Friday, May 11, 2012

Eager Lion 12

11 May 2012: In approximately 72 hours a major exercise code-name "Eager Lion 2012" involving more than 12,000 troops from 19 nations will kick-off in the Jordanian desert. The bulk of the land, airborne, marine and special forces troops deployed in Jordan hail from the United States of America.

According to U.S CENTCOM, "The focus of Eager Lion is to strengthen military-to-military relationships of participating partner nations through a joint, whole-of-government, multinational approach, integrating all instruments of national power to meet current and future complex national security challenges."

Previous years have seen similar joint US-Jordanian exercises, however the scope of this year's exercise is unprecedented. Only the United States, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have officially announced the participation of their troops in this exercise, with the other 16 Arab and western participants choosing to not  specifically identify themselves.

Given the current deteriorating situation in Jordan's northern neighbor  Syrian reaction to this exercise is possible given its proximity to their common border. A terrible miscalculation by Syria's al-Assad regime is within the realm of possibility given the stress that nation's virtual civil war has created and as compounded with rampant rumors of foreign intervention. Command of the troops in 'Eager Lion 2012" rests jointly with Major General Kenneth Tovo, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command-Central Command and Jordan's Brigadier General. Mohammed Jeridad who is the director of Jordan’s Training and Doctrine Command.

We'll have to watch this one closely.

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