The US Southern Command’s Silent Occupation of the Amazon

The US Southern Command’s Silent Occupation of the Amazon

  By Santiago Navarro F. and Renata Bessi, Truthout

Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanks a Brazilian soldier for assisting with his tour of the jungle training center in Manaus, Brazil, on March 28, 2012. Dempsey was there to visit the jungle training center which borders several different countries in the Amazon Basin. (DOD photo by US Army Staff Sgt. Sun L. Vega, Joint Staff)Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanks a Brazilian soldier for assisting with his tour of the jungle training center in Manaus, Brazil, on March 28, 2012. Dempsey was there to visit the jungle training center which borders several different countries in the Amazon Basin. (DOD photo by US Army Staff Sgt. Sun L. Vega, Joint Staff)

Brazil, Colombia and Peru share a triple borderland separating north from south on the South American continent. Located deep in the Amazon forest, this is the theater of operations in which more than 30 military companies test their services and merchandise. The multinational military exercise known as AmazonLog2017, is organized by the Armed Forces of Brazil. More than 1,500 members of the Brazilian military and military members from invited countries participated with high-caliber weapons and munitions, boats, aircraft, helicopters, information technologies, nautical and energy intelligent equipment, radars and sensors. The Southern Command of the United States — the Unified Combatant Command of the United States Department of Defense with influence in the Caribbean, Central and South America — is also an AmazonLog2017 participant.

Activists and researchers are alarmed about this military exercise. According to Mexican economist and geopolitical specialist Ana Esther Ceceña, AmazonLog2017 allows “the placement of troops that facilitate specific territorial incursions and rapid response operations, both of which imply the use of special forces, whether those be US forces, local or private on the triple borderland.”

While the exercise involves temporary military drills, many fear that it welcomes larger future operations. According to Ceceña, AmazonLog2017 creates the conditions to allow future military operations of US troops, specifically in two strategic areas: the lower part of Venezuela and along the Atlantic coast, where Brazil will allow the US access to the Alcȃntara military base.

The AmazonLog2017 military actions were planned in three phases. The first, the industry’s commercial phase, occurred between August 28 and September 1, 2017, in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas. Two thousand personnel participated in this event, which was comprised of military, government agencies and arms industry corporations.

Between September 26-28, the second phase took place, focusing on ground operations organization. This phase consisted of the Humanitarian Logistics Symposium in conjunction with the Military Employee Materials Exposition and preparatory activities for the triple borderland military drills.

In the third, most important phase, the businesses will exhibit and test their products in jungle-based tactical humanitarian and war drills along the triple borderland with the Multinational Logistics Drill. This phase is scheduled for November 6-13, 2017. More than 1,500 people are expected to participate, including military personnel and arms industry agencies from Brazil, the US and other countries……more here

Leave a Reply