Washington, D.C. — As the Middle East enters a new chapter in the fight against terrorism, a new report from the Center for American Progress says the United States and Jordan should continue working together to address shared security threats and strengthen the kingdom’s capacity to confront terrorism at home.
The report comes as Jordan’s King Abdullah II wraps up a working visit to Washington DC in which counterterrorism cooperation figured prominently.
Military cooperation between the two nations is critical as Jordan and its neighboring countries continue to face threats from Islamic State group operatives, Al Qaeda, domestic extremism, and Iranian power projection in the Middle East. The report says U.S. officials should maintain close cooperation with Jordan’s highly effective special operations forces and security services as they work to address gaps in their capabilities.
Support and oversight from the United States will be important to ensure Jordan’s success in containing internal and external security threats. The report recommends six steps for improving Jordan’s counterterrorism operations:
- Clarify the objectives of the Jordanian special forces reform plan and articulate a vision for the role of special forces in future counterterrorism operations.
- Ensure that Jordanian special forces retain adequate aviation support for counterterrorism operations and improve its personnel recruitment and selection process.
- Maintain a U.S. special forces presence large enough to maximize the outcome of the reorganization of Jordanian special forces.
- Expand the participation of Jordanian special forces in expeditionary operations with U.S. forces.
- Enhance Jordanian counterterrorism coordination at the national and tactical levels.
- Regularize recruitment for Jordanian intelligence and review opportunities for additional technical support and enhanced cooperation with the U.S. intelligence community.
Read the report: “The Future of U.S.-Jordanian Counterterrorism Cooperation” by Hardin Lang, William Wechsler, and Alia Awadallah.
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