Unlike China, India, Russia or Turkey, Brazil is glimpsing the world from the vantage of a key power for the first time. This is turning out to be a mixed blessing: the country doesn’t face regional rivals, so it’s able to concentrate efforts on nonmilitary development. At the same time, Brazil has no experience with the sort of measured diplomacy needed to ensure predictable outcomes over time. To praise what some have called Brazil’s “swagger” only condones erratic behavior at a time when more tempered judgment is needed.
Sean Goforth is author of Axis of Unity: Venezuela, Iran and the Threat to America.