Will Jordan Hold Fast Against IS?

Jordan, Israel’s neighbor and important strategic ally, is a member of the U.S.-led anti-IS coalition and provides crucial tactical and strategic support. But there is a great deal of sympathy for IS in Jordan, and domestic pressures could combine with economic woes and the destabilizing influx of Syrian refugees to change King Abdullah’s course. David Schenker writes:

According to a poll published last month by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, only 62 percent of Jordanians consider IS—and a mere 31 percent the Syria-based al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front—to be terrorist organizations. Even more stunning, just 44 percent of Jordanians surveyed say that al-Qaeda is a terrorist group. Given these sentiments, it’s not surprising that many Jordanians oppose their military’s participation in the campaign targeting IS and Nusra Front.

In fact, objections to a Jordanian role in the anti-IS alliance emerged before the state signed up. In the beginning of September, 21 members of Jordan’s parliament sent a memo to its speaker rejecting the Kingdom’s participation. “This war is not our war,” the representatives wrote.

Read more at New Republic

More about: Al Qaeda, ISIS, Israeli Security, Jordan, Nusra Front

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7