U.S. and Brazil: Together and Apart

As the Brazilian president arrives in Washington, a look at the progress and underlying tensions in the U.S.-Brazil relationship.

An Opportunity?

The implosion of Syria offers an opportunity for Washington and Brasilia, neither of which wants to see military force deployed in this case, to work together on developing much more robust diplomatic tools to find an exit strategy for Assad and initiate a democratic transition. If they succeed, they will have created a new model for giving the responsibility to protect doctrine real teeth across the whole range of potential strategies.

Regardless of the outcome of the Syria case, the question remains whether Brazil is ready to go beyond the comfort of an “agree to disagree” posture, which plays well with certain domestic constituencies, to a real partnership with Washington on the global stage. Its quest for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which President Obama has not explicitly endorsed, just may weigh in the balance.

Ted Piccone is a senior fellow and deputy director of foreign policy at The Brookings Institution.

Image: Ricardo Stuckert/PR