By Dialogo March 29, 2013 The Brazilian Army will soon create a new military command in the country’s vast Amazon region. The Comando Militar do Norte (CMN) will cover 1.7 million square kilometers. A March 7 decree signed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gives the Army’s ground forces commander, Gen. Enzo Peri, authority to establish the new command. The CMN aims to increase the army’s presence in the three states of Maranhão, Pará and Amapá, which border Suriname and French Guiana to the north. The CMN, to be headquartered in Belém, will improve conditions for planning, managing and carrying out defense and security activities under the responsibility of ground forces in the region, according to a government press release. Three existing Army units in the area – the 8th Military Region, the 8th Army Division and the 23rd Jungle Infantry Brigade, with headquarters in the cities of Belém and Marabá, will now answer to the new command. “In the military field, this geographic region presents peculiarities that influence the preparation and deployment of troops due to the extensive area of action and the diversity of threats,” said an army spokesman. “In the western Amazon, we constantly carry out actions against cross-border offenses such as drug trafficking, smuggling and environmental crimes, which demand more focus on surveillance of land borders.” In the eastern Amazon, on the other hand, troops are deployed to ensure law and order, with emphasis on protecting strategic infrastructure and fighting the illegal exploitation of natural resources. “Such diversity indicates the need for a division of territorial responsibility within the Amazon Military Command, which will allow for better preparation and, consequently, more efficient command and control activities,” the Army said. Eight military commands CMN is the Army’s eighth Brazilian Military Command. The other seven units are the commands of the South (CMS), Southeast (CMSE), East (CML), West (CMO), Northeast (CMNE), Amazon (CMA) and Plateau (CMP). Brazil’s Ministry of Defense says the establishment of the CMN fulfills the guidelines of the National Defense Strategy, which calls for an increased military presence in the Amazon and in border areas. “Brazil will be vigilant in the unconditional reaffirmation of its sovereignty over the Brazilian Amazon,” the document states. The CMN will be responsible for safeguarding 1,890 kilometers of border territory. It will coordinate its operations with the major commands of the Brazilian Navy (4th Naval District) and Air Force (1st Regional Air Command), both located in Belém. It was very felicitous the creation of CMN, but in order to really work, it should incorporate the 10th Military Region (10Âª RegiÃ£o Militar) and create a brigade at the cities of Teresina or SÃ£o LuÃs.