
70.0
115.9
86.0
87.6
6.2
66.71
4 265.115
365.7
5 542.901
Adapted from South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). 2000. The South
African Yearbook of International Affairs, 2000/2001. Johannesburg: South African
Institute of International Affairs.
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210
The main destinations for the bulk of South Africa’s exports (by value) within the South
Atlantic region, are Mercosur and SADC, while ECOWAS and Mercosur have a significant
import share from South Africa (Table 25). Even though South Africa enjoys a marginally
favourable trade balance in terms of the ZPCSA member states, South Africa's total exports to
these states constitute about 12 per cent and 41 per cent of exports to the EU and NAFTA
respectively.
Thus South Africa’s security interests in the South Atlantic also include
ensuring safe and unhindered passage to the northern markets. The ZPCSA member states
also benefit from the Cape Sea route which remains important for global maritime
commercial activities, especially oil transfers – with between 30 and 50 oil tankers sailing
around the Cape every month.69
6.4
THE NAVAL POTENTIAL OF THE ZPCSA
Brazil and South Africa individually and collectively wield enormous influence both within
their respective regions and the ZPCSA as a whole. This was emphasised by Luiz Felipe
Lampreia, a former Brazilian Foreign Minister, during his visit to South Africa in 1995.
During his interview with the Unisa Centre for Latin American Studies in 1995, Lampreia
stated that "dialogue regarding integration, commercial expansion and economic development
will revolve around the axis formed by Brazil and South Africa within their respective
regions." On the geo-political and strategic significance of the ZPCSA, Lampreia observed
that the South Atlantic region must be taken care of, "not only as the maritime passage of a
significant part of the world navigation (transportation of oil, important goods, etc.) but also
as a zone of particular wealth in terms of maritime resources."70 Thus, the value of transAtlantic co-operation in the Southern Cone had to be viewed across the whole spectrum of
security, including economic security.
As Table 26 indicates, there are notable differences between the various sub-regional groups
constituting the ZPCSA region in terms of the size of the economy, population and defence
expenditures.
While the largest number of countries are in the ECOWAS sub-region,
followed by UDEAC/CEMAC, then SADC and lastly Mercosur, in terms of economic size
and defence expenditure, the reverse order applies – with Mercosur being the largest and
ECOWAS the smallest. South Africa's size in terms of GDP and defence budget is more than
the combined sizes for ECOWAS, other ZPCSA members from SADC and the
UDEAC/CEMAC states. This explains the importance of South Africa within the ZPCSA
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211
with regard to making substantial contributions from the African side of the South Atlantic
Ocean.
Table 26:
ZPCSA COUNTRIES' GDP, DEFENCE BUDGETS AND
POPULATIONS
SUB-REGION
ECOWAS
COUNTRY
GDP 1999
(US$Bn)
2.4
0.3
13.1
0.5
10.1
3.6
0.3
0.5
50
5.2
0.7
1.5
DEFENCE BUDGET,
2000, (US$m)
37
8
134
15
45
55
3
15
340
62
9
31
POPULATION,
2001, (million)
6.3
0.5
17.1
1.2
20
7.6
1.2
3
116
9.7
4.5
5
SUBTOTAL
Argentina
Brazil
Uruguay
88.2
283
600
13.7
754
3.8
9 900
227
192.1
37.3
164
3.3
SUBTOTAL
Angola
DRC
Namibia
South Africa
896.7
6.1
5.3
2.7
128
10 130.8
542
400
96
1 900
204.6
12.4
49
1.9
40.3
SUBTOTAL
Cameroon
Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
São Tomé e
Principe
142.1
10.2
2.2
0.5
6.4
N/a
2 938
155
73
11
126
N/a
103.6
15.5
3.1
0.5
1.5
N/a
19.3
1 146.3
365
14 187.8
20.6
520.9
Benin
Cape Verde
Côte d’Ivoire
The Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Liberia
Nigeria
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Togo
MERCOSUR
SADC
UDEAC/CEMAC*
SUBTOTAL
GRAND TOTAL
Source:
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
2000/2001. London: Oxford University Press.
2000.
The Military Balance,
‘*’ – These groupings have the same membership
‘N/a’ denotes ‘data not available’
Due to the large mass of water binding the ZPCSA member states, it is their collective naval
capacity that could be utilised effectively to the benefit of the South Atlantic region in terms
of their security needs. Navies are generally categorised as follows:71
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•
212
Global navies. These navies, such as the US Navy, have a global reach and can
operate simultaneously in different geographic theatres without any substantial loss
of combat effectiveness.
•
Ocean-going navies. Despite their ability to deploy in distant waters, ocean-going
navies cannot engage enemy forces simultaneously in different geographic theatres
of war without compromising their combat effectiveness. France and the UK are
examples of this category.
•
Littoral navies. Such navies can hardly operate outside their contiguous waters, that
is, the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
•
Coastal navies. These navies are mainly capable of safeguarding the coastline and
cannot challenge any naval threat without the protection of the allies.
•
Constabulary navies. Such navies are primarily designed to execute constabulary
duties.72
Generally, factors that determine the size of a navy include the level of economic
development, existence of naval threats, and size of defence budget. Arguably none of the
ZPCSA navies can be categorised as ‘ocean-going’, but Brazil and South Africa do possess a
littoral naval capability (Table 27). This is particularly important given the expected increase
world-wide of populations living within 50km of the sea from 50 to 70 per cent by 2025.
With the dramatic increase in populations, it can be envisaged that there will be a
corresponding possibility of excessive human activity along the coast, thus increasing the
need to patrol such coastlines. It is believed that about 93 per cent of sea-related crimes are
committed within 12 nautical miles from the shores.73 Currently, the patrol capacity of the
Zone states is limited and unevenly spread (Table 27).
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Table 27:
Country
Angola
Argentina
Benin
Brazil
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Congo
Côte d’Ivoire
DRC *
Equatorial
Guinea
Gabon
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Liberia
Namibia
Nigeria
Sao Tomé e
Principe
Senegal
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Togo
Uruguay
213
NAVAL PATROL CAPABILITIES (2000) AND MERCANTILE
MARINE (1997/8) OF THE ZPCSA MEMBER STATES
Navy
Mercantile Marine (1998)
Personnel
Patrol and Coastal
Combatant Craft
Number of
Vessels
Gross Tonnage
1 500
17 200
100
48 600
1 300
50
800
900
900
7
15
1
50
2
3
3
6
123
501
6
504
58
38*
20
35
20
73 907
498 700
9 00
417 100
12 900
16 481*
3 800
9 500
12 900
120
500
70
1 000
400
2
4
2
2*
34*
6*
172*
30
3 457*
32 178*
1 490*
113 528*
11 200
350
N/a
100
5 000
N/a
3
N/a2
6
N/a
23
1 717
105
493
N/a
6 079
60 492
54 794
451 900
N/a
600
200
5 190
200
5 500
90 580
10
3
9
2
10
140
198
52
192
6*
89*
4 424
51 000
18 792
383 700
1 073*
124 369*
2 360 240
TOTAL
'N/a' denotes 'data not available'
* denotes 'data available only for 1997 in Jane's Fighting Ships, 1997-1998.'
Sources:
Adapted from Maher, J. et al. (eds.) 2001. The Europa World Year Book 2001, Vols. 1 & II.
London: Europa Publications; The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). 2000. The
Military Balance, 2000/2001. London: Oxford University Press; Sharpe, R. (ed.) 1997. Jane’s
Fighting Ships, 1997-1998, 100th Edition. Coulsdon: Jane’s Information Group.
As Table 27 indicates, about 80 per cent of the ZPCSA's naval personnel comes from the
countries on the western shores of the region (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay), while about
half of the remaining 20 per cent comes from the south-eastern quadrant of the region coincidentally from the countries which also form part of SADC - Angola, the DRC, Namibia
and South Africa. This dual membership, as is the case with the other countries north of the
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214
DRC, provides a cushion for the SADC countries against trans-oceanic criminal activity,
especially narco-trafficking.
The African members of the Zone seem to have a superior patrol craft capacity compared to
their Latin American counterparts, which only have about 27 per cent of the total. The SADC
countries in the Zone region retain only about 20 per cent (see Table 27). While this apparent
numerical superiority in patrol craft of the African member states of the Zone is a positive
indication that, at least coastal patrols and safety-and-rescue operations could be executed, it
is not clear what the level of serviceability of these vessels is (in Nigeria, for instance, only a
third of listed vessels were serviceable in 1998).74 This stems from many factors, including
the declining defence budgets both as a global trend and constraints imposed by the two
Bretton Woods institutions (the International Monetary Fund – IMF – and World Bank);
internal political instability; and a lack of suitable and well-maintained ports that could attract
substantial commercial maritime traffic from abroad.75
With a 3 000 km-long coastline and an EEZ of about 4,3 million km2, including the Prince
Edward island group, South Africa has the greatest naval responsibility on the whole African
continent. South Africa’s EEZ is about twice that of India which is 2,2 million km2.76 As a
general trend world-wide, including the advanced naval powers of the North, the division of
national defence budgets in ZPCSA countries does not favour the navies. This can be seen in
Table 28, which shows the ratio of defence budget allocation for the navies, air forces and
armies in some of the ZPCSA countries77
Table 28: RATIO OF BUDGET ALLOCATION FOR THE NAVY, AIR
FORCE AND ARMY, 1998
Country
Ratio
Argentina
1:1:1,5 (N:AF:A)
Brazil
1,2:1:1,7 (N:AF:A)
South Africa
1:2,3:5,2 (N:AF:A)
N=Navy; AF=Air Force; A=Army
Source:
Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. 1998. Beyond the Horizon: Defence, Diplomacy and
South Africa’s Maritime Opportunities. Johannesburg: South African Institute of
International Affairs (SAIIA), p. 58.
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215
This bias in favour of the armies stems from many factors. These include their non-capital
intensive nature (therefore fairly cheap); personnel intensive (thus contributing towards
alleviation of unemployment); and their utilitarian value (for instance, law enforcement
during internal political instability, peace support operations, peace-building operations, relief
operations and so forth). In Africa, no country has allocated more than a third of the national
defence budget to the navy.78
Also noteworthy in Table 27 is the extent of potential mercantile traffic in the region. The
potential 4 424 mercantile vessels with a total tonnage of 2 360 240, which excludes vessels
from other regions, shows the importance of securing the trade routes in the Atlantic region.
The level of co-ordination of maritime traffic within such a large region is an absolute
necessity. Thus, the significance of the framework of the South Atlantic Maritime Area Coordination (CAMAS) cannot be overemphasised. Established in 1966, CAMAS comprises
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (all of which are also members of Mercosur). The
main aim of CAMAS is to control merchant shipping through exchange of data on the ships
passing through ‘designated South Atlantic Maritime Area.’79 Like the ZPCSA, CAMAS has
limited membership but attempts are being made to broaden membership to cover the entire
South Atlantic. Since it was established during the Cold War era, the objectives and modus
operandi of CAMAS, to a large extent, still reflect the ideological trappings of the past and
might therefore need to be revised, possibly within the framework of the ideals of the ZPCSA.
In the military sphere, the approval in November 1998 of the SANDF’s arms acquisition
programme by the South African cabinet, could greatly improve the naval capabilities of the
ZPCSA countries. In terms of the acquisition programme (Table 29), the SANDF will
acquire corvettes, submarines and maritime helicopters, thus enabling the SA Navy to execute
its patrol responsibilities in the South Atlantic and also to participate, possibly in future, in
ZPCSA-wide naval exercises.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
Table 29:
216
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL DEFENCE FORCE’S ARMS
ACQUISITION PROGRAMME, 1998
Product
Preferred Supplier
Quantity
Value (Rm)
Corvettes
German Corvette Consortium
4
6 001
Submarines
German Submarine
3
5 212
4
787
Consortium
Maritime
GKN Westland, UK
Helicopters
Sources:
6.5
South African Department of Defence’s Bulletin, 19 November 1998; and Business Day
(Johannesburg), 19 November 1998.
A SOUTH ATLANTIC RIM ASSOCIATION
Some observers have argued that the declaratory nature of the ZPCSA is hampering progress
in many areas of strategic interest in the region. They further argue that the collective
achievements, potential and capabilities of the ZPCSA member states will have to be
consolidated. To achieve this, a formal Zone-wide organisation – almost similar to the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the EU – should be established. This
grouping, to be known as the South Atlantic Rim Association (SARA), would be instrumental
in promoting shared values across the South Atlantic.80 The proponents of the SARA notion
are of the view that issues such as security, peace, human rights, poverty and a free market
system in the South Atlantic region, will be better addressed and co-ordinated as national
policies will be harmonised.
It is not clear whether the proposed SARA will come to fruition, given the diverse nature of
the ZPCSA countries. The unequal levels of economic development; vulnerability to different
security challenges; and the pace of democratisation within individual countries, could make
the SARA notion a remote possibility. However, there are common challenges and values
which, when promoted, could result in SARA becoming a reality much sooner. These include
improving South-South co-operation; the denuclearisation of the region; the campaign against
trans-Atlantic criminal activity (drug trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing); co-ordination of
environmental policies (prevention and control of oil leakages from tankers); promoting trade
and tourism; and co-ordinating regional capabilities for search-and-rescue operations, as well
as providing a firm regional perspective when dealing with the Antarctic issue.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
217
The potential impact of a South Atlantic regional organisation can be deduced from some of
the trans-Atlantic joint military exercises that have been held in the region. While these
exercises have not been held by virtue of being members of the ZPCSA – because not all
participants were members of the ZPCSA and they included extra-regional powers – they
have demonstrated without a doubt the absolute necessity for co-ordinated national policies
relating to security in the region.
6.6
JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES
The vast ocean separating the countries in the South Atlantic region necessitates that any
military exercise should largely involve naval forces. This does not necessarily preclude the
possibility of joint land and air forces’ operational exercises, especially amphibious landing
and bridgehead-formation. However, the most inhibiting factor preventing or limiting the
possibility and frequency of joint military exercises, is the fact that countries in that region are
mostly developing, with Argentina, Brazil and South Africa classified as middle-income
emerging countries.
Further complicating matters are limitations imposed by language
proficiency.
As already indicated, even though the South Atlantic countries have not yet conducted any
joint military exercises by virtue of being part of either Mercosur or ZPCSA, some countries,
especially, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa have participated in a few US-sponsored naval
exercises, namely the ATLASUR (Atlantic South/South Atlantic), the UNITAS and the
TRANSOCEANIC.
6.6.1
Exercise ATLASUR
This joint military exercise involves four countries, namely, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa
and Uruguay. Its primary aim is to ensure and enhance interoperability of military equipment
and harmonisation of military operating procedures during operations. It takes place every
two years and participating countries take turns in hosting the exercise. However, it is held
alternately every two years off the South American and South African coasts, thus resulting in
South Africa having to host it every second turn. While the planning phase of the exercise is
conducted long in advance, the actual practical phase of the exercise lasts for two weeks. The
exercise depends largely on funding by the US.81 As Table 30 indicates, South Africa has
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
218
taken part in all ATLASUR exercises since 1994, most of which were conducted in South
African waters.82
Table 30: ATLASUR EXERCISES INVOLVING THE SOUTH AFRICAN NAVY
AFTER 1994
Date
Countries Involved
Series
Comments
May/June
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and
III
Exercise held in Brazilian
1995
Uruguay
territorial waters.
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and
Preparatory meeting for
November
1996
Uruguay.
Ex ATLASUR IV held in
South Africa.
April 1997
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and
IV
Exercise held in South
Uruguay
African territorial waters
November
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and
Preparatory meeting for
2001
Uruguay
Ex ATLASUR V held in
South Africa.
April 2002
Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
V
Exercise held in South
African territorial waters.
Source: Information provided by Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign Relations,
Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001
6.6.2
Exercise UNITAS
Unlike ATLASUR, the UNITAS exercise is much bigger in terms of the number of
participating countries, duration and the scope of its operation. It involves Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela and the US, with South
Africa participating on invitation from one of the participating countries in that particular
country's section of the exercise. For instance, SAS DRAKENSBERG and units of the
SANDF participated in Ex UNITAS from North America to South America during 1996.83
The exercise is designed to provide participating countries the opportunity to conduct
combined naval operations in furtherance of mutual defence objectives. It takes place every
year in the South Atlantic region. While the exercise takes place during the period from July
to December, the actual practical phase lasts between 10 and 14 days.84
6.6.3
Exercise TRANSOCEANIC
While both ATLASUR and UNITAS are practical exercises involving military ships and
military personnel at sea in defensive and offensive roles, TRANSOCEANIC is a naval
control shipping exercise. As it is a communication and procedural 'paper' exercise, there are
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
219
no naval vessels used at sea. Participating countries are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, South Africa, Uruguay, Venezuela and Panama, with the latter involved for the first
time in 2001 as an observer ((Table 31). The primary goal of the exercise is to test and
evaluate the procedures for Naval Control and Civil Direction of Maritime Traffic and
Fishing, during a period of tension with limited aggression, which increases progressively on
the basis of a fictitious scenario. The exercise is held annually and lasts for about 12 days.85
Given the nature of potential events that may disrupt the smooth flow of maritime traffic on
the South Atlantic, Ex TRANSOCEANIC presents an opportunity to optimally explore all
options without incurring exorbitant expenses for 'live' exercises.
However, military exercises in the South Atlantic Ocean have not been limited to those
sponsored by the US but have also included combined military exercises that are arranged on
a bilateral basis. For instance, a Brazilian Task Group consisting of two frigates conducted an
operational visit to Cape Town during September 1996. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
participated in the SA Navy’s 75th celebrations during April 1997, while during 1997, a senior
officer from Brazil attended Ex MORNING STAR. Similarly South Africa has also had a
joint military exercise with Chile. A SA Navy officer joined his counterparts from the US,
UK, Australia and New Zealand during Ex BUOY which was held in Chile in April 2000.86
Table 31:
TRANSOCEANIC EXERCISES INVOLVING
NAVY AFTER 1994
Date
Countries Involved
Series
X
August 1995
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
August 1996
Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay,
XI
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
XII
August 1997
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
August 1998
August 1999
August 2000
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
THE SOUTH AFRICAN
Comments
Participating countries
(except Paraguay) held
critique conference on the
exercise in South Africa in
October 1997
XIII
XIV
XV
Participating countries
(except Paraguay) held
critique conference on the
exercise in South Africa in
October 1999
Participating countries
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
August 2001
August 2002
Source:
6.7
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Panama, Peru, Paraguay, South
Africa, Uruguay, USA and
Venezuela
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador,
Peru, Paraguay, South Africa,
Uruguay, USA and Venezuela
220
(except Paraguay) held
critique conference on the
exercise in Argentina in
October 2000
XVI
XVII
Information provided by Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign Relations,
Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF THE ZPCSA
In addition to the lack of proper co-ordination of activities of common interest across the
South Atlantic Ocean, it is evident that there are still numerous challenges in harmonising
policies and strategies in the region. One such challenge emanates from the exclusive nature
of the ZPCSA. The delineation mechanisms used to determine the membership of ZPCSA
were a combination of geographic and ideological factors. In geographic terms, the ZPCSA
stretches far beyond what is traditionally regarded as the South Atlantic region.87
The
common concern of the ZPCSA member states to both ‘de-ideologise’ security by nonalignment in the East-West confrontation and ‘denuclearise’ by demilitarising the South
Atlantic region, not only ensured that countries beyond the region were included, but it also
ensured exclusion of known nuclear powers with direct and strategic interests in the region –
notably the UK and the US.
Some analysts believe that the narrow exclusive nature of ZPCSA membership, even for the
countries with territorial interests in the region, could prove counter-productive. According to
Grove88, any security framework which excludes the UK, despite the latter’s claim of
sovereignty to the island groups, could render such a framework incomplete – probably
similar to the scenario prior to Namibia and South Africa joining the ZPCSA in 1990 and
1994 respectively. In addition, when the UK enforces her EEZ – 200 nautical miles – around
the island groups in the Atlantic region, the limitations of exclusivity in the Zone’s security
framework become even more evident.
States can conduct military activities in their
respective EEZs.89 However, it is encouraging to note that France, the People’s Republic of
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221
China, the Russian Federation, the UK, and the USA – the known and recognised nuclear
states – have also signed the three Protocols of the Pelindaba Treaty.
The recent developments on both sides of the South Atlantic region bring both uncertainty
and hope for the future security of the region. On the African side, there are still unresolved
or partially unresolved conflicts in for instance the DRC and Liberia. Perhaps the most
serious is the multi-national nature of the DRC conflict, which involved most of her
neighbours, either in support of the DRC government or the rebels. The ‘mild’ diplomatic
tensions between Namibia and Botswana over a border dispute, do not contribute to regional
peace and stability in the South Atlantic. Even though conflicts in the DRC, Liberia and
Sierra Leone seem to be partially resolved, scars left by many years of violent internal conflict
remain visible. The resumption of hostilities in Guinea-Bissau in violation of the Praia (Cape
Verde) cease-fire agreement signed on 26 July 1998, is also cause for great concern to the
ZPCSA region. Nigeria’s return to civilian rule after many years of successive military
governments, however, provides hope that sustainable peace and security in the north-eastern
quadrant of the ZPCSA is eventually prevailing.
The western side of the ZPCSA region has also undergone massive change in the political
sphere, thus sending mixed signals with regard to the security situation in the region. The
political relations between Argentina and the UK have improved considerably over the last
few years. This rapprochement has seen high profile diplomatic visits taking place between
the two countries. For instance, former Argentine President, Carlos Menem, paid a six-day
visit to the UK on 27 October 1998, while Prince Charles reciprocated the visit by spending
three days in March 1999 on the disputed islands (Falklands/Malvinas). In the aftermath of
Menem’s visit, the UK announced a partial lifting of the 16-year arms embargo imposed on
Argentina after the Falklands War. This would be done with a proviso that “[l]icences will
only be granted for exports that we are satisfied would not, now or in the foreseeable future,
put at risk the security of our Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic or our forces
operating
there.”90
Therefore,
the
military-political
situation
regarding
the
Falklands/Malvinas islands has not yet been resolved. Even though the British naval defence
around the island group has been scaled down with the departure of the destroyer HMS
Sutherland – the last ship of the many frigates and destroyers stationed there since 1982 – this
does not signal the end of British military involvement in the region. The recently established
South Atlantic Patrol Task Group of the Royal Navy – comprising the HMS Marlborough and
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222
tanker RFA Gold Rover – will still be responsible for the disputed islands as part of its patrols
off West Africa.91
The security aspect of the ZPCSA with regard to the Falklands/Malvinas and its ramifications
involving the UK, has always been one of the major challenges facing the ZPCSA member
states. During the ZPCSA meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 21 and 22 October
1998, South Africa handed over the chair of the ZPCSA to Argentina. At this meeting the
ZPCSA members recommitted themselves to exchange of comprehensive information about
each ZPCSA country; sharing information on registration of fishing vessels; promoting trade;
combating drug trafficking; and considering joint initiatives against illicit manufacturing and
trafficking in small arms and related materials.92
7.
CONCLUSION
The security architecture of the South Atlantic region is characterised by a number of security
instruments that overlap largely more by accident than by design. It is also characterised by
massive inequality of littoral states in terms of economic development, military capabilities,
and vulnerability to security threats such as narco-trafficking and sea piracy. The various
instruments and models that have been used to provide blanket security for the South Atlantic
littoral states have had limited success due to the disjointed nature of such instruments and
apparently insufficient political will of the main role-players. These instruments were initially
designed to deal with Cold War threats as determined by the US and the former Soviet Union.
With the demise of the Cold War, little has been done to realign these instruments with the
post-Cold War exigencies. For instance, while the Rio Treaty still remains in place, there is
no doubt that the US’s commitment to the treaty’s provisions is somewhat weakened and only
invoked during times of dire need such as dealing with international terrorism following the
events of 11 September 2001 in the US.
South Africa’s efforts to become linked to the security umbrella of the Western Hemisphere,
firstly through the formation of the Southern Cross Alliance and later the South Atlantic
Treaty Organisation, along the lines of NATO, were well-intentioned but failed because of the
potential partners' refusal. At no stage was the validity or the necessity of such security
alliances ever denied by any party, but South Africa’s potential participation remained a
contentious point and represented a weak link. Thus, the advent of democracy in South
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223
Africa in 1994 and its subsequent membership of the ZPCSA, was a major step in the
direction of creating a strong organisation (SARA notion) that covers the whole of the South
Atlantic region. However, one of the challenges is that the original threat, namely, the
potential infiltration of the South Atlantic states by communism, has disappeared.
The
formation of such an organisation would be dealing with ‘new generation’ threats that are not
necessarily military in nature but require a strong military presence or support. Some of the
pressing issues facing the South Atlantic region include combating trans-oceanic criminal
activity; protecting the environment and marine resources; and the promotion of commercial
activity for mutual benefit.
In the military sphere, it is evident that the collective patrol capacity of the region still
requires attention. Some of the ZPCSA countries have advanced shipbuilding and ship-repair
capacity which, if properly co-ordinated, could help ensure that most of the ZPCSA vessels
are sea-worthy. To this effect, personnel exchange programmes, which focus on both transfer
of technical skills and the sharing of resources, will have to be introduced in the South
Atlantic region.
Some of these issues could perhaps be facilitated by the formal
institutionalisation of the ZPCSA through the establishment of the South Atlantic Rim
Association.
Joint exercises involving all or most of the ZPCSA naval forces with a view to improving
interoperability remain crucial. As was discussed in this chapter, there are a limited number
of joint military exercises which are not undertaken on the basis of membership of the
ZPCSA but largely on the basis of mutual understanding and sharing common oceanic
boundaries. These exercises have taken place primarily because of US funding, thus posing a
dilemma for the littoral states if the US were hypothetically to ask, for instance, for
permission to transport nuclear waste or conduct military manoeuvres in the South Atlantic
waters. While this does not seem to pose an immediate threat to the continued existence of,
and adherence to, the denuclearisation clauses of the Tlatelolco and ZPCSA arrangements,
there is little doubt that the ZPCSA countries might be expected by the US to protect its
interests in the region and possibly support positions in international forums.
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224
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. 1989. Strategy in the Southern Oceans: A South American View. London:
Pinter Publishers, p. 71.
2
Venter, D. “South Africa, Brazil and South Atlantic Security: Towards a Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic”, in Pinheiro Guimarães, S. (ed.) 1996. South Africa and Brazil: Risks
and Opportunities in the Turmoil of Globalization. Rio de Janeiro: International Relations Research
Institute, p. 48. See also Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 71.
3
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit, p. 72
4
Ibid. pp. 71-72.
5
Du Plessis, A. 1987. “South Africa and the South Atlantic Ocean: A Maritime-strategic Analysis”.
Institute for Strategic Studies University of Pretoria (ISSUP) Occasional Paper, Pretoria, Number 24,
p. 12.
6
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 72.
7
Varas, A. "Soviet Union- Latin American Relations: A Historical Perspective", in Muñoz, H. and
Tulchin, J.S. (eds.) 1996. Latin American Nations in World Politics, Second Edition. Boulder:
Westview Press, pp. 238-239.
8
Calvert, P. 1994. International Politics of Latin America. Manchester: Manchester University Press
p. 157.
9
Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance signed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 2 September
1947.
10
Ibid.
11
Charter of the Organization of American States signed in Bogotá, Colombia, 30 April 1948, and as
amended by the following protocols:
“Protocol of Buenos Aires” signed on 27 February 1967;
“Protocol of Cartagena de Indias” signed on 5 December 1985; “Protocol of Washington” signed on
14 December 1992, and “Protocol of Managua” signed on 10 June 1993.
12
Organisation of American States General Assembly. Resolution 1123 (XXI-O/91) of 1991.
13
Organisation of American States General Assembly. Resolution 1237 (XXIII-O/93) of 1993.
14
Leysens, A. 1992. South Africa's Relations with Latin America (1966-1988). Unisa Centre for Latin
America Studies Occasional Paper, Pretoria, No. 6, pp. 30-31.
15
Du Plessis, A. 1989. op cit. p. 36
16
Leysens, A. 1992. op cit. p. 31.
17
Ibid. p. 33.
18
Ibid. p. 34.
19
Broekman, D.A. 1998. “A South Atlantic Rim Association: From a Notion to a Reality?” Unisa Latin
American Report, Vol. 14, No. 1, p. 7. See also Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1997. “Brazil and South
Africa: An Evolving Relationship between Regional Powers.” Politeia, Vol. 16, No. 2, p. 24, and
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 60.
20
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. pp. 60-61.
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21
225
Anglaril, N.B. 1995. "Argentina's Relations with Africa: The Myths and Realities of Co-operation
Between the Countries on the Southern Hemisphere." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 11, No. 1,
January - June, p. 9.
22
Ibid.
23
Child, J. “South American Geopolitics and Antarctica: Confrontation or Cooperation?”, in Kelly, P. and
Child, J. (eds.). 1988. Geopolitics of the Southern Cone and Antarctica. London: Lynne Rienner
Publishers, op cit. p. 199.
24
Anglaril, N.B. op cit. p. 10.
25
Leysens, A. 1992. op cit. p. 37.
26
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. pp. 60-61.
27
Al-Mashat, A.M.M. 1985. National Security in the Third World. London: Westview Press, p. 9.
28
Ibid. p. 10.
29
Du Plessis, A. 1987. op cit. pp. 46-47.
30
Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 140.
31
Whittaker, D.J. 1995. United Nations in Action. London: UCL Press, pp.165-166.
32
Russell, R. “Argentina: Ten Years of Foreign Policy”, in Kelly, P. and Child, J. (eds.) op cit. p. 73.
33
The Malvinas/Falklands islands, which have a total population of about 2100, consists of more than 200
islands. These islands cover an area of over 12 000 square kilometres. See Marcopress News Agency.
Falklands-Malvinas News, 9 March 1999.
34
“Gilbratization”, according to De Hoyos, “is the action by which something becomes ‘Gilbratar-like’”.
Thus the “Gilbratization of the islands” referred to the “process by which the islands are supposed to
become the inexpungable key to the security system and its symbol …”
See De Hoyos, R.
“Malvinas/Falklands, 1982-1988: The New Gilbratar in the South Atlantic?”, in Kelly, P. and Child, J.
(eds.) 1988. op cit. pp. 239-244.
35
De Hoyos, R. op cit. pp. 242-244.
36
Child, J. op cit. p. 191.
37
Grove, E. “Naval Co-operation in the South Atlantic”, in Mills, G. (ed.) 1995. Maritime Policy for
Developing Nations. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), p. 226.
38
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic". A/RES/41/11 of 27 October 1986.
39
Ibid.
40
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic". A/RES/42/16 of 10 November 1987.
41
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary meeting on “Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic”. A/RES/43/23 of 14 November 1988. See also
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic". A/RES/45/36.
42
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic". A/RES/48/23 of 24 November 1993.
43
UN General Assembly Press Release, GA/9165 of 14 November 1996.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
226
44
Ibid.
45
Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America (Tlatelolco Treaty), signed in
Tlatelolco, Mexico, on 14 February 1967. See also Calvert, P. op cit. pp. 208-209.
46
Tlatelolco Treaty, op cit. See also Calvert, P. op cit. p. 209.
47
Calvert, P. op cit. p. 209.
48
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic".
A/RES/46/19 of 25 November 1991 and
A/RES/51/52 of 10 December 1996.
49
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during Plenary Meeting on "Declaration of a Zone
of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic". A/RES/47/61 of 9 December 1992.
50
Article 1 of Protocol I to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and
the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco). See also Calvert, P. op cit. p. 209.
51
Article 3 of Protocol II to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and
the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco).
52
Calvert, P. op cit. p. 209.
53
United Nations General Assembly Resolution taken during 90th Plenary Meeting on "Consolidation of
the Regime of Established by the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and
the Caribbean (Treaty of Tlatelolco)”. A/RES/50/77 of 12 December 1995. See also Ferm, R. and
Berggren, C. "Arms Control and Disarmament Agreements", in SIPRI. 2001. SIPRI Yearbook 2001:
Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 652.
54
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 49/26 of 22 December 1994.
55
United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 49/84 of 11 January 1995 and 50/18 of 7 December
1995, 25 November 1996. See also the UN Secretary General’s Report on the Zone of Peace and Cooperation in the South Atlantic, 24 October 1995.
56
Minutes of a Meeting in Preparation of the 4th Meeting of the Zone of Peace and Co-operation of the
South Atlantic, held in Pretoria, on 15 November 1995.
57
Capdevila, G. 1998. “Disarmament: Treaty Targets Argentina, Brazil and Chile.” Inter Press Service,
4 May.
58
Ferm, R. and Berggren, C. op cit. p. 654.
59
Carasales, J.C. 1996. “A Surprising About-Face: Argentina and the NPT”. Security Dialogue,
Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 328, 334.
60
Ferm, R. and Berggren, C. op cit, p. 654.
61
Robinson, T. and Boutwell, J. 1996. “South Africa’s Arms Industry: A New Era of Democratic
Accountability?” Armed Forces & Society, Vol. 22, No. 4, Summer, pp. 601-602.
62
Minutes of the Meeting of the Member States of the Zone of Peace and Co-operation in the South
Atlantic held on 15 August 1995, Pretoria.
63
Zarimpas, N. "The Illicit Traffic in Nuclear and Radioactive Materials", in SIPRI. op cit. p. 505.
64
Minutes of the Meeting of the Member States of the Zone of Peace and Co-operation in the South
Atlantic held on 15 August 1995, Pretoria.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
65
227
Du Plessis, L. “The Challenge of Effective Sub-Saharan Maritime Defence”, in Du Plessis, L. and
Hough, M. (eds.) 1998. Protecting Sub-Saharan Africa: The Military Challenge. Pretoria: Human
Sciences Research Council, p. 157.
66
Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. 1998. Beyond the Horizon: Defence, Diplomacy and South Africa’s
Maritime Opportunities. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), p. 68.
See also Du Plessis, L. op cit. p. 156.
67
Du Plessis, L. op cit. pp. 156-157, and Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. op cit. p. 68.
68
The UDEAC and CEMAC have similar membership. CEMAC has taken over all activities of UDEAC.
Information provided by Africa Institute of South Africa on 17 March 1999. See also Esterhuysen, P.
(ed.) 1998. Africa A-Z: Continental & Country Profiles. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa,
p. 65
69
Du Plessis, L. op cit. p. 152.
70
Roelofse-Campbell, Z. 1995. "Brazil's New Role in South and Southern Africa: An Interview with
Luiz Felipe Lampreia." Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 11, No. 2, July-December, p. 52.
71
Ibid. p. 147.
72
Ibid. pp. 147-149.
73
Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. op cit. pp. 46, 68.
74
Du Plessis, L. op cit. p. 159.
75
Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. op cit. pp. 64, 75.
76
Edmonds, M. and Mills, G. op cit. pp. 62, 71.
77
Ibid. p. 58.
78
Du Plessis, L. op cit. p. 161.
79
Grove, E. op cit. p. 227.
80
Broekman, D.O. op cit. p. 4.
81
Information provided by the Department of Defence, Navy Headquarters, Pretoria, 12 November 2001.
82
Information provided by Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign Relations,
Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
83
Ibid.
84
Information provided by the Department of Defence, Navy Headquarters, Pretoria, 12 November 2001.
See also Khanyile, M.B. 1998. “Brazil-South Africa Relations: The Military Dimension”. Unisa
Latin American Report, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 33.
85
Information provided by the Department of Defence, Navy Headquarters, Pretoria, 12 November 2001.
86
Information provided by Department of Defence Headquarters, Directorate Foreign Relations,
Corporate Staff Division, Pretoria, 2 October 2001.
87
Sardenberg, R.M. 1998. “Windows of Opportunity: Consolidating the Zone of Peace and Co-operation
in the South Atlantic.” Unisa Latin American Report, Vol. 14, No. 2, p. 54. See also Broekman, D.O.
op cit. p. 5.
88
Grove, E. op cit. p. 224.
89
Du Plessis, L. op cit. p. 155. See also Gamba-Stonehouse, V. op cit. p. 93.
90
New York Times (New York), 18 December 1998.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
91
228
Marcopress News Agency. “Naval Defence Scaled Down”. Falklands / Malvinas News, 21 March
1999. www.macropress.com
92
“Plan of Action” Declaration concluded at the end of the Zone meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on
21 and 22 October 1998. Information provided by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
229
CHAPTER SIX
EVALUATION
An analysis of the security relations between South Africa and the Mercosur countries is
complicated by a number of factors. Firstly, Mercosur is a recent creation and South Africa a
new democracy. However, the interaction between the individual member states of Mercosur
and South Africa has existed for many years. The status of current relations is largely
influenced by their previous interaction at bilateral level.
Secondly, and flowing from the previous point, the current relations are based on the postCold War global environment, which is characterised by reduced inter-state war or, at least,
asymmetrical warfare (i.e. powerful states vs. weak states, or state vs. non-state actors);
adoption of the principle of democratic governance; and subordination of military security to
human security through socio-economic development. In such an environment, the rationale
and motive for forming alliances are totally different from those of the Cold War era.
1.
SUMMARY
There is general consensus that states continually seek to strengthen their power through
alliances and partnerships in the social, economic, military, technological or political spheres.
However, with the expansion of the concept of security, the nature and scope of such alliances
and partnerships have become elastic and differences between the various forms of security
blurred.
The emergence of concepts such as co-operative security, collective security,
collective defence (also known as mutual defence), common security and human security, has
added to the confusion for both analysts who have to interpret the concepts and the policymakers who have to provide policy guidelines in respect of various forms of security.
1.1
SECURITY: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
a.
The eternal quest by states to pursue strategies that help maximise their power and
security has a direct influence on the way in which state-building and alliance-formation
processes are viewed. The traditionalist and, to a more limited extent, modern view of the
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230
state-building process, portrays states as predatory political entities which normally thrive on
the weaknesses of their neighbours. However, that perception is increasingly receding owing
to a host of factors, which include the emergence of a new understanding of security. For
instance, the economic strength of a country is linked to the economic strength, or lack
thereof, of its neighbour. Poor neighbours are a main source of instability through refugee
problems, trans-border criminal activities and support for rebel or insurgent groups. Thus, the
modern view of security is predicated on co-operative security, which implies a multilateral
approach to security.
b.
There has also been a gradual expansion of the concept of security. The modern
notion of security, with its multitude of new threats, presupposes that the state has limitless
resources.
As resource requirements normally far outstrip available resources, such an
analysis implies that the quest for total security is a futile exercise as it is unachievable. Thus,
instead of rejecting the expanded notion of security on the grounds that it makes security
efforts unattainable, a sense of realism has to be injected in the debate. This can be done by
acknowledging that real security threats are those that are urgent, critical and have the
potential of causing cataclysmic damage to the state and/or citizens, if they are not attended
to. Hence, it is these types of threats that warrant urgent use of the available national
resources.
c.
Unlike in the previous two centuries where co-operative relationships between states
were more informal and short-term, there has since the latter half of the twentieth century
been a significant change in the international system where inter-state interaction is based on
some form of formal and long-term strategic arrangement in such spheres as trade, politics,
military or technology. The central idea is the sense of mutual interest in survival under all
conditions, including during war, natural disasters and economic hardships. Consequently,
numerous variations or concepts of inter-state co-operative mechanisms and structures have
emanated from this situation.
These include collective security, collective defence, the
concert security notion, human security, common security, and comprehensive security.
These variations are described on national, regional, international and global scales. For each,
or for combinations of these variations, there are numerous structures or bodies that are
supposed to deal with the specific form of security at a particular geographic scale, that is,
nationally, regionally or globally. With the globalisation phenomenon, it is increasingly
becoming almost impossible to maintain mutually-exclusive agreements because membership
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of these structures tend to overlap. There is therefore a potential danger of an unfettered
proliferation of security-related national and international structures, dealing with issues that
are so closely related that they should not be separated. This is particularly true in the area of
nuclear non-proliferation issues.
d.
Given the complexity of especially depicting the inter-relationships of security
variations and the dichotomy in the international system of the rich Global North and the poor
Global South, it can be surmised that the ‘Security Pyramid’ succeeds partially in providing a
broad picture of these inter-relationships. The point of departure is that there are different
perceptions of security prioritisation between the developed and developing countries. There
is an incremental graduation in terms of ambitions and geographical scope of involvement in
security co-operation.
This incremental approach is based on the level of economic
development and maturity of the national political system. Put differently, as states develop
economically and become mature politically, their security priorities shift to the higher level.
For instance, most developed states have concerns about global security while most
developing states are still grappling with internal issues such as ethnic/racial or religious
fractions, separatism, unstable political systems, lack of national consensus and extreme
poverty.
1.2
HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND STRUCTURE OF MERCOSUR
a.
The formation of Mercosur and the subsequent attempts by South Africa to cement
ties with individual member states of the group, bears testimony to the states’ eternal quest for
security, primarily in the socio-economic sphere. When Mercosur was formed, it coincided
with a few significant epoch-making events in the international political system. Firstly, the
Cold War era was coming to an end; secondly, in Southern Africa, the sub-regional
organisation known as the SADCC was being transformed into the SADC, and lastly, South
Africa was in the process of democratising. This had a tremendous influence on the nature of
engagement between the post-1994 South Africa and the latter’s strategic partners, which
included members of Mercosur. Since security was no longer defined strictly in military
terms, economic interaction and high-profile business visits took place, culminating in mutual
visits by heads of states across the Atlantic Ocean.
b.
The South American countries, including those that later formed Mercosur, were
plagued by military intervention in politics to the extent that they believed that no civilian
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232
government could rule the country without a significant military involvement. One of the
instruments they used was the so-called 'military developmentalism', which is a doctrine that
the military should stay in power for as long as it requires to place the economy on the right
footing. During the reign of the military in countries like Argentina and Brazil, the economy
was performing even better than when the civilian authority was in power. Even though this
was done at the expense of human rights and other civil liberties such as freedom of
expression, freedom of assembly and demonstration, and the right to strike, the good
performance of the economy gave credence to the perception that the military were better
rulers. And given the recurrence of military coups d’tat in the Southern Cone countries, it is
possible that this popular perception became inculcated into the minds of the junior military
officers and it therefore became one of their long-term goals to become military politicians.
Furthermore, this demonstrated without doubt that when it amounts to 'bread and butter'
issues, the enjoyment of popular civil liberties could become a political luxury which ordinary
people are prepared to forfeit or relegate to lower priority.
c.
The formation of Mercosur was actually a culmination of a long process of alliance
formation on a regional basis. The post-WW II period was characterised by the extension or
extrapolation of alliances that had existed during the war. This resulted in the mushrooming
of regional organisations, some of which had incompatible goals and therefore later disbanded
or re-aligned. Given the bipolarity of the international system at the time of the Cold War, it
is not clear if these organisations would have been formed at all or if they were not part of the
grand strategy of the superpowers to carve the world into distinct regional groupings, which
would be easier to influence or deal with. The predecessors of Mercosur were established on
the basis of an all-inclusive approach which seemed to disregard some of the dynamics
brought about by such factors as contiguity or geographic proximity, compatibility of political
systems, and level of economic development. Unlike its predecessors, Mercosur was limited
to four countries but a 'window' for possible future expansion was left open. Thus, judging by
the increase in volume of trade within members of Mercosur and comparing it with such subregional organisations such as the Andean Community and SADC, it can be concluded that
Mercosur is the best performing sub-regional economic organisation in the Southern
Hemisphere.
Therefore, any interaction (in the political, economic or military spheres)
between South Africa or SADC and Mercosur is bound to generate benefits for the Southern
African sub-region generally and South Africa in particular.
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d.
233
The dominant economic policies of the immediate post-WW II era in South America
were aurtakic and based on self-sufficiency. Imbued with the spirit of nationalism, as most
military governments seem to over-emphasise nationalist symbols and ideals, the regional
organisations that were created became weak due to nationalist fissures that became too
prominent to ignore. Thus, with the formation of Mercosur, the member states decided on an
'open regionalist' formula that was still at an embryonic stage in the Far East. The Mercosur
countries took a calculated risk in opening up their economies, despite the potential danger of
being overwhelmed by East Asian and European products.
Furthermore, the traditional
rivalries among the member states that had existed for many years had not yet been totally
obliterated. However, despite the glaring risks, the Mercosur countries were already at a
fairly advanced level of development. In addition, they also had a significant regional partner,
Brazil, whose sheer weight (in military, economic and political terms) in the international
system was significant enough to partially shield them. It is highly unlikely that extremely
poor regions like Africa would have been able to pursue the concept of 'open regionalism'
without any negative impact on a massive scale. However, the question could be asked as to
how open is Mercosur's so-called open regionalist approach really? This question stems from
the realisation that while Mercosur is open in respect of external trade, it also has limited
membership and a common tariff structure, similar to the EU, which is regarded as a typical
'closed regional economy'.
e.
Mercosur as a regional economic organisation has achieved remarkable success in its
attempts to integrate its regional economies. Some of the contributory factors to this success
include the following:
•
Small size as a result of limited membership. Its predecessors failed because
membership was automatic and based on geographic proximity. Like the EU,
membership of Mercosur is not automatic and certain criteria have to be complied
with before such membership can be granted. Hence, Bolivia and Chile still
remain associate members, pending full compliance with the criteria.
•
Gradual and incremental approach. Mercosur resolved to remain small in size
without precluding the possibility of future expansion. This has enabled it to
establish a sound foundation and to define not only 'household' rules and internal
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234
controls, but also the mechanisms to engage external role-players and potential
members from the regional neighbourhood. It is also notable that even in the area
of common external tariffs, a gradual approach has been adopted, thus allowing
countries like Chile to adjust their tariff structure in accordance with Mercosur's
schedules.
•
Sensitivity to unequal levels of economic development. Given the unequal levels
of development among member states, Mercosur designed a graded mechanism
that accommodates other states on the basis of their economic strength. For
instance, the use of a chequered tariff system and the strict application of rules of
origin in trade, are a case in point.
•
Democratic imperative.
With all the Mercosur members having experienced
numerous military coups d’tat, it was only evident that the requirement that
member states should demonstrate adherence to liberal democratic principles,
would become a pre-requisite for membership.
e.
The cessation of hostilities between the regional rivals, Argentina and Brazil, was
actually the determining factor in ensuring the success of the integration process of Mercosur.
Even though Brazil has tremendous influence within Mercosur due to her economic, political
and military dominance in the sub-region, there are sensitivities related to possible reversion
to political tensions with Argentina and that alone substantially helps keep the whole
organisation in check. Each member state, especially Argentina and Brazil, is very cautious
in taking courses of action that would militate against the founding treaty among members, or
even compromise the working relationship between Argentina and Brazil.
1.3
SOCIO-ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND SECURITY
a.
South Africa’s interaction with the Mercosur countries has always been based largely
on socio-economic co-operation. During the period prior to 1994, South Africa used such cooperation with the aim of gaining some semblance of acceptability by the international
community despite the unacceptable internal political system. The urgency of cementing ties
with Latin American states, especially those that later formed Mercosur, was prompted by an
intensified campaign by the liberation movements (particularly the ANC and the PAC); the
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235
anti-apartheid movement around the world; and the imposition of an arms embargo by the
United Nations on South Africa. Seeking allies in South America was logical and politically
prudent as very few states in Europe, North America and the Far East were prepared to deal
with South Africa, even surreptitiously. This was also prudent because most states in South
America were under military rule. However some of these countries attempted to shun South
Africa despite being in a similar situation of being ostracised by the international community.
b.
The advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994 opened the doors of opportunity for
the South African people and government. Furthermore, it enabled littoral states on both
sides of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans to design a complete security architecture that
included South Africa and the newly-independent Namibia. On a global level, it enabled
South Africa not only to play a significant role in international affairs, but also to advance the
notion of South-South co-operation in all spheres of human endeavour. In this respect,
Mercosur countries were among the very first to be visited by the first democratically elected
president of South Africa – Nelson Mandela. His successor, Thabo Mbeki, also followed suit.
Brazil and Argentina have always played relatively prominent roles within the NAM. When
South Africa assumed the chair of NAM, her ties with the two countries were cemented quite
significantly.
c.
The democratisation of countries on both sides of the South Atlantic Ocean almost
coincided with the demise of the Cold War, and the end of a bipolar world. Thus when South
Africa became democratic, the nature of issues that dominated the post-Cold War
environment were such that there was a fundamental shift away from military interaction to
socio-economic development. The only issues of security concern between South Africa and
the Mercosur countries related to trans-oceanic criminal activities such as drug-trafficking,
arms smuggling and sea piracy. However, the common thread in the diplomatic exchanges
between South Africa and the Mercosur countries concerns solidifying trade links and mutual
investment. This is done not only to promote the concept of South-South relations, but also
for South Africa to take advantage of her geo-strategic position as straddling two of the most
important oceans in the world – the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean.
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236
1.4
BILATERAL MILITARY CO-OPERATION BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND
THE MERCOSUR COUNTRIES
a.
Some South American states, especially those that later formed Mercosur, had strong
bilateral cultural, political and military ties with South Africa that predate WW I. These ties
continued even after WW II and through the Cold War era – the period that coincided with
vehement international condemnation of South Africa’s political system. While some of the
South American states defiantly maintained such ties at the risk of being ostracised by the
international community for interacting with a pariah state, it is notable that South Africa
provided incentives to sustain these relations. These incentives ranged from providing free
military training in South African operational training schools, to bursaries at universities and
encouraging South African investors to conduct subsidised business operations in selected
countries. There is no documentary evidence that these countries also had to reciprocate such
favours in kind, other than to ignore international condemnation of South Africa’s political
system or to provide support, directly or indirectly, at international fora such as the UN
General Assembly.
b.
South Africa’s ability to ‘penetrate’ South America and to make an impact especially
on those countries that later constituted Mercosur, was based largely on the insecurity of those
states at the time. It is highly unlikely that South Africa would have made any progress if
governments of such states were also not faced with strong internal and external challenges.
This is evidenced by the fact that once these countries democratised during the mid-eighties,
political and military ties with South Africa were severed immediately. However, it is also
noteworthy that some of these ties were severed at a time when there were already indications
that a political settlement between the South African government and the liberation
movements was imminent.
c.
The military relations that were re-established between South Africa and the Mercosur
states after 1994 were not as intense as they were in the late seventies and early eighties.
While most Mercosur states were enthusiastic in establishing military representation in South
Africa, the latter was selective and cautious in its approach. The initial enthusiasm was due to
a number of factors including the desire to show solidarity with the new South African
government as most of them also had oppressive regimes in the past. It was possibly also to
take advantage of the potential arms market (especially from Brazil’s perspective) both in
South Africa and the rest of the continent. The latter aspect is particularly important as most
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237
foreign military representatives in South Africa are also accredited to other countries in the
region, thus taking advantage of advanced communication facilities available in South Africa.
d.
While it is true that some of the initial enthusiasm for military representation in South
Africa and backed by exchange of high-profile visits by political and military dignitaries was
aimed at obtaining a foothold in military issues in the country, it is not clear if that actually
materialised. This observation is based on the fact that both South Africa and Brazil are
significant arms-producing states from the developing world, and that both have strong antimilitary lobby groups in the civil society, thus negatively affecting their budgetary allocation
for defence. Furthermore, despite the fact that South Africa could be used as a launching pad
to penetrate the African arms market, there is the challenge of limited buying power of
African states and that most of the weapons used in African conflicts are low-tech and are
largely obtained from the former Soviet Union republics.
1.5
MULTILATERAL SECURITY CO-OPERATION IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC
REGION
a.
One of the perplexing hurdles regarding the prospects for regional security co-
operation in the South Atlantic pertains to the geographic demarcation of the region.
Furthermore, there is still no clarity about the manner in which extra-regional powers that
have interests in the region (such as the UK) can be incorporated into the strategic interaction
of littoral states without compromising on certain fundamental principles that render the transoceanic neighbours compatible. These extra-regional powers happen to be known nuclear
states which may either provide military protection to the littoral states in times of need, or
could equally pose a threat to the environment when they intend to transport nuclear material
or nuclear weapons in the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, the littoral states of South Atlantic do
not have the military capacity to prevent or threaten any of the nuclear states if the latter
wanted to undermine the authority of the South Atlantic states, especially if the nuclear
powers insist on using the high seas or international waters for transporting nuclear material,
conducting military exercises or conducting scientific experiments that have a clear military
applicability. Thus, it is imperative that a strong consensus and mutual understanding should
exist between the South Atlantic littoral states and these extra-regional powers. However,
there is no guarantee that the nuclear states will always abide by such a consensual
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238
relationship with the South Atlantic states, particularly during times of war or when their
national interests are threatened.
b.
As much as the traditional hegemonic rivalry that existed between Argentina and
Brazil has receded, there is still a perennial fear that political tensions may re-emerge as the
latter seeks to entrench her influence in the region, while the former seeks to challenge it,
albeit in less militaristic form.
c.
There has always been a need to foster security co-operation on the hemispheric level.
This was initiated during the Cold War era but the various models were not implemented.
The main reason was that they included the incorporation of South Africa, which, at that
stage, was still a pariah state. The hemispheric alliance for the Americas was successfully
forged due to the US's overwhelming influence both in terms of finances and geopolitical
clout it wielded on the bipolar world. However, the US's commitment to the Rio Treaty is
now arguably less intense than was the case during the height of the Cold War. This is
understandable because, with the demise of the former Soviet Union, there has been a
significant reduction in military threats and a corresponding adjustment of budgets. However,
it could be envisaged that the Rio Treaty would concentrate on the so-called 'new-generation'
threats such as drug-trafficking, illicit transfer of nuclear and radioactive materials, and
international terrorism. The latter will probably dominate the strategic thinking of the US,
especially following the events of 11 September 2001.
d.
The idea of a South Hemispheric military alliance – to be called SATO – modelled
along the lines of NATO was never discredited. The main reason for its failure was largely
due to the possibility of including South Africa. However, despite the fact that South Africa
now has a democratic dispensation, it is highly unlikely that SATO will ever be formed,
especially after the end of the Cold War. Thus, rather than pursuing the SATO idea, it may be
recommended that the South Atlantic littoral states should concentrate on converting the
ZPCSA into an organisation, such as the South Atlantic Rim Association (SARA). Since
most South Atlantic littoral are already involved, in a significant way, in activities such as
joint military exercises, it can be assumed that the formation of SARA would only be the
formal institutionalisation of processes already underway.
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239
2.
ASSESSMENT
a.
The elasticity of the concept of security, in its various forms, is susceptible to being
exploited or abused by insecure and/or oppressive regimes for reasons of political expediency.
The so-called ‘new-generation threats’ are normally not mutually exclusive, thus leading to
possible over-securitisation of threats and the prescription of harsh measures even when
dealing with relatively minor threats to stability such as riots and public disorder.
b.
While it may be argued that one of the significant reasons for the formation of
Mercosur was largely due to the realisation that Brazil was an unrivalled regional power, the
main impetus for Mercosur was provided by the democratisation processes within member
states. The traditional rivalries between Argentina and Brazil did not necessarily disappear
with the formation of Mercosur but rather became a managed process. This is almost similar
to the way the Russian Federation dealt with the Western Countries in the post-Cold War era
where Russia conceded to the superiority of the latter without losing credibility.
c.
The cementing of economic ties between South Africa and the Mercosur countries in
the post-1994 period fell squarely in the emerging paradigm of the post-Cold War era where
there was a dramatic ascendance of socio-economic issues. These ties had always existed but
were limited by various UN Resolutions which proscribed interaction with South Africa.
However, the success of South Africa’s trade relations with Mercosur depended on the
former’s ability to act as the voice of the Southern African sub-region, with Brazil playing a
similar role within Mercosur.
d.
The bilateral and multilateral arrangements in the military sphere are an extension of
the relations in the political and economic spheres. Other than regular, largely symbolic
military exercises involving states such as the US and Britain, it is evident that the primary
driving force behind such exercises are not military imperatives but political and economic
factors. In the political sphere, there is clear collusion among states of the Global South to
support one another in fora such as the UN. Economic factors are self-evident in their
concerted effort in reviewing the rules of the WTO, NAFTA and the EU in order to allow
products from the Global South to access the huge and rich markets of the Global North.
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e.
240
The ability of the South Atlantic littoral states to conduct combined military exercises
and to commit themselves to ensuring that the whole South Atlantic Ocean remains nuclearfree, demonstrates the potential for an organisation that binds both sides of the ocean. There
is also common purpose in dealing with transoceanic criminal activity. However, the main
impediment to the realisation of such an organisation may be inadequate political will or
preparedness of the littoral states to provide sufficient resources so that the organisation is not
entirely dependent on handouts from the North. Even though the ZPCSA meets regularly, it
does not seem to have reached the necessary maturity level where it could be converted into a
fully-fledged organisation. Furthermore, the formation of such an organisation would require
that Mercosur and the various sub-regional organisations from Africa be prepared to amend
their founding constitutions in order to accommodate overlapping membership, which, in
Africa, would include ECOWAS, CEEAC and SADC.
3.
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND TESTING OF PROPOSITIONS
When this study was initiated, it was to be based on certain propositions and assumptions.
a.
First proposition:
“South Africa’s security considerations are increasingly
becoming inseparably entangled with those of her south-west Atlantic neighbours,
notably Brazil and Argentina.”
Findings:
South Africa has taken up the challenge of security threats on the
western shores quite seriously. This is demonstrated by the fact that South Africa is
currently in the process of purchasing corvettes, which are much faster, more versatile
in terms of armaments, and provide limited blue-sea capability. In addition, there are
more scheduled and ad hoc joint military exercises in the South Atlantic Ocean than is
the case in the Indian Ocean. This could be attributed to the fact that there is a change
in focus in terms of the nature and scope of security threats. In addition to scheduled
multilateral military exercises involving South Africa and the Mercosur countries, the
former also has specific bilateral arrangements with Argentina and Brazil.
b.
Second Proposition: “Security, in the broader sense which also includes social and
economic dimensions, requires a holistic approach and South Africa’s security
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
241
relations with the Mercosur grouping could offer numerous benefits for the general
good of her citizens.”
Findings:
The emerging approach to security as confirmed in the various policy
documents of the South African government such as the Constitution, 1996; White
Paper on Defence, 1996 and the White Paper on Intelligence, 1994 seems to indicate
that a broader understanding of the concept of security is being adopted. Furthermore,
the current spending patterns which emphasise social development (for instance,
education, health, electricity, safety and security, and provision for small and medium
enterprises), also seem to attest to this observation. Despite the imperative of social
development, the government has committed itself to long-term strategic defence
packages to re-equip the SANDF.
This demonstrates beyond doubt a balanced
approach towards security.
c.
Third Proposition:
“The effects of the global crisis in markets which affected both
developed and emergent markets at the end of the 1990s, showed that South Africa’s
virtual or benign neglect of Latin America can no longer be sustained if she is serious
about being a global competitor of note.”
Findings:
While South Africa is acutely aware of the necessity for increased
investment from, and trade relations with the Latin American countries, particularly
those constituting Mercosur, there appears to be limited success in this respect. The
so-called ‘butterfly’ approach adopted by the South African government in respect of
trade links confirms the focus on North America and the EU, while residual trade
takes place on the wings of the butterfly, that is in East Asia and Latin America. With
Brazil and South Africa being regional powers in their respective sub-regions, there is
limited complementarity in their markets and they are also competing for the same
market of the Global North.
d.
Fourth Proposition: “South Africa’s global ambitions, including membership of the
United Nations Security Council, can only materialise with considerable support from
the Latin American countries.”
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
Findings:
242
South Africa has mobilised every possible international constituency in
order to gain recognition as a credible international role-player. Some of the strategies
used have been active involvement in conflict-resolution and management on the
African continent, and also championing the cause of Africa’s renewal programme
through NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development). In addition to these,
South Africa assumed chairs of significant international bodies including the SADC,
the NAM, the Commonwealth of Nations and some UN specialised bodies. In all
these achievements, it is not clear what the role or influence of the Mercosur countries
has been, but it appears negligible. Despite the perceived failures or blunders such as
the handling of the anti-Aids drug programme and the ‘silent diplomatic’ approach
during the apparent breakdown of law and order in Zimbabwe, South Africa is
perceived by the international community as a credible ambassador for Africa. It can
therefore be surmised that South Africa has successfully carved a niche in the
international arena and does not necessarily need the Latin American countries to
maintain that position.
4.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
This study has concentrated mainly on the security interactions among the littoral states of the
South Atlantic region. It has highlighted the security concerns and strategic perceptions of
these states and extra-regional powers in that region. However, it has not explored the
security inter-linkages between the South Atlantic region and Antarctica. It is an open secret
that while there are numerous conventions prohibiting military activity in Antarctica, various
states are currently claiming ownership of certain portions of Antarctica. Some of these
claims are not only disputed because they are new, but because they coincide or overlap with
those that are being claimed by other countries. Given the volatility of the situation, it is
evident that the apparently self-imposed restraint may not last long enough to settle all the
claims. The moratorium on making new claims, which was imposed by the Antarctic Treaty
when it was initially opened for signature, expired in the early nineties, and therefore states
can now revive their territorial claims on Antarctica.
Being one of the original signatories, a claimant and active role-player in Antarctica, South
Africa is bound to be entangled in the controversies over Antarctica. It is therefore important
that a further study be conducted to determine the way in which South Africa's interests in
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
243
Antarctica can be affected and how to protect them. Such a study can identify threats and
potential allies that could help secure South Africa's interests.
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
244
ABBREVIATIONS
•
AC:
Andean Community
•
ACE:
Agreement for Economic Complementarity / Acuerdo
Complementario Económico
•
AFTA:
American Free Trade Agreement
•
ALADI:
Asociación Latinoamerican de Integración (Latin American
Integration Association - see also LAIA)
•
ALALC:
Asociación Latinoamericana de Libre Comercio (see also
LAFTA – English version)
•
AMU/UMA:
Arab Maghreb Union
•
ANAD:
Accord de Non-Aggression et d'Assistance en Matière de
Défence
•
ANC:
African National Congress
•
ANZERTA:
Australia, New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade
Agreement
•
ANZUS Treaty:
Australia, New Zealand and the United States Treaty
•
APEC:
Asia Pacific Economic Community
•
APLA:
Azanian People's Liberation Army
•
ARSS:
Amazon Region Surveillance System (see also SIVAM)
•
ASEAN:
Association of South-East Asian Nations
•
ATLASUR:
Atlantic South / South Atlantic
•
AU:
African Union
•
CACM:
Central American Common Market
•
CAEU:
Council of Arab Economic Unity
•
CAMAS:
South Atlantic Maritime Area Co-ordination
•
CARICOM:
Caribbean Community and Common Market (see also CCCM)
•
CBMs:
Confidence-building measures
•
CCCM:
Caribbean Community and Common Market (see also
CARICOM)
•
CCM:
Council of the Common Market
•
CEAO:
Communaute Economique L'Africa de l'quest
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
•
CEMAC:
245
Communauté économique en Afrique Centrale (see also
EMCCA)
•
CEN:
Centre of National Studies
•
CET:
Common External Tariff
•
CEU:
Customs and Economic Union (see also UDEAC)
•
CGIC:
Credit Guarantee Insurance Corporation
•
CIA:
Central Intelligence Agency
•
CIS:
Commonwealth of Independent States
•
CMG:
Common Market Group
•
CODESA:
Convention for a Democratic South Africa
•
COIN:
Counter-Insurgency
•
CSBMs:
Confidence- and Security-Building Measures
•
CTBT:
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
•
DFA:
Department of Foreign Affairs
•
DRC:
Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire)
•
ECOWAS:
Economic Community of West African States
•
ECSC:
European Coal and Steel Community
•
EEC:
European Economic Community
•
EEZ:
Exclusive Economic Zone
•
EMCCA:
Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (see also
CEMAC)
•
ESCF:
Economic Social Consultative Forum
•
EU:
European Union
•
EURATOM:
European Atomic Energy Community
•
FDI:
Foreign Direct Investment
•
FEB:
Forcςa Expedicionária Brasileira
•
FLS:
Front-Line States
•
GATT:
General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs
•
GDP:
Gross Domestic Product
•
GEAR:
Growth, Employment and Redistribution
•
GNP:
Gross National Product
•
GRULA:
Latin American Group
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246
•
HSRC:
Human Sciences Research Council
•
IADB:
Inter-American Development Bank
•
IAEA:
International Atomic Energy Agency
•
ICJ:
International Court of Justice
•
IDC:
Industrial Development Corporation
•
IGAD:
Inter-Governmental Developmental Authority
•
IMF:
International Monetary Fund
•
IMO:
International Maritime Organisation
•
JPC:
Joint Parliamentary Commission
•
LAFTA
Latin American Free Trade Area (see also ALALC – Spanish
version)
•
LAIA:
Latin American Integration Association
•
MAS:
Mercosur Administrative Secretariat
•
MERCOSUL:
(Portuguese): Mercado Común del Sul (Common Market of the
South)
•
MERCOSUR:
(Spanish):
Mercado Común del Sur (Common Market of the
South)
•
MFN:
Most Favoured Nation
•
MID:
Military Intelligence Division
•
MK:
Umkhonto weSizwe
•
MNCs:
Multi-national Corporations
•
MP:
Member of Parliament
•
MST:
Mutual Security Treaty
•
MTC:
Mercosur Trade Commission
•
NAFTA:
North American Free Trade Area
•
NAM:
Non-Aligned Movement
•
NATO:
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
•
NCACC:
National Conventional Arms Control Committee
•
NICs:
Newly Industrialised Countries
•
NIEO:
New International Economic Order
•
NP:
National Party
•
NPT:
Non-Proliferation Treaty
University of Pretoria etd – Khanyile, M B (2003)
•
NSE:
Non-Sensitive Equipment
•
NWO:
New World Order
•
OAS:
Organisation of American States
•
OAU:
Organisation of African Unity
•
OECD:
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
•
OPEC:
Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
•
OSCE:
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
•
PAC:
Pan-African Congress
•
PICE:
Program for Integration and Economic Co-operation
•
POW:
Prisoner of War
•
PRC:
People's Republic of China
•
RDP:
Reconstruction and Development Programme
•
RSA:
Republic of South Africa
•
RSS:
Regional Strategic Security (see also SER)
•
SAAF:
South African Air Force
•
SAARC:
South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation
•
SADC:
Southern African Development Community
•
SADCC:
Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference
•
SADF:
South African Defence Force
•
SAFTA:
South American Free Trade Area
•
SAIIA:
South African Institute for International Affairs
•
SAMHS:
South African Military Health Service
•
SAN:
South African Navy
•
SANDF:
South African National Defence Force
•
SAPS:
South African Police Service
•
SARA:
South Atlantic Rim Association
•
SATO:
South Atlantic Treaty Organisation
•
SD:
Staff Duties
•
SEATO:
South East Asia Treaty Organisation
•
SELA:
Latin American Economic System
•
SER:
Seguridad Estraégica Regional (see also RSS)
•
SIDE:
Servicio Inteligencia del Estado
247
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248
•
SIVAM:
Sistema de Vigilancia de Amazonia (see also ARSS)
•
SMSE:
Sensitive Major Significant Equipment
•
SSE:
Sensitive Significant Equipment
•
TNCs:
Trans-national Corporations
•
UCAPO:
Union of Poor Peasants
•
UCLAS:
Unisa Centre for Latin American Studies
•
UDEAC:
Union dounaière et économique de l’Afrique Centrale (see also
CEU)
•
UDP:
Unidad Democratica Popular
•
UK:
United Kingdom
•
UN:
United Nations
•
UNCLAS:
United Nations Convention on the Law of Seas
•
UNDOF:
United Nations Disengagement Observer Force
•
UNDP:
United Nations Development Programme
•
UNEF:
United Nations Emergency Force
•
UNESCO:
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation
•
UNHCR:
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
•
UNICEF:
United Nations Children’s Fund
•
US:
United States
•
USSR:
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
•
WCC:
World Council of Churches
•
WEU:
Western European Union
•
WTO:
World Trade Organisation
•
WW I:
First World War
•
WW II:
Second World War
•
ZPCSA:
Zone of Peace and Co-operation in the South Atlantic
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249
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1.
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•
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•
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