2004 July 05 Monday
Jordan To Supply Soldiers To Iraq

Jordan's King Abdullah says Jordan will supply troops for security work in Iraq.

He told a television interviewer: "Now there's an interim government and, we hope, a fully independent process very soon in Iraq. If the Iraqis ask for help it will be very difficult for us to say no. My message is: Tell us what you want and we have 110 per cent support for this.

"My position has been beforehand not to send troops because of Jordanian history with Iraq. I felt [then] that all countries that surround Iraq have their own agendas, so maybe we are not the right people to go in for the job."

I would expect Jordanian troops to have a considerable advantage in intelligence efforts due to their native Arabic fluency and understanding of Iraqi culture. But Abdullah may run the risk of some of his troops coming back radicalized by the experience.

One advantage for Jordan in waiting till now to send troops is that the Jordanians can treat the request to send troops as coming from the new Iraqi government rather than from the United States. Arab brothers answer the call of Arabs for help. Has a much more positive spin. Jordan doesn't play puppet. It is just out there doing a duty for its neighbors to help them out. But the United States will no doubt finance the Jordanian effort, perhaps as aid to Jordan labelled for other purposes.

Now that a UN resolution has been passed and partial sovereignty has been granted to an Iraqi government Pakistan too may send troops to Iraq.

"Pakistan is likely to send its troops to Iraq well before the next general elections in that country [scheduled for early next year]," says former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence, retired Lieutenant-General Hamid Gul, in a telephone interview with Asia Times Online.


Gul is the architect of Pakistan's jihadi movement, which played an active role in Kashmir and Afghanistan.

When in power at Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) Gul was a supporter of the Taliban and may also have been a supporter of Al Qaeda. Musharraf could not engineer such a large change in Pakistan's policy toward the Taliban and Al Qaeda without tossing out some ISI top brass. It is possible that Gul is correct but he might just be trying to apply pressure to Musharraf to prevent a decision to send troops to Iraq.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2004 July 05 09:06 PM  Mideast Iraq


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