Analysis: Stability, U.S. interests trump democracy in Phase Two of Arab Spring
July 16th, 2013
01:04 PM ET

Analysis: Stability, U.S. interests trump democracy in Phase Two of Arab Spring

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the latest in a series of stories and opinion pieces previewing the upcoming Aspen Security Forum. Security Clearance is a media sponsor of the event, which is taking place from July 17-20 in Aspen, Colorado.  The forum will feature a session called "Unrest in the Arab World and its Implications for our Security"; Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and a fellow at the Brookings Institution, who is featured in this piece, will participate. Follow the event on Twitter under @aspeninstitute and @natlsecuritycnn #AspenSecurity.

By Elise Labott

A popular argument following the removal from power of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy posits that the non-U.S. response ends a long-held American position that it defends democracy.

The pretense, however, has already been on shaky ground during Phase Two of the Arab Spring.

Countries where the United States has supported regime change have morphed from relatively stable autocracies into hotbeds of instability, posing challenges for U.S. policy.

In Egypt, the United States has played the cards it was dealt, taking a pragmatic approach to the recent events..

No lover of Morsy or his Muslim Brotherhood ideology, the United States engaged his government because it was in power, having won the 2012 elections.

But after 22 million people signed a petition to remove him from power and took to the streets, Morsy was suddenly damaged goods.

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June 21st, 2013
08:34 PM ET

U.S. increasing military forces in Jordan

By Tom Cohen

Due to security concerns in Jordan, which borders the Syrian civil war, a combat-equipped detachment of about 700 U.S. troops will remain in the country following training exercises that ended this week, President Barack Obama told Congress on Friday.

In a letter to comply with the War Powers Act, Obama notified Congress that the detachment staying behind at the request of the Jordanian government included "Patriot missile systems, fighter aircraft, and related support, command, control and communications personnel and systems."

"The detachment will remain in Jordan, in full coordination with the government of Jordan, until the security situation becomes such that it is no longer needed," Obama's letter said.

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Filed under: Jordan • Syria
U.S. military presence in Jordan quietly grows
A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013.
June 19th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

U.S. military presence in Jordan quietly grows

By Barbara Starr

Even as U.S. military officials privately maintain there are no immediate plans for action against the Syrian regime, the American presence next door in Jordan is quietly growing as is an increased U.S. military capability to defend that nation.

U.S. military assets either in place or due to arrive include:

Patriots, F-16s

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's approval to keep a Patriot missile battery and a detachment of F-16s there indefinitely adds about 400 troops to the U.S. presence.

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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.
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First on CNN: U.S. to send Patriot missile battery, fighter jets to Jordan as part of exercise
A Patriot missile launcher system is pictured at a Turkish military base in Gaziantep on February 5, 2013.
June 3rd, 2013
11:02 AM ET

First on CNN: U.S. to send Patriot missile battery, fighter jets to Jordan as part of exercise

By Barbara Starr

The decision to deploy a Patriot missile battery and F-16 aircraft to Jordan was made late Friday at a meeting with top military and civilian Defense Department officials to bolster U.S. military support for Jordan - a crucial ally in the Middle East - as the violence from the Syrian civil war spreads, according to a senior U.S. official, CNN has learned.

The official declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation and also declined to say who was in the meeting. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has been traveling outside the United States, and it could not be learned if he attended via teleconference, although several officials tell CNN he was aware of the discussions and approved the deployment.

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Filed under: Jordan • Military • Pentagon • Syria
U.S., Jordan discuss placing Patriot missile batteries in Jordan
May 31st, 2013
07:37 PM ET

U.S., Jordan discuss placing Patriot missile batteries in Jordan

By Barbara Starr

The United States and Jordan are actively discussing the possibility of sending American Patriot missile batteries to Jordan to boost its defenses as the civil war in Syria continues to threaten the region, according to a senior Pentagon official.

He emphasized that an agreement to undertake such an operation has not yet been reached.

Even though Jordanian officials have long said they do not believe the Syrian regime would attack Jordan, there have been increased efforts by Amman to boost its military cooperation with the United States as violence spreads.

If an agreement is reached, the Patriot batteries could be reassigned from other areas in the region, although U.S. officials declined to say where they are currently located.

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U.S. military to step up presence in Jordan in light of Syria civil war
April 17th, 2013
07:11 PM ET

U.S. military to step up presence in Jordan in light of Syria civil war

By Barbara Starr

In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the deployment of more American troops to Jordan.

Hagel announced the deployment, which was first reported on CNN, in a statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.

He said the troops will work alongside Jordanian forces to "improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios."

The troops, which will number up to 200, are from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, two Defense Department officials told CNN.
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Filed under: Hagel • Jordan • Syria
April 17th, 2013
01:10 PM ET

U.S. military to step up presence in Jordan in light of Syria civil war

By Barbara Starr

In a critical indication of growing U.S. military involvement in the civil war in Syria, CNN has learned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is ordering the deployment of up to 200 troops to Jordan, according to two Defense Department officials.

The troops, which will come from the headquarters of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, "creates an additional capability" beyond what has been there, one official said.

The group will give the United States the ability to "potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered," he said.

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December 4th, 2012
03:10 AM ET

U.S. embassy targeted in Jordan

One of the biggest American embassies was the target in a large al Qaeda plot. Brian Todd has the details.

August 8th, 2012
01:00 AM ET

Grim conditions for Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan

By Barbara Starr, reporting from the Al-Zaatri refugee camp in Jordan

Thirteen-year-old Amani has only been living in Al-Zaatri refugee camp in Jordan for a few days, after fleeing with her family from her home in Daraa, Syria. She left with eight other family members, many of whom are young children.

Amani is just one of the thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodbath back home, but not everyone in her family made it across the Jordanian border safely. Her mother was a martyr caught in a bomb explosion. She was hit by shrapnel and died.

"She was everything (to me) - she brought us up, and died. She would take us wherever we wanted to go, I was the one most attached to her," Amani said.

In Daraa, Amani and her family were plagued with shelling every night before they fled. The rebel Free Syrian Army finally helped Amani and her family escape to Jordan and to the refugee camp.

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