1. The strategic gap between the United States and Brazil stems from the asymmetry in the power capabilities of these two nations, especially in the context of Brazil’s rise in global stature during the past decade, but is stretched by the Obama administration’s inability or unwillingness to cast bilateral diplomacy within a strategic, geopolitical framework.
2. U.S. policymakers responsible for bilateral relations with Brazil overcome short-term crises and certainly recognize the mutual interests that keep these two nations in close orbit, but the Snowden spying case, the failed Boeing jet fighter bid, and even the saga of the ongoing “cotton dispute” illustrate and widen the accumulated bilateral political distance that should be understood as a strategic gap between these two nations.
3. Brazil’s security emphasis on the South Atlantic could lead to greater tensions with the United States if these nations cannot forge a common framework for collective maritime security in the South Atlantic.
4. Can U.S. defense and foreign policymakers overcome the strategic gap by recognizing Brazil’s strategic foci on the Amazon and South Atlantic basin and working with their Brazilian counter-parts to deepen defense and military cooperation?