Jihadist Advances in Iraq Send Shock Waves through Mideast

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel - Jordan is already inundated with about a million refugees from the civil war in Syria, and is anxious about an influx of Iraqi Shi'ites into its land and attacks by Sunni jihadists from the Iraqi border. Israel has to do all it can to continue to bolster Jordan. The survival of the Hashemite kingdom is an Israeli interest of the highest order. Another point of concern has to do with the nature of the security arrangements the Americans are leaving behind. The Iraqi army's collapse is the second of its kind on the part of an Arab army that was established by the U.S. in recent years. It was preceded in June 2007 by the collapse of the Palestinian Authority forces and their hasty retreat from Gaza after a few days of Hamas-led attacks. What would happen in the West Bank without an American (and, de facto, Israeli) security umbrella if the PA is finally left to conduct affairs entirely on its own. Interestingly, the Iraqi army and PA security mechanisms share a common denominator: The same American officer, Gen. (ret.) James L. Jones, participated in the preparations of the operational plans for both these forces.

2014-06-13 00:00:00

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