Venezuela Continues to Spark, Lead Regional Arms Buildup

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FAV SU-30MK2(click to view full) Colombia’s recent military modernization announcements coincide with the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ release of their Military Balance report for 2009. That report cites Venezuela’s continuing arms buildup in the region, which has triggered corresponding modernization drives in nearby countries, including Colombia and Brazil. These developments have been building up since the mid-00s. The IISS’ 2009 report notes a continuing rise in Venezuelan military spending, and believes that the country will soon add China as a supplier, while pursuing power projection tools like IL-76 strategic transports, their IL-78 aerial tanker counterparts, more SU-30 fighters, and Kilo Class submarines. Such purchases are certainly in line with Russia’s stated expectations. It remains to be seen how many of these plans might be curtailed by the recession-induced crash in global oil prices, whose rise had fueled Venezuela’s buildup. IISS Military Balance 2009 | Venezuela’s El Universal report.

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