Jordan wants U.S. Patriot battery to stay past exercises
A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013.
June 5th, 2013
02:53 PM ET

Jordan wants U.S. Patriot battery to stay past exercises

By Barbara Starr

Jordan has asked the United States to keep a Patriot missile battery there after an upcoming military exercise as part of a U.S.-backed effort to bolster Jordanian military defenses.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Jordan made the request but that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had "not fully reviewed it."

Warren said Hagel would look at it when he returns to Washington from a NATO summit on Wednesday night.

The United States also has decided to deploy F-16s to Jordan, but it's not clear if a similar request will be made to keep those fighter jets in place.

The decision to deploy a Patriot battery and F-16s was made Friday at a meeting of military and civilian Defense Department officials as a means of bolstering U.S. military support for a key Middle East ally with violence from the Syrian civil war spreading, according to a senior U.S. official.

The official declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Hagel has been traveling outside the United States and it could not be learned if he attended via teleconference, although several officials tell CNN that he was aware of the discussions and approved the deployment.

The goal is to demonstrate American military support for an increasingly fragile Jordan, which is bearing the burden of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and a growing potential threat from extremist elements, including an al Qaeda affiliate, operating in Syria.

The weapons systems will be sent as part of a planned multinational military training exercise, Eager Lion, this month, but with an understanding they may stay in the country to bolster security.

But there is clearly a broader message being sent, according to U.S. military officials.

"In order to enhance the defensive posture and capacity of Jordan, some of these assets may remain beyond the exercise at the request of the government of Jordan," Lt. Col. T.G. Taylor, a spokesman at the U.S. Central Command, told CNN.

The Patriot missiles were originally expected to be sent from their base at Fort Bliss, Texas, but the senior official said they may simply be re-deployed from Patriots already in the Middle East.

Jordan does not face a SCUD missile threat from Syria, but it comes at a time when concern is growing that some Syrian missiles are being shipped to Hezbollah and could be used to attack targets across the region.

In recent days, violence has spread to Lebanon and Israel has increased security along its northern border.

The F-16s and air crews will train with Jordanian combat air forces at a time when there is growing pressure from some in Congress for the White House to support a Syrian "no fly" zone.

Separately from the exercise, the United States is sending 200 military planners from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss to Jordan to assist in long term planning with Jordanian forces if a chemical weapons crisis erupts, or if a wide scale humanitarian relief mission is ordered.

soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. In home personal training

    I think Jordan asking the United States to keep a Patriot missile battery there after an upcoming military exercise as part of a U.S.-backed effort to bolster Jordanian military defenses is a great thing.It can be used so many ways.

    April 12, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
  2. lottie

    some one needs to investigate ol Sand. He sounds like a radical to me. Check his phone records .

    June 6, 2013 at 11:22 am | Reply
  3. Muhammad

    When the people of a country revolt , these arms turn into children tools .

    June 6, 2013 at 1:03 am | Reply
  4. Muhammad

    When Israel, Turkey, Jordan , Persian Gulf states and others in future get patriot missiles , even the idiots know that these countries are on one side and they are singing from the same hymn book .

    June 6, 2013 at 12:59 am | Reply
  5. Muhammad

    Turkey got it before and now Jordan is going to have it and of course Israel had it long ago. Now the question is , can Turkey and Jordan dare to use it against the enemy of the Palestinians , Arabs and Muslims?

    June 6, 2013 at 12:59 am | Reply
  6. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    June 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
    • Navyvet8192

      Although you obviously have a passion for what you are repeatedly posting, you are misstating one crucial fact at least. The Russians intentionally shot down a Korean Air Lines flight in the 1980's. Google KAL-007! Sorry, but you gotta fact check before you troll.

      June 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Reply
      • Quigley

        Now that you mentioned it Navyvet8192, just when are we going to get the facts on that incident regarding the shoot down of KAL-007 on Sept. 1, 1983? For instance, just what was that plane doing over Sakhalin Island in the first place? This reeks of another U.S. government cover up!

        June 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  7. George Patton-2

    Of course Jordan wants those missiles and they will keep them too at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer! I guess that both Pres. Obama and the majority in Congress figure that this is way our money is best spent. Just forget our schools and libraries, public safety and our infrastructure such as roads and bridges which need inspection and repair!!!

    June 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  8. AllahLovesIsraelsJews

    Hey, Sand- Your name says it all.

    June 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  9. USMC1371

    Sure they can keep it. That should be one million a day rental cash only in advance.

    June 5, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Navyvet8192

      I was thinking the same thing, just a different #. If we started leasing out the services of our military vice playing volunteer security guards to the world, we could turn a profit and pay our servicemen and women better.

      June 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  10. sand

    all jews will be destroyed all jewish children will be r a p e d and there will be blood from there a s s h o l e s death to the jew.

    June 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • sawolf

      Wouldn't hold my breath, if any of the wars the arabs keep losing are any indication of their ability to fight against a determined, discipline, and intelligent people. But keep your fantasies, that's ALL you've got.

      June 6, 2013 at 2:01 am | Reply

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