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Green-on-Blue Attacks in Jordan

The Meaning of the Assaults on U.S. Forces

U.S. soldiers during a military exercise south of Amman, May 2017.  Muhammad Hamed / REUTERS

With little fanfare, the trial of a Jordanian soldier accused of the premeditated killing of three U.S. Green Berets began in early June. The incident, which occurred in November at the entrance of Al Jafr air base in south Jordan, has received relatively scant press coverage in the United States and in the kingdom. Yet the lack of attention belies the significance of the killings and the outcome of the trial.

Jordan is Washington’s best Arab ally in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and is the second-leading recipient of U.S. economic and military assistance. But during a one-year span beginning in mid-November 2015, more Americans in uniform were killed in so-called green-on-blue killings in Jordan than in Afghanistan. Not only have the killings proved an embarrassment for Amman, in Jordan’s tribal society, the ongoing trial of one alleged perpetrator is a political minefield for the

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