Three days of reports surrounding US military deployments to Jordan have produced three conflicting stories about what is being sent and why, with Pentagon officials today claiming the whole deployment is the result of specific Jordanian government requests for additional forces.
On Monday, when the deployments were initially announced, officials said the Patriot missiles and F-16 warplanes were simply being sent for a short “military exercise,” though they did concede that there was a chance some might remain if Jordan asked.
Tuesday officials said the intention was to keep the Patriot missiles there all along, and that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had signed off on the plan over the weekend. Jordanian officials said the deployment would be purely defensive in nature.
Wednesday, we have a whole new story, with Jordan requesting all of the deployment (for a drill called “Eager Lion”) remain and more to be sent beyond that, with two Patriot batteries being requested on top of 12-24 warplanes. The missiles were to be deployed immediately along the Syrian border.
In the interest of making the story even more difficult to get a handle on, Pentagon officials also say now that Hagel hasn’t even seen the request, but that he would certainly approve of it when he did because the US is committed to Jordan’s “security requirements.”