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When I headed the U.S. Southern Command a decade ago, I took a trip to the Brazilian military’s jungle training site near Manaus in the Amazon River basin. I spent time both in the jungle with Brazilian troops and on the river, meeting with some of the 300 indigenous groups that populate the region, which spans nine South American nations.

I came to understand that Brazilian pride in controlling much of the rain forest is palpable and well-deserved. Now, of course, that pride is being challenged by the 60,000 fires spotted there this year. The recent Group of Seven summit set off a heated international conversation about how to contain the fires. Brazil is being harshly criticized by leaders around the world — French President Emmanuel Macron in particular.

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