"... U.S.-Jordanian military cooperation has been robust for years; for example, American C-17 transport planes routinely fly low over Amman en route to Marka Airport with few local complaints. Yet a hallmark of that cooperation has been its relatively low profile. The popular backlash that greeted the latest initiatives is directly attributable to their regrettably public nature. Secretary Hagel's deployment announcement, and the subsequent Los Angeles Times leak by another senior official regarding Pentagon plans for potentially sending 20,000 troops to Jordan, have been both indiscreet and injurious to Abdullah. The king was already engaged in damage control from his controversial interview last month in the Atlantic, where he publicly maligned his East Bank supporters.
Of course, local opposition to U.S. military assistance could flip if the situation along the border dramatically deteriorates, if (AND HERE ARE SOME IDEAS: )the current tide of refugees turns to a flood, or if Assad sponsors active subversion, terrorism, or chemical attacks against Jordan. Contingency planning for all of these scenarios -- as well as a conversation about increasing U.S. and international funding for refugees in Jordan -- should be on the president's agenda for Friday's summit. Another critical issue to discuss is lowering the public profile of essential bilateral security cooperation. More important, as the administration begins a slow, uneven, and reluctant march toward greater involvement in the Syria conflict, both leaders should be clear with each other about actions they can take -- separately and together -- to advance Jordan's stability, which remains a top U.S. priority...."
Friday, April 26, 2013
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 11:06 AM