Saturday, June 22, 2013

Left Behind

We're leaving a dozen F-16s in Jordan, just in case. What else was left behind?

We're highlighting the air defense assets:

About a dozen U.S. fighter jets will be flying and conducting training operations in Jordan, poised to respond if needed to protect allies if the war in neighboring Syria spills over the border, U.S. administration officials said Friday.

The increased show of U.S. military might — which brings the total number of U.S. forces in Jordan to as many as 1,000 — should be seen as a signal to Syria that it must confine its 2-year-old civil war within its borders, officials said.

Plus Patriot air defense missiles and a headquarters element of the 1st Armored Division (250 troops).

So we've left fighter, air defense, and headquarters units. This is an interesting way to describe what we are doing:

Jordan had asked the U.S. to leave some military troops and equipment behind.

Leaving troops without equipment is pointless. Why specify "equipment?"

And we do have a new base in southwest Jordan--otherwise used to train rebels--that would mean we don't have to move equipment unloaded in Aqaba very far (and so risk detection):

The training began in November at a new American base in the desert in southwestern Jordan[.]

Okay, looking for meaning in word choice is thin gruel. I admit I'm looking for evidence of my pet theory that we could have unloaded the equipment for a Marine brigade in Aqaba, under cover of our large Marine and Navy contribution to the Eager Lion exercises just concluded in Jordan.

But while the evidence for my theory relies heavily on speculation, that's what I'd do were I god of deployments. But we often don't do what I'd do. So there you go.