In responding to the growing security crisis emanating from Syria, Jordan finds itself caught between the positions of the United States and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with the U.S. insisting on restraint and gradualism in Syria and the six-member GCC pushing hard to tip the military balance against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Jordan’s King Abdullah must negotiate these competing forces to manage what he sees as an imminent threat in Syria.
Seen from Jordan’s perspective, that threat can be explained in terms of three concentric rings of security. The first ring is the growing influx of Syrian refugees, who now number more than 460,000 and cost Jordan some $500 million a year. Jordan sees the refugees not simply as an economic burden that will aggravate the kingdom’s unemployment, inflation, and water and fuel shortages, but also as a serious security problem. This anxiety is shaped in part by Amman’s concern that Jordan’s demographic balance may tilt in favor of the country’s large populations of long-term refugees, namely Palestinians, present in Jordan since 1948, and Iraqis, who have sought refuge since the 1991 Gulf War. In addition, Jordan’s apprehension about Syrian refugees is driven by an acute sense of vulnerability to terrorism. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
Sign up for two weeks of free access with your credit card. Cancel any time during the free trial and you will be charged nothing.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Strategic Horizons: Obama’s Islamic State Strategy Avoids Failure—but Also Success
- Yemen’s Women Fight to Protect Uprising’s Gains Amid New Turmoil
- Russia Becomes the Middle East’s Preferred but Flawed Nuclear Partner
- Diplomatic Fallout: U.N. Serves as Perfect Alibi for Big Power Inaction in Unfixable Crises
- Qatar Ties Reflect India’s Middle East Balancing Act