The commander of U.S. Central Command has high praise for U.S. forces in his theater of operations and says that Americans would be “very proud” of the work they’ve done in providing border security…for Jordanians.
“Last week I was in Jordan. I had an opportunity to visit the border — up along the border between Jordan and Syria. And I had an opportunity to witness the investments that our country has made in their border security initiatives — equipment, training, command, and control for this,” Gen. Joseph Votel testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
“And what I witnessed there I think would make any member of Congress or indeed, any American, very proud to see.”
It was extraordinarily professional, it was very effective; they had very good situational awareness and understanding of what was happening along their border. And everything that they were doing was sustainable. And they’d been doing it for several years and with the prospect of continuing to do it in the future.
This is the kind of investments that we need to be making in these very good partners right here, like Jordan.
A 2018 Rand Corporation study notes that the U.S. began assisting Jordan with border security in 2008 with a $20 million initiative to construct a series of surveillance towers along a 30-mile stretch of the country’s border with Syria.
This program was expanded to include a fully networked fence running along 275 miles of Jordan’s borders with Syria and Iraq at a cost of more than $300 million.
By 2016, the system consisted of an advanced border monitoring network, equipped with an array of remote detection, surveillance, and command and control capabilities, which allowed the Jordanian Armed Forces to detect activity five miles away on either side of the fence. The system funnels into a joint U.S.-Jordanian command center.
The study also examined “lessons learned” from the effort to secure Jordan’s border. Among Rand’s findings: “Deploying regular army units to the border to supplement border forces is also helpful.”
While American troops cannot enforce civil immigration statutes because the military is prohibited by law from doing so, deploying American troops along certain segments of the border has been recommended by various analysts as a means of assisting Border Patrol and other U.S. immigration authorities in stopping illegal immigration and drug smuggling, although most illegal drugs are reportedly brought through legal ports of entry, the government says.
POTUS Donald Trump ordered nearly 4,000 additional U.S. troops to the border in recent days to assist federal immigration authorities. Meanwhile, as the president continues to push Congress for more funding for U.S. border security including a wall or other barriers, Democrats in the House, where funding bills must originate, are refusing to do so.
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