Research Paper: Arab Spring: Jordan the Middle

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[. . .] S. And other Western nations have reaped from their relationship with certain MENA nations is the fact that they have been able to attain a small amount of supposed safety from relationships that they have fostered and from intelligence sources. Both economics and safety appear to be in jeopardy though.

Safety

There is a network of countries, called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), formed in 1981 (Blanche "Club") which has recently sought to gather together a number of allies that can work to thwart the aims of organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The GCC has tried to get Jordan to join because the country is seen as one of the more stable forces in the region, and it has a long reputation as a West-friendly nation. Jordan is coveted as a friend because the country borders the biggest ally the U.S. has in the region (Israel) and another that is sometimes questionable in Saudi Arabia, but has been a support much of the time. However,

"Reformist and liberal currents fear the offer may be an opening for a military alliance aimed at countering Iran and the Arab Spring revolutions simultaneously & #8230; The reformist current also fears certain practical consequences as a result of Jordan joining the GCC: human rights (regarding women, minorities, and freedom of opinion and expression) could be infringed and the future of reform and democratic transformation in the country could be affected" (Blanche "Club").

In other words, Jordan wants to join the alliance, but they have some amount of trepidation in doing so. Some of the other members of the alliance are much more fanatical than Jordan, and they may want to press the country's government to enact laws that would enhance their adherence to Islam while restricting the freedoms that their people already enjoy. Jordan has to look at the issue from both points-of-view because they do not want to alienate the member nations or their people. Jordan is also in a quandary because its people see the rush to join the GCC and its continued good relations with the U.S. As problematic.

The issue right now is that even the allies that the U.S. has gathered are skeptical because of the response the U.S. made during the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. "The way the Saudis view the upheaval of the Arab Spring, the U.S. abandonment of Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, to his fate in the face of a popular uprising against his regime was yet another sign that the U.S. could no longer be relied on" (Blanche "Club"). This reputation has ben spreading among the closest allies that the U.S. has had such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and it has not been enhanced by further inaction with Gaddafi and in Syria. The U.S. is allowing events to unfold without a great deal of action. The issue for the leaders in Saudi Arabia and Jordan is that they have close ties to the U.S., they are well-established monarchies, and, in the case of Jordan, there is a large amount of unemployment. These factors make it more dangerous for the countries going forward, but there are even more problems for the U.S. As related to their long time Middle Eastern allies.

The security and intelligence networks that the U.S. had worked for decades to establish in the Middle East has largely been compromised because of the Arab Spring uprisings. The intelligence gathering system was not necessarily used to spy on allies (Cotelesse), but they have been used to provide the warnings needed to prevent terrorist attacks from occurring in the West. The West relies on the intelligence systems of the Middle Eastern countries that it deals with, and the agents that they have been allowed to place in MENA countries because of the good relations that they have with their allies in the region.

One problem was marked by Ed Blanche of The Middle East (a Western newspaper) when he said that

"Jordan, a vital U.S. ally in the intelligence war, remains steadfast under King Abdullah II, as is Saudi Arabia under King Abdullah, whose wide-ranging but opaque intelligence establishment has often been challenging to deal with over the years & #8230; But western sources say there has been a marked drop in the flow of intelligence from key Arab allies in recent months, as the region has been swept by unprecedented turmoil, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and even onetime adversary Libya."

Jordan has not wanted to respond to recent calls from the U.S. To support some of its intelligence gathering efforts because they seem to have abandoned other leaders. The basic question is how can leaders in Jordan and Saudi Arabia be sure that the U.S. will come to the aid of their allies when they have so far shown that they are not willing to do so to any great extent. So far the Arab Spring has been an "intelligence gathering disaster" for the U.S. And other Western countries because of this problem (Blanch "Arab"). But, it is difficult to fault either Jordan or Saudi Arabia when one looks at the indifference that seems evident, especially in the case of Mubarak who had been a key U.S. ally for 30 years.

One of the biggest issues for the U.S. In this arena is that there are laws that U.S. citizens must follow whether they are on U.S. soil or not. The present administration has shown a willingness to condemn its own citizens engaged in peace-keeping and military operations in favor of foreign nationals. Because of this fear, and the realization that U.S. law prohibits stringent intelligence gathering methods that may be seen as torturous to the individual involved, the U.S. uses foreign intelligence services to do their "dirty work," so to speak. One operative within the Cia said that

"First and foremost is the loss of the so-called "black rendition" system the CIA launched after 9/11. That involved the agency secretly flying captured terrorist suspects to Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and other Arab states for interrogation by their intelligence services, which frequently involved torture" (Blanche "Arab").

For many years the U.S. had used this system because it was thought to be better than transporting a dissident from a foreign region to the United States for interrogation. This is the stated reason, but actually the foreign intelligence services do not have the restrictions placed on them that the U.S. service does. This has worked for both the nations in the Middle East and the West, but the distrust that has been generated between the U.S. And its allies in Jordan and Saudi Arabia has caused them to be reluctant to continue the practice. Jordan especially is trying to make sure that nothing happens that can lead to any enhancement of the small protests that the nation has seen so far.

However, there is another nation in the region that the U.S. is much more concerned about than Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Israel is an island amid a sea of enemies. Even the countries that have not proved hostile in the past 20 or 30 years since the conflicts during the initial stages of Israeli nation-building, cannot be completely trusted. The success of the Israeli state has been of great concern to the West, and especially the U.S., because many of the people that populate the country originally came from the West. The U.S. has provided a great deal of aid to the country, but they have not been able to assist with any type of meaningful peace negotiations. Since 1979 when Sadat, Begin and Carter first came up with a plan that could end much of the struggle between Arab countries and Israel, there have been constant breakdowns in negotiations. This is mainly because of Israel poor relationship with the Palestinian people who occupy parts of the country (Manila Bulletin). The security of Israel goes a long way to maintaining the security of Western nations because the intelligence service in Israel has more of an idea what is happening in the region. This means that the U.S. And other Western states have to work with Israel, and their fears of the Arab Spring uprisings, to make sure that the security that Israel affords them remains intact.

Economics

Security is probably the greatest threat that the U.S. And its Western allies have concerned themselves with, but there is also the problem of financial security. Jordan has seen a recent increase in their GDP that far outstripped what they thought was possible (Malloch-Brown). They are a part of an "Arab region of some 340 million people [that] possesses strength upon which to build future foundations: a dynamic/young population, vast natural resources (besides oil and natural gas), a large regional market (worth $2 trillion), an advantageous geo-strategic location and access to key Asian markets" (Siddiqi & Smith). This growth has not been lost on the U.S. And other Western nations because they also reap the benefits of these countries being strong financially. Jordan is one… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Arab Spring: Jordan the Middle.  (2012, May 3).  Retrieved April 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-spring-jordan-middle/7558548

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"Arab Spring: Jordan the Middle."  Essaytown.com.  May 3, 2012.  Accessed April 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/arab-spring-jordan-middle/7558548.