On Wednesday, President Obama is scheduled to meet at the White House with Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
Let’s hope things go better than last month.
In January, Mr. Obama snubbed the Hashemite monarch on his visit to Washington. The White House initially said the President was too busy to meet with the King. In the end, the President spent a mere five minutes with His Majesty at Andrews Air Force Base before departing on a political trip.
Administration officials insisted that no slight was intended. It was just a busy week. But the damage had already been done. The President had made time to be interviewed by NBC’s Matt Lauer and welcome the TODAY Show on a tour of the White House. But he had refused to a serious, substantive meeting with the West’s most important and faithful Sunni Arab ally a priority, and America’s allies and enemies were watching.
Perhaps paying the closest attention was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. For even as Baghdadi and his fellow jihadists seek to topple the governments of Iraq and Syria and expand his emerging caliphate, make no mistake: the leaders of the Islamic State are gunning for King Abdullah II and determined to seize the land of Jordan for themselves. And now we know from CIA Director Brennan that ISIS is testing chemical weapons on the battlefield.
As readers of The Third Target and The First Hostage know, these are some of the central premises of my new thriller series. Let us be faithful in praying such scenarios never come to pass.
The critical question now is this: How seriously does President Obama take the U.S.-Jordanian alliance and what will he do tangibly to strengthen it at this critical juncture as the King and his people face an existential threat from the Islamic State?
Do the leading presidential candidates in both parties truly understand the threat to Jordan and the importance of strengthening our alliance with the King?
Let us hope that the American leader listens carefully to the King’s assessment of the threats he’s facing, and is ready to increase aid and military cooperation with the Hashemite Kingdom immediately.
Jordan is our most faithful Arab Sunni ally in the fight against the Islamic State. The assassination of the King, and/or a major ISIS attack on Jordan or a coup d’état — God forbid — would be catastrophic. It must be prevented at all costs.
- Order The First Hostage today — a new political thriller (four weeks on the Publishers Weekly best-seller list) about ISIS plotting a chemical weapons attack against Israel, Jordan and the United States — it’s now available in hardcover, e-book and audio formats.
- FACT SHEET: The Iranian leadership’s Apocalyptic Beliefs
- FACT SHEET: The Islamic State’s Apocalyptic Beliefs
- What the next US president will need to know about Iran and Islamic State. (my column in The Jerusalem Post)
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