Every year or two Panama has what it calls Panamax Maneuvers which are designed to prepare a number of countries to help defend the canal. This year it will involve 22 countries and over 4000 troops. The U.S. and Panama lead and prepare in this naval exercise as the U.S. has the first right of refusal so to speak to take action should the canal come under threat according to their treaty when handing over the canal. I often wonder why it takes so many countries involvement when there is no doubt the U.S. has more than enough fire power to defeat any enemy that wants to take over the ditch. Last years participants were armies of 14 nations including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
I wonder if this is an attempt at allowing Panama to act more like the U.N. and not deal with potential repercussions, both foreign and domestic, of just have the U.S. pull off the exercise alone. No, we can't have the greatest military might in the world showing off it firepower to the rest of the world protecting a great asset it built and then gave away with just a few strings attached.
I have not seen a list of this years players, but they must be drawing from a wider pool of countries to get to 22. Lets hope it does not include Venezuela and China. You can see last years info at the U.S. armies website.