Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits Jordan
From 26 to 27 September 2023, Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer visited the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan upon invitation of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, Major General Yousef Huneiti. In Amman, discussions with high-level military officials centred on the longstanding and valued partnership between NATO and Jordan. During his visit, the Chair also had the opportunity to visit the King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Centre and to deliver a lecture at the Royal Jordanian National Defence College.
On the first day, engaging with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, Major General Huneiti, Admiral Bauer discussed the crucial role Jordan plays as a source of stability in the region and, relatedly, the importance of a strengthening military cooperation within the existing partnership.
A very active Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) member since 1995, Jordan became an Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP) shortly after the 2014 Wales Summit, when NATO’s Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative was lunched. Jordan has since then been working side by side with NATO on an increasing number of areas, among which Counter-IED, Cyber Defence, Maritime, and Border Security. In May this year, the coastal city Aqaba hosted a three-day workshop to help identify Jordanian maritime and counter-terrorism requirements and ways for NATO to improve the efficiency and sustainability of Jordan’s counter-terrorism capacity.
Over the years, Partner country Jordan made many contributions to NATO missions and operations. “Our forces have served together side by side in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, over Libya, and Jordanian troops participate in the NATO Response Force”, said Admiral Bauer, extending NATO’s gratitude to Jordan for hosting the NATO Defence Capacity Building training activities for Iraq at the King Abdullah’s Special Operations Training Centre (KASOTC).
On the second day of the visit, Admiral Bauer met with Commandant of the Royal Jordanian National Defence College, Brigadier General Azzam Al-Rawahneh. Discussions centered on the deteriorated security situation in NATO’s Southern neighbourhood, due to the multitude and complexity of challenges and threats faced – including smuggling, weapons trafficking, irregular immigration and energy security. The Admiral clarified that while there is increased focus on the Eastern flank, the South remains equally important in the context of NATO’s 360-degree approach to deterrence and defence.
In his remarks to assembled students and faculty members at the Defence College, the Admiral expanded on Jordan being a frontline for international security and a cornerstone of stability in the broader Middle East.
On energy security, Admiral Bauer outlined NATO’s commitment to ‘combatting climate change by improving energy efficiency, transitioning to clean resources and leveraging innovative next-generation clean technologies’. “As we adapt our Alliance to the ongoing energy transition, NATO strives to ensure military capability, effectiveness and interoperability”, he said. NATO’s efforts align with Jordan’s national security priorities, as recently outlined by the Military Representative for Jordan, Colonel Mohammad Hassan, at the second thematic NATO Military Committee meeting with Partners on Energy Security held in June. “Cooperation with Partners is critical in order to support NATO’s ambition to develop more stable and reliable energy supplies, sources and alternatives”, noted the Chair.
Admiral Rob Bauer closed the visit by expressing gratitude for NATO-Jordan’s enduring friendship, with a strong message of unity against an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable geostrategic environment. “The current security environment highlights the significance of partnerships, which are crucial to protect the global commons and enhance our resilience”, he stated, “NATO Allies are committed to further strengthen our ties with partners that share the Alliance’s values and interest in upholding the rules-based international order. Jordan is, among them, a close friend and a highly valued Partner.”