It’s been in the news a couple days, but been mostly kept pretty quiet that the US is sending troops to Syria’s neighbor, Jordan.
Now, the bulk of this is in conjunction with a planned exercise with the Jordanians. Over the last decade, there have been any number of similar exercises.
But it strains credulity to think that the nasty civil war just over the border in Syria has nothing to do with this. There has been a great deal of concern that the war may begin to spill over to other nations in the neighborhood. Of course, Syria, Hezbollah, and all the usual players would love to see Israel get knocked around some. And various shots have been taken at Lebanon as well. Jordan, a relatively stable (and Western friendly) nation has so far not been drawn in.
As the CNN article notes, the Jordanians would like the forces to remain in place after the conclusion of the planned exercise, as a buffer and bulwark against any expansion. Whether that applies to the Marine MEU is unknown.
Normally, we’d say a single MEU and a single squadron of F-16s is a pretty small force for anything more than a show of force. But given the current administration’s bent for making poor strategic and military decisions, we just don’t know.