BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri said on Monday that the national defense system is inadequate and announced a “modernization process” aimed at making the country’s armed forces capable of facing the “challenges of the 21st century.”
“I am here because we want to pay off our debt with the armed forces of democracy,” Macri said in a speech at the Campo de Mayo military garrison in Buenos Aires.
“He have an antiquated defense system, the product of years of underinvestment and a lack of long-term policies,” he said.
The “modernization process” is set to begin with a new policy directive that highlights the main mission of the armed forces to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, as well as to provide assistance during emergencies and natural catastrophes.
The president also said that supporting Argentina’s foreign policy is a key aspect of the army, contributing to achieve an “increased presence in United Nations peace operations,” as well as “promoting cooperation” and restating the “country’s presence in Antarctica.”
Macri also ratified the government’s proposal for the armed forces to be able to participate in domestic security, a notion that has been strongly criticized by human rights organizations citing the crimes of the 1976-1983 military regime, which killed some 30,000 people.