Largest U.S. exercise in Middle East furtively taking place in Jordan. Involving 19 countries and 12,000 military
by David Cenciotti
Almost ignored by some media outlets, a major strategic theater cooperation exercise including 19 countries and more than 12,000 participants is currently taking place in Jordan.
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) says that the Eager Lion 2012 is “the largest annual exercise in the Central Command area of operations” whose is aim is “to strengthen military-to-military relationships of participating partner nations through a joint, whole-of-government, multinational approach, integrating all instruments of national power to meet current and future complex national security challenges. The exercise scenarios are designed to portray realistic, modern-day security challenges. The scenarios are designed years in advance to fulfill collaborative training goals.”
Although “annual”, this year’s Eager Lion seems to be a bit different from 2011 edition: what does not pass unnoticed is that the drills are no longer bilateral (U.S. – Jordan) but involve the military of 17 different countries.
Participating countries are Australia, Bahrain, Brunei, Egypt, France, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Qatar, Spain, Romania, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.