US says Portugal buys “expensive and useless toys” out of “pride” and inferiority complexes

In the American telegram entitled “What is wrong with the Portuguese Ministry of Defense”, it is stated that Portugal buys weapons as a matter of pride and to overcome inferiority complexes, whether they are useful or not. The most obvious examples are its two submarines and 39 fighter jets, of which only 12 are capable of flying (what a joke). Ending up wasting money that is so needed in other areas in a country with so many deficiencies and so poor.

As expected, the acquisition of this weaponry was an excellent opportunity for some Portuguese officials to line their pockets with dirty money.

Portugal is a country of “sitting generals” where “the military has a status quo culture, in which key positions are occupied by careerists who avoid entering into controversies”. It is also deeply pathetic that Portugal has more admirals and generals per soldier than almost any other armed force.

In Portugal, even the army is fake, the Portuguese toy army with its toy generals. Pathetic, pathetic country!

The following article is a translation. You can find the link to the original website at the end of it.

“When it comes to military procurement contracts, the Ministry of Defense’s wishes and actions appear to be guided by peer pressure and the desire to have expensive toys.

The ministry buys weapons as a matter of pride, no matter if it is useful or not. The most obvious examples are its two submarines (currently delayed) and 39 combat fighters (only 12 capable of flying)”,

reads a small paragraph in the middle of the six-page telegram cited by Expresso.

The weekly newspaper announced this week that it has joined the world newspapers that publish WikiLeaks documents and will, therefore, analyze the 722 telegrams from the United States Embassy in Lisbon that form part of its collection.

The telegram entitled “What’s wrong with the Portuguese Ministry of Defense” was sent on March 5, 2009 and North American diplomacy is devastating for the Defense portfolio, despite making some factual errors.

Thomas Stephenson, who was ambassador in Lisbon between November 2007 and June 2009, also writes that the country does not have missile systems, which means that submarines do not have the ability to attack in the event of a mission.

“Inferiority complex”

Then, the diplomat says that Portugal suffers from an inferiority complex and has the perception that it is weaker than its allies, ending up spending money on submarines that is needed in other areas. And he gives the example that Portugal has few patrol ships to defend the coast and to fight against drug trafficking and illegal immigration and fishing. “With 800 kilometers of coastline and two distant archipelagos to defend, the German submarines purchased in 2005 are not the most sensible investment”, explains Stephenson, who, however, shows some lack of knowledge, as the submarines are equipped with torpedoes, mines and a system of Harpoon missiles – interestingly made in the United States.

The diplomat also explains that Portugal is pressured to make purchases from European partners, instead of opting for material from the United States, giving the example of the Dutch frigates acquired in 2006, to the detriment of North American ones, by decision of the then Minister of Defense, Luis Amado. “The Ministry of Defense chose to spend more than 300 million euros on used Dutch frigates. The American ones would have only required around 100 million euros in their modernization and logistical support”, he specifies.

In messages sent to Washington, the ambassador conveys the image of a country of “sitting generals”, saying that the Ministry of Defense is not capable of making decisions and that “the military has a status quo culture, in which key positions are occupied by careerists who avoid entering into controversies”.

The ambassador also highlights that money on Defense is spent recklessly and that Portugal has more admirals and generals per soldier than almost all other armed forces.

Thomas Stephenson makes specific comments about former Defense Minister Nuno Severiano Teixeira, in another telegram sent on March 6, 2009: “Although he is recognized as a brilliant academic, Teixeira is considered a weak Defense Minister, not very respected by military leaders, ridiculed by the press and with little influence within the Portuguese Government.” The ambassador says that when Severiano Teixeira succeeded Luís Amado in the position “he had no experience in leadership or military experience”. For his part, the Secretary of State for Defense, João Mira Gomes, current Portuguese ambassador to NATO, is described as “almost the opposite of Teixeira”. Neither of them wanted to comment to Expresso.

The current Portuguese Minister of Defense, Augusto Santos Silva, refuses to comment on this statement and condemns the release of the telegram. “I do not comment on the contents of confidential documents, which were, in fact, selected”, which prevents us from knowing what all the documents say, he told SIC Notícias. “I do not comment on confidential documents that are, in my view, necessary for countries to ensure the freedom and security of their populations,” he added.

A country where criminals and the powerful are systematically protected to the detriment of victims and its citizens is the definition of a dictatorship, which is why Portugal should leave the EU.


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It’s just hopeless.