Commanding General of U.S. Central Command: U.S. Has Funded Excellent Border Security--in Jordan

By Susan Jones | February 5, 2019 | 11:29am EST
Gen. Joseph Votel heads the U.S. Central Command (Photo: Screen capture/C-SPAN)

( - Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of the U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that Americans would be "very proud" to see the kind of border security their tax dollars have produced -- in Jordan.

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. 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.

According to a 2018 Rand Corporation study, the United States began helping Jordan secure its border in 2008, with a $20 million project to build surveillance towers along a 30-mile stretch of the border with Syria.

Rand reported:

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 Rand study also examined "lessons learned" from the Jordan experience.

The final lesson in the long list says, "Deploying regular army units to the border to supplement border forces is also helpful."

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