Brazil practices defending Amazon from invasion by larger foreign military force

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According to the New York Times,  Brazil’s army is deploying troops in the Amazon rain forest to simulate defending against a foreign invasion, which focuses on the rising strategic importance of the rain forest to Latin America’s largest economy.

Called Operation Machifaro, the troop mobilization starts on Monday and  emphasizes a key element of Brazil's military doctrine that sees defense of the Amazon as a top priority because of its vast mineral wealth and reserves of fresh water.

The drill is to prepare soldiers to respond to a foreign military force larger than Brazil’s armed forces. While no country is specified by name, some military strategists in Brazil have focused on the United States as the potential threat.

According to 2011 opinion survey by a government statistics agency, fifty percent of Brazilians believe their country will be invaded for the Amazon’s resources.