Keeping Secrets in Jordan

(Washington Post) William M. Arkin - King Abdullah II, himself a former commander of Jordan's special operations force, has forged ever closer military and intelligence ties with the U.S. U.S.-Jordanian intelligence cooperation grew in the 1990s as Iraqi refugees, businessmen, and defectors in Amman were recruited, and Amman became a hub for anti-Saddam operations. Jordan's General Intelligence Directorate today is considered the most effective allied counter-terrorism operation in the Middle East. Jordanian secret services and intelligence personnel are reported to have done much "dirty work" for their American counterparts, including interrogations and targeted killings. In March 1995, 1,200 personnel and 34 American F-15s and F-16s set up camp at two airbases - Shaheed Mwaffaq and H-5 near Azraq - for almost three months, partly to enforce the Iraqi southern no-fly zone. These bases eventually became part of the secret network of U.S. facilities in the Gulf region. As the 2003 Iraq war neared, U.S., British, and Australian special operations forces and intelligence operatives flooded into the country.

2005-11-18 00:00:00

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