WASHINGTON (Oct. 12)
The outlook for Jordan is discussed by Brig. Gen. S. L.A. Marshall in the current issue of “Register,” U.S. military review, while a United States military team is en route to Jordan to study possible reorganization and re-equipment of the army to prevent Jordan’s falling under the control of Col. Nasser, Egypt’s dictator.
Gen. Marshall describes Jordan’s military situation as precarious. He envisages developments that might occur in event of an Israel-Arab war. He stresses that if the Jordanian oasis outpost of Safi is wiped out, possibly by an air drop, any threat to Israel from south of Jerusalem would die, provided Jericho could be handled in much the same way.
“From the Jezreel Valley South of Galilee, Israel’s armored forces striking south along River Jordan and reaching Jericho would seal off all Jordanian forces West of Trans-Jordan,” he writes. Despite terrain features, he sees it as a “feasible and not too complex operation.”
According to Gen. Marshall’s analysis, West Jordan cannot be used by the Jordan Army as a springboard against Israel because it is “a power leg of treason and malice which may explode only against itself. He said the Arab refugees and other civilians “hate King Hussein more than they hate Israel but they could not unite to strike against either.”
The two Jordanian brigades deployed west of the river between Nablus and Hebron are barely sufficient to exercise police control over “this mob-like population, “Gen. Marshall believes. If encircled, says the General, this civilian element would attempt to sift across the river rather than unite to resist. He described Jericho as a weak link between the western bulge of Jordan which “could hardly be held if Israel moved against it,”