. Military Space News .

Panetta to begin tour of Latin America
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 23, 2012

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta begins his first Latin America tour Monday, traveling to Colombia, Brazil and Chile to bolster bilateral military cooperation and regional security ties.

Panetta is "looking to expand the defense and security cooperation with three important countries in the world, increasingly important players on the regional stage but also in terms of their leadership internationally," press secretary George Little told reporters last week.

Panetta, who took as defense secretary last year, was due to make stops in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago, Little said.

"These are three countries on the upswing in the recent years and it is time for us to increase our cooperation," he said.

The defense secretary's tour will begin in Bogota. He will be the first by a senior US official to visit Colombia after a scandal involving US Secret Service agents who used the services of prostitutes ahead of Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.

Colombia has helped train thousands of police officers in Mexico and Central America in recent years, and this assistance was expected to increase following the signing of a bilateral agreement with Washington during the summit.

"In the context of limited resources in the US for defense, we have an opportunity to partner together so they can become security exporters," a senior US official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

"Absent this kind of discussion, we could step on each others toes, we could be missing out opportunities."

The Pentagon is facing drastic budget cuts in the next five years.

Panetta will meet with his Colombian counterpart, Juan Carlos Pinzon and President Juan Manuel Santos in Bogota.

During the visit, there could an announcement about aid to the country, Pentagon sources said.

On Tuesday, Panetta will travel to Brazil for meetings with Defense Minister Celso Amorim and President Dilma Rousseff.

While the partnership with Bogota remains strong, the recent cancelation of a $380 million contract with Brazil to buy aircraft manufactured by Embraer for the Afghan army has clouded the relationship with the South American giant.

The Pentagon has called for a new round of bidding for the contract, but in any case, the equipment will not be delivered before 2014.

Panetta is willing to discuss the issue with his Brazilian counterpart, a senior official said, without offering further details.

But the case can affect a $5-billion megacontract considered by Brazil, which wants to buy 36 new fighters for its Air Force. The bidders for this piece of defense pie include Boeing, French Dassault and Swedish Saab.

Washington also wants to discuss with Brazilian officials cooperation in Africa on issues such as Peace Corps volunteer training and security arrangements for the upcoming World Cup and the Olympic Games.

"These world class sport events could be the focus of attacks," the senior official said. "We're grateful for being able to provide support to our partners."

After a stop in Rio de Janeiro to give a speech at a military academy, Panetta will travel to Chile, where Panetta wants to talk about the country's experience in using the military during natural disasters.

He will meet with Defense Minister Andres Allamand and President Sebastian Pinera.

The United States is also preparing for the next meeting of defense ministers of the Americas, which will be held in Montevideo in October.

At that meeting, as many as 14 countries could join an accord establishing a regional military cooperation mechanism in case of natural disasters, another official told reporters.

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

China scandal exposes elite's impunity, need for change
Beijing (AFP) April 22, 2012
A sensational political scandal unfolding in China has exposed the high level of impunity enjoyed by elites at a time when social tensions are rising, highlighting the need for change, observers say. The affair - which toppled Bo Xilai, one of the Communist Party's stars, and prompted authorities to probe his wife for murder - has played out in an unusually public manner despite the best e ... read more

Congress mulls $680M for Israeli Iron Dome

Raytheon Awarded $106 Million for Aegis Radar Work

Poland, Baltics wary on Russian army plans in Kaliningrad

Russian AA, ABM systems - alternative for India

US Navy Fires Raytheon Griffin Missile From RAM Launcher

S. Korea deploys longer-range missiles against North

US seeks 'restraint' amid India missile plan

Iraq seeks killer missiles, but U.S. wary

Iran says copying US drone, reveals 'codes'

USAF Places Order for AeroVironment Puma AE Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

UAV-equipped vehicle to debut

CIA seeks to expand anti-terrorism drones in Yemen: WPost

Fourth Boeing-built WGS Satellite Accepted by USAF

Raytheon to Continue Supporting Coalition Forces' Information-Sharing Computer Network

Northrop Grumman Wins Contract for USAF Command and Control Modernization Program

TacSat-4 Enables Polar Region SatCom Experiment

Singapore Gulfstreams go operational

Northrop Grumman's Common Link Integration Processing System Ready for Fielding

Boeing Receives Additional Laser JDAM Contract from US Navy

India investigates chopper trials process

Rolls-Royce wins engine contract from US government

Russia discourages conscientious objectors: activist

Argentina plans more defense manufacturing

Mideast arms boom gives BAE $792M boost

Panetta to begin tour of Latin America

Philippines warns neighbours about China

China scandal exposes elite's impunity, need for change

Study shows sharp gaps in China views of US

Nanodot-based memory sets new world speed record

Nanocrystal-coated fibers might reduce wasted energy

High-res atomic imaging of specimens in liquid by TEM using graphene liquid cell

Carbon nanotubes can double growth of cell cultures important in industry

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement