The Argentine government is analyzing the creation of a special military “rapid deployment” force to provide logistical assistance to security forces in cases related to drug trafficking or terrorism.
A law introduced after the end of the last military dictatorship in 1983 states that the Argentine military cannot carry out security operations on Argentine soil and Defense Minister Oscar Aguad stressed today that the plans being considered would be respectful of that law.
Citing the new kinds of threats facing the country in the 21st century, Defense Minister Oscar Aguad said that a change in the structure of the armed forces is necessary.
Calling it a “rapid deployment force” (fuerza de despliegue rápido, FDR), the minister said that it would help with “logistical support for security, above all with respect to drug trafficking and terrorism. We have the mission to do logistics and intelligence outside of the country, but that doesn’t mean that the armed forces will be involved in security as that it is prohibited by law” said on Radio Mitre.
The FDR would be made up of members of the Army, Air Force and Navy, but with greater emphasis on the Army. Aguad did not provide precise details about the way that the FDR would work.
Asked for more information on Radio Con Vos, Aguad said that the support from the FDR could include intelligence, outsources and transport as necessary, but not any operational or combat missions. Queried if it was sensible for the military to provide intelligence when local police forces were already present, Aguad defended the move in terms of maximizing resources.
“The state has two kinds of security forces. One for interior security and another for defense, and they cost a great deal of resources. The question is, can the state self-limit its strategic defense resources, including internal security, when lives, freedom and the security of the country and its people are on the line? The majority of countries in the region have answered that, except for Chile, differently to the way we have.
“In nearly all of those countries, except for Chile and Argentina, the armed forces cooperate actively with the security forces in specifics areas like anti-narcotics and anti-terrorism. In Argentina that is up for debate. At least we are considering how to cooperate, but I would like to reiterate that this is not about soldiers going out into the streets to combat crime, not at all.”
Aguad noted that the Army has 40,000 officers and volunteers to contribute to logistical tasks.