The move created a ripple effect in the region as thousands continue to express anger and concern, including leftist former Bolivian President Evo Morales.
Peru's Congress indicated the arrival of the U.S. military would begin on June 1 and run through Dec. 31. However, a termination date for official U.S.–Peruvian security training exercises is scheduled for the end of August.
U.S. Southern Command spokesperson Richard Crusan told The Epoch Times that the deployment is a "standard annual exercise."
"Three activities that make up the 'Resolute Sentinel 2023' exercise will be carried out in Lima, Callao, Pucusana, Talara ... Chiclayo, and Piura, on various dates between June 1 and Aug. 29, 2023," the Peruvian government said in its statement.
Supporters of the impeached and jailed former president, Pedro Castillo, claim that the arrival of U.S. troops threatens national sovereignty.
However, Washington's interests appear to be focused more skyward than on the Peruvian political strife on the ground. Of the nearly 1,200 U.S. military personnel heading to Peru, more than 970 are said to be U.S. Air Force and Space Force personnel.
Meanwhile, Hernando Tavera, executive president of Peru's Geophysical Institute, confirmed the nation's official participation in moon missions with NASA's Artemis program during a June 6 news conference.
Cooperation with NASA will be done using the Sicaya Radio Astronomical Observatory, located in the mountainous region of Huancayo in central Peru. The objective is to use the observatory to monitor trajectory and communicate with spacecraft.
Tavera also noted his country's cooperation with NASA is part of the U.S. agency's historical objective to establish a long-term human presence on the Moon.
With a more stable U.S.-friendly government in a region that growing increasingly hostile toward American interests, Washington has little to lose in partnering with Peru.
Closer Cooperation"Events have pushed the Boluarte government toward closer cooperation with the United States," Evan Ellis, a Latin America research professor at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, told The Epoch Times.
He says the "stars have aligned" for U.S.–Peru relations through a series of chaotic and unpredictable events over the past seven months, which began with the whirlwind impeachment and arrest of Castillo on Dec. 7, 2022.
That day, a visibly nervous Castillo had addressed the Peruvian people and announced his intention to dissolve Congress, make constitutional amendments, and install a 10 p.m. mandatory national curfew.
The decree was an attempt to curb months of civilian protests against his regime and impeachment attempts.
It backfired immediately.
Peru's Congress called an emergency session, at which 101 legislators voted to remove Castillo on grounds of “permanent moral disability."
His vice president and current head of state, Boluarte, was then sworn into office. The astounding turn of events occurred within a few hours.
Since then, Boluarte has dealt with months of protests from Castillo supporters demanding her resignation.
In 2021, the newly elected socialist leader prioritized relations with Chinese businesses, especially in the mining sector. For the United States, Castillo presented an obstacle to deeper bilateral relations and trade.
“Peru has long had a relationship with Russia, China, and others," Ellis said. "Of course, China's presence is a concern. This is a very delicate time."
During his 16 months in office, Castillo parroted much of the same anti-U.S. rhetoric heard from other left-wing regimes in the region such as Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Now, with Boluarte at the helm, Washington has a new window of opportunity to expand security relations and check China's fast-expanding space presence in the Americas.
When it comes to left-wing sympathizers crying "wolf" as U.S. troops arrive in Peru, Ellis just shrugged.
Eyes in the SkyThe timing for Peru to be joining security initiatives couldn't be better for the United States.
Presently, there are 12 known ground stations across South America that the CCP uses as part of a global network to maintain satellite communications. They have triggered concerns among security analysts and Washington think tanks that Chinese agents could intercept sensitive information and spy on the United States from right in its backyard.
A primary example of this concern is the Espacio Lejano ground station in Argentina.
Since 2012, the facility has been a closely guarded secret after local officials leased almost 500 acres to China to construct a space observatory with no government oversight.
Public access is forbidden. Even Argentine government officials can't enter without special permission. The only personnel that goes in or out are CCP agents.
The contract between the two nations is also dubious. It states that Argentina's government can't "interfere or interrupt” operations at the facility at any time.
"Beijing could be in violation of the terms of its agreement with Argentina to only conduct civilian activities and may have the ability to monitor and potentially target U.S., allied, and partner space activities," he said.
"Peru has been doing stuff with China on the space side since 2006,” Ellis said.
This makes the arrival of the U.S. Air Force, Space Force, and NASA even more timely.
The central and southern Peruvian highlands are within a geographical stone's throw of three key facilities used by China in its space initiatives. Two of them are in Bolivia, while a third is in the Atacama desert region of northern Chile.
In February, Gen. B. Chance Saltzman, U.S. chief of space operations, called China the "most challenging threat" to global security.
"We have to account for the fact that space as a contested domain has fundamentally changed. The character of how we operate in space has to shift," he told reporters during a press event.
And while NASA operates separately from the U.S. military, Peruvian participation in the Artemis program is still a strategic gain for Washington.
Ellis noted that NASA could offer "competitive resource advantages" in Peru.
Meanwhile, China dominates the South American chessboard on which the CCP strives for space and intelligence dominance.
U.S. Space Force and NASA officials didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.