"Jordan Could Be the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's Next Target is republished with permission of Stratfor."
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, buoyed by its recent successes in Iraq, wants to expand its regional reach. Reports that Iraq has withdrawn forces from western towns close to its 180-kilometer (110-mile) border with Jordan have left Amman feeling vulnerable, and the Hashemite kingdom, certainly a target of interest for the jihadist movement, has deployed additional security personnel along the border.
However, taking on Jordan would be tough for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The group has the ability to stage terrorist attacks in the country, but significant constraints will prevent it from operating on the levels seen in Iraq and Syria.
The June 15 edition of the Jordan Times reported that Amman had beefed up security along its border with Iraq amid fears that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is inching toward the kingdom. Quoting unnamed Islamist sources, the report added that the jihadist group had established a branch within the kingdom as part of its plans to create a regional emirate.
The militant group's intent to expand into Jordan follows the region's geopolitical logic. After its push into Iraq, and already controlling significant swathes of Syrian territory, the jihadist group can try to push into the Hashemite kingdom from two directions. Jordan is the only opening available to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant -- the group cannot move north into Turkey, nor could it move southwest into Lebanon. Even in Jordan, though, the group faces considerable challenges.
For starters, the Jordanian regime is far more stable than Syria or Iraq, and its security forces have proved to be quite effective. Furthermore, Jordan has strong backing from the United States and Saudi Arabia, especially since the kingdom became a critical staging ground for support to Syrian rebels. Washington and Riyadh can extend financial, intelligence and military assistance to Amman. But Jordan is also a key sanctuary for rebels, and this aids the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's cause.
Jordan has long had a substantial Salafist and jihadist presence. Since the start of the civil war in Syria, jihadists have moved frequently across the Jordan-Syria border. Amman has tried to crack down on this cross-border traffic, but it has not brought it to a stop.
Read more: Jordan Could Be the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant's Next Target | Stratfor
This is chilling indeed, made possible in large part to the Obama Administration of destabilizing the entirety of the Middle East, aiding, arming and training terrorist organizations from Libya to Pakistan. This hapless, careless administration and their version of foreign policy which has seen the overthrow of governments in Egypt, Libya, brutal war in Syria and Iraq, now involving Russia, Iran and spilling over into other counties also.
As Salon observed way back in 2011 when Obama's supporters were breathlessly witnessing the beginnings of "Arab Spring" what he is really sewing is utter chaos:
It’s a story that should take your breath away: the destabilization of what, in the Bush years, used to be called “the arc of instability.” It involves at least 97 countries, across the bulk of the global south, much of it coinciding with the oil heartlands of the planet. A startling number of these nations are now in turmoil, and in every single one of them — from Afghanistan and Algeria to Yemen and Zambia — Washington is militarily involved, overtly or covertly, in outright war or what passes for peace.
Garrisoning the planet is just part of it. The Pentagon and U.S. intelligence services are also running covert special forces and spy operations, launching drone attacks, building bases and secret prisons, training, arming, and funding local security forces, and engaging in a host of other militarized activities right up to full-scale war. But while you consider this, keep one fact in mind: the odds are that there is no longer a single nation in the arc of instability in which the United States is in no way militarily involved.
... In addition to waging more wars in “arc” nations, Obama has overseen the deployment of greater numbers of special operations forces to the region, has transferred or brokered the sale of substantial quantities of weapons there, while continuing to build and expand military bases at a torrid rate, as well as training and supplying large numbers of indigenous forces. Pentagon documents and open source information indicate that there is not a single country in that arc in which U.S. military and intelligence agencies are not now active. This raises questions about just how crucial the American role has been in the region’s increasing volatility and destabilization.
... The United States is now involved in wars in six arc-of-instability nations: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. It has military personnel deployed in other arc states, including Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates. Of these countries, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates all host U.S. military bases, while the CIA is reportedly building a secret base somewhere in the region for use in its expanded drone wars in Yemen and Somalia. It is also using already existing facilities in Djibouti, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates for the same purposes, and operating a clandestine base in Somalia where it runs indigenous agents and carries out counterterrorism training for local partners.
Please remember, this article was published in 2011. Things then were rosy by comparison. I've been very disappointed with Senator John McCain in the last decade, but he makes an impassioned speech here:
Or have I been eating paint chips again?