Sunday, October 08, 2006

The War Nerd on Venezuelan Arms Deals

The War Nerd is arguing here that the arms that Chavez has been buying, chiefly fighter jets, are massively ill suited to fighting a war against the US and are, instead, designed to build up a body of soldiers he considers more loyal. As such, this purchase suggests he fears his own military more than he does ours.

I think this analysis is strong but I think that it underestimates the degree to which Chavez wants fighter jets for no military reason but rather because modern fighter jets are visibly costly and create a clear impression of a man with money to spend. All of the reasons that Brecher cites for fighter jets being impractical strengthen their value as a visible indicator of his wealth and power.

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