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The Dangers of an Attack on Iraq: Jordan - Nuclear Flashpoint?
8 July 2002
A flurry of reports saying the US has deployed Special Forces to Jordan with a view to infiltrating Iraq from Jordan's eastern border, to gather intelligence and ultimately invade gives rise to the possibility of a new nuclear flashpoint.
Jordan and the US have developed strong military links over the years, with frequent 'war games' with live ammunition undertaken in the desert south of the capitol, Amman. The most recent was last March when a ten day exercise was held called Infinite Anvil, involving a reported hundred US marines and sailors. Harrier fighter jets and fighters from the USS Wasp were moved to the Jordan's King Faisal Jordanian Air Base at Al Jafr, for the duration, according to Stratfor, a leading global intelligence source.
Stratfor's analysts fear that an invasion of Iraq from Jordan's eastern border, may be planned and that Iraq might seek to pre-empt such an invasion by attacking Jordan. Further an attack on Iraq by the US would to lead to certain massive uprising against the invasion in Jordan, Egypt and the Arab world, plus the possibility of attack on US troops in Iraq from Syria could lead to Israel fearing for its existence triggering its resorting to the use of nuclear weapons.
A large US military deployment in Jordan, reasons Stratfor, would also deter Syrian involvement as far as Washington is concerned. However, not in Washington's equation, it seems are the close historical ties and sympathies in Jordan, for Iraq. The majority population is Palestinian. As a result of the 1991 Gulf war, the country took in almost its own population in refugees displaced by the conflict, many Iraqis, who also have arrived in a steady flow since, escaping the rigors of the near twelve year embargo.
The influx has made the government more dependent on Washington for aid and the people acutely aware of US dominance and perceived manipulation. There is resentment on many levels. One impact was Jordan having to divert water from its arid eastern desert to the capitol, to provide for the increased population. As a result numerous subsistence farmers lost their livelihood and livestock died of thirst.
According to a new Report by Colonel Warner D. Farr for the US Air Force Counter Proliferation Center (USCPC) Israel has four hundred nuclear weapons, some of which are hydrogen bombs, a 'boosted' nuclear bomb up to a thousand times stronger powered than a regular nuclear weapon. It produces immense heat and a shock waves affecting an 'extensive area'. Until now it was thought that the US, Britain, France, China and Russia alone possessed them. (Ironically, the USCPC Report points out that it is the US which is largely responsible the proliferation of Israel's nuclear weapons.)
President Bush has clearly stated that the US now reserves the right to first use of nuclear weapons, even on non nuclear states. It seems unlikely to deter ally Israel from possibly catastrophic escalation, leading to potential vaporization of much of the region.