As an isolationist (perhaps so much so that the “i” should be capitalized), reading about the goings on of America’s military in places aside from the Rio Grande is not something I normally do. The US’s military hegemony is a fact I am aware of and completely against – why bother with the nitty-gritty of it when I could be reading Guy de Maupassant? However, I feel obligated to read the newspaper, so from time to time, catch a news story that drags me deep down a rabbit hole of weaponized surrealism.
A perfect example of this transpired recently when I read the headline, “Pentagon reportedly assigns 13k servicemen to first ever US-Jordanian-Israeli joint drill.” It struck me as jarring, 13,000 American soldiers playing wars games with Israeli troops in the Jordanian desert? Not quite. There are Americans playing war games in Israel and Jordan simultaneously, but not as one, with the 13K divided about evenly between the two nations. The exercise in Israel (Juniper Cobra) does not surprise me, but the one in Jordan (Eager Lion) did. I recall American military build-up in that country when Syria was in the news every day last summer, but sending in 6,000 plus soldiers seemed like overkill.
Apparently I could not have been more wrong. “Eager Lion” is now in its fourth year, and multiple countries participate every time, perhaps serving as a beard so President Obama can claim to be a conciliatory internationalist, as opposed to a Nobel-Peace-Prize-toting-imperialist. Last year, the United States left Patriot Missiles and F-16 jets behind “to counter potential threats from the civil war in neighboring Syria.” This year it was announced that no armaments would be left behind, but I can find no proof that it was announced beforehand last year.
Recent news of an American suicide bomber in Syria has more or less pushed out all other Syria-related news, but there are developments of note that pertain to Eager Lion. The fighting has been intensifying in the country’s south-west corner. In particular, just outside the city of Quneitra, which is close enough to Israel that said nation occasionally controls it, and Daraa, just a hop and a skip away from Jordan. One also wonders the coincidence of Eager Lion beginning the morning of May 25th, with the Pope having arrived in Israel the night before. The same goes for the fact that Syrian elections take place on June 3rd, and Eager Lion ends on June 8th.
Again, I am no expert in foreign affairs, but should Jordan ever end up with a serious number of American troops/bases, the US would have a line of armed satellites cutting the Middle East in half: Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. Along with serving to block any kind of revamped Nasserism, it would serve as the penultimate step in geographically connecting the ever-expanding NATO to the Middle-Eastern oil-puppets. The final step would be installing a pro-West government in Syria, Lebanon, or Iran – unless a large Kurdistan were to come about. This would serve to neatly encircle Russia in a way that was never accomplished during the Cold War; and that doesn’t involve perpetual realpolitik with a rising China.
But remember, Russia is the aggressor, Israel our greatest ally, and democracy our highest ideal.
Originally published by Chronicles on June 2nd, 2014