This year Jordan’s King Abdullah and Queen Rania attended Georgetown University’s graduation ceremony for their undergraduate class. They were there before their son; Prince Hussein was graduating with a degree in international history. As American client states and allies go – how can you get better than Jordan? I’ve spent a good amount of time in Jordan. I enjoyed my time and only have good things to say about my encounters with Jordanians.
There’s a hotel in Jordan and the room service attendant memorized my order. When I returned after a four-month break, it was still memorized. Jordan has a small town feel. It’s a small country. Jordanians refreshingly have a strong national identity.
When it comes to the Middle East Jordan may be the most transparent. There seems to be a synergy to our respective strategic interests. In some ways we’re on the same team. The Jordanian’s were among the first with us to take the fight against ISIL. Jordan has been a responsible actor for the region. Jordan has received refugees from both Syria, Palestine, and Iraq. Jordan aggressively combats terrorism within their borders.
With the Syrian conflict is slowly spreading toward its borders, Jordan has been profoundly resilient. The Jordanians have begun to crackdown on homegrown extremists. Jordanian soldiers were killed in a border attack, and Jordan is likely to increase their security posture. It is the linchpin of the Middle East and at this point, without Jordan the refugee crisis in the Middle East would be beyond anyone’s control. This is not to say that it is at a sustainable place, today.
The increasingly precarious position of Jordan in the world should alarm Americans. There has hardly been a better ally in the region than the Jordanians. They’ve collaborated and cooperated, and more importantly, they’ve taken in so many of the area’s needy. But more so, without Jordan – the Middle East as we know it would be completely shaken. So much of the Middle East and the Sunni Arab world is intertwined with Jordan that any instability in the region is felt in Jordan. It has limited resources, and a restless public due to lack of employment and wages.
Also, at any given time there are many American service members and ex-patriots in Jordan. Other than the Iraqi embassy, the Jordanian embassy is one the largest and highest profile U.S. embassies. We’re heavily invested in the country and their military. We have deep ties and a real partnership that is unlikely to waiver. When and if the Syrian civil war spills over in a big way – we should help secure Jordan.
Featured image courtesy of www.24news.ca.