Primary research work by John-David Karnitz
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Brigada Independência (Cobras Fumantes)
Though there were several initial missteps, the FCME eventually carried out its objectives, and  Alcântara remains in relative peace to this day.  The moniker of “Independência Brigada” was bequeathed to the FCME by the warring factions, though it was more of a pointed gibe because of the initial heavy-handedness of the outfit during the month following its entrance to the combat zone.  The name stuck, however, because of the successful conclusion to the conflict. When the FCME was officially stood-down and its colours retired, both countries were left with a large amount of veterans and little or no place for them.  Though warfare on Earth in the present age is by no means extinct, the Terran Alliance has managed to suppress the most egregious examples of it.  Though relations between the two giants of South America are characterized by grudging respect, there is little possible gain by actual warfare-and both countries' small professional armies had been spoiled by the recent conflict.  Officers of the Brazilian national army in particular had vied heavily amongst themselves to gain spots in the FCME and when the hostilities were ended, they saw their career prospects dim immediately. The Brazilian military-industrial establishment had shaken off its centuries of lethargy as well in order to supply the FCME with the equipment needed to conduct its operation to a successful conclusion.  The national election in 320 TW provided both groups with the opportunity they so desperately needed.  With the military and key industries supporting a candidate amenable to their causes, it was no surprise that in 322 TW an announcement was made that Brazil would enter the now-burgeoning interstellar mercenary trade with a regiment of its own.  The proponents of such a move were quick to point out that it was a win-win proposition:  Brazil's lukewarm economy could only hope to take advantage of money flooding in from a military force that was off fighting amongst the stars, and the country's industry would benefit as well.  The opponents of such a move pointed out that equipping a combat unit to go off and kill surely had more implications than that-the least of which was the naked link between warfare and profit.  In the end, however, the government (and its backers in the military/industrial complex) pointed to the success that Mittel Europa's Lightning Division was enjoying…and the Independence Brigade was reborn. It took a further two years for the Brigade to take on its first contract, however.  The think-tank behind the outfit's creation sought to outfit it with the best training and gear available.  In many cases, that meant bringing in outside sources to help the country jump-start itself.  Brazil hadn't tried building a world-class (or, in this case, a galaxy- class) main-battle tank in several hundred years.  They thus turned to their long-time allies in Mittel Europa for support, a move which culminated in a line of armoured vehicles that would end up benefiting both sides.
Symbol of the Brigada IndependÍncia (Cobras Fumantes)