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16.04.2017 - 08: 12

US - Jordan: chronic partnership

The United States and the Kingdom of Jordan has never been formally bound by the treaty in the field of defense and security. But despite this fact, there has been quite enhanced cooperation in these areas between the two countries over the past two decades.

The geographical position between Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia makes from Jordan a very important strategic buffer on the outskirts, on the one hand, to the Eastern Mediterranean, on the other - to the Persian Gulf. It is the border position of Jordan in relation to Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria that make this country important for the political and military plans of the Americans in the Middle East. According to the official assessment of relations with Jordan, the US Department of State, the United States and Jordan share the commitment to promote regional security and stability. The United States promotes Jordan's economic development, promoting social, political and economic reforms in that country. The United States recognizes the growing urgency of Jordan for security and stability due to regional conflicts, the influx of refugees, Jordan's actions against the terrorist "Islamic State"(LIH - organization banned in Russia).

After the First World War on the part of the previously held Ottoman Palestine mandated by the British Empire, it was created the emirate of Transjordan with the Emir of the Hashemite dynasty -Abdullah ibn Husseinat the head. The emirate of Transjordan existed as a British mandated territory until 1946 year and after independence was transformed into a kingdom. After the annexation by Israel of the Transjordan part of the territories as a result of the first Arab-Israeli war of 1947-1949, the name of the kingdom was changed to "Jordan". Here it should be noted that a short period of British rule created a tradition of special relations between the ruling royal Hashemite family in Great Britain and Great Britain. Until 1957, the security of Jordan was guaranteed by the British. They also provided Jordanian military construction.

Together with the general British "heritage" Jordan has an internal monarchical device resemblance to the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC). However, unlike them, Jordan has no significant economic resources in the form of oil and gas. Ultimately, poverty of Jordan to the Hashemite family chosen strategy and made it dependent on the United States. The United States is providing economic and military aid to Jordan with 1951 and after the political course correction caused by the Suez crisis, with 1957 years.

The total amount of American aid received US Jordan across state lines through the Agency for International Development program (USAID), to 2016 was approximately $ 17,108 billion. This amount does not include allocations for grants for debt relief, food aid between 1999 on 2006 year and the amount of the provision for assistance in mine clearance and in the fight against terrorism, as well as military assistance to Jordan for the Pentagon line.

Initially, the size of US aid every year is different and can be one or a few tens of millions of dollars a year. US aid to Jordan has increased after a multiple of 1996 years. It became a kind of bonus for a separate peace with Israel concluded in 1994, the King of JordanHussein ibn Talal(1952-1999). In the 2003, the US aid to Jordan for the first time once exceeded $ 1 billion after 2013 each year it has exceeded $ 1 billion Jordan received by all except the military, the lines of US aid in 2014 year at $ 1,01 billion, 2015 -.. $ 1,462, 2016 - $ 1,597 billion. on the planned aid to Jordan 2017 year worth at least $ 1,275 billion, of which at least $ 375 million. Jordan intended to replenish the budget.

Apparently, the economic and financial problems of Jordan exacerbated the global crisis 2008 years. administrationBarack Obamatwice had to take extraordinary measures to save the financial system of Jordan. For the first time in 2008, the US and Jordan signed an optional memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assist Jordan during the 5-year period. The second time - in February 2015, the Obama administration and the Jordanian government signed a three-year memorandum of understanding. As part of this agreement, the United States has committed to provide Jordan with $ 1 billion per year in the total flow of foreign aid to the United States, subject to approval by Congress from 2015 to 2017 fiscal year.

If not for US aid and IMF controlled by them, Jordan would have to declare bankruptcy. Jordan's total public debt is $ 35,4 90 billion or% of GDP in the year 2016. This year, the budget deficit amounted to Jordan 6,5% of GDP. Due to the instability of the finance IMF country 2012 year Jordan provided a three-year loan of $ 2 billion. In the 2016, the IMF and Jordan reached a new three-year agreement on the fund in the amount of $ 723 million.

The United States provides economic assistance to Jordan both in the form of cash transfers, some directly to the budget, others to interest payments on loans, and to USAID programs in that country. In particular, according to USAID programs, a significant part of US aid is directed to optimizing the management of scarce water resources in Jordan. Since 2006, the problem of Jordan's water resources has been taken up by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), created on American money. In 2010, MCC approved a five-year contract with Jordan for $ 275,1 million for a program to improve water supply.

Another form of assistance. In the 2013, the Obama administration has provided Jordan three loan guarantees totaling $ 3,75 billion. American guarantees have allowed Jordan to borrow on international financial markets on favorable terms.

Since 2012, the United States is assisting Syrian refugees in Jordan and spent for these purposes $ 814 million. 20% of aid goes to the content of the refugee camps.

Jordan's military cooperation with the United States is a key component of bilateral relations. Prior to the conclusion of a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, the supply of US arms to this country was not full. But after, in 1996, Jordan received the status of "the main ally that is not a member of NATO" in the United States. At present, the military assistance of the United States of Jordan, first of all, is aimed at ensuring that the Jordanian armed forces can acquire and maintain modern American conventional weapons systems. Since 2011, Jordan has received additional military aid from the Pentagon in the amount of $ 774,6 million. The main military aid to Jordan is under the program of Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The civil war in Syria and the participation of Jordan in the operation against IGIL Inherent Resolve demanded an increase in Jordanian military aid, which went through the Pentagon, that is, directly from the US budget.

18 2016 February, President Obama signed an act of US defense cooperation with Jordan, to determine the alleged preferential sale of American weapons to this country over the next three years. Prior to that American aid will support the combat capability of the armament Jordanian fighter F-16. Repair and purchase of new engines for the F-16 have cost $ 115,1 million. US assistance allowed for the purchase of Jordanian F-16 missiles with extended range "air-to-air» AIM-120 AMRAAM to $ 131mln.

Of the new products in recent years, Jordan has acquired: 162 and 1808 Javelin ATGM missiles to them for $ 388 million for the arming of helicopters AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, mobile missile system short-range and night vision devices. Jordan on the Red Sea fleet was enlarged with two patrol «35-meter" boats for $ 80 million.

Jordan receives from the United States and second-hand American arms. In this way, for example, it has got two C-130 transport aircraft.

Due to the worsening due to the actions of the United States Congress authorized the LIH provision for strengthening the security of the borders of Jordan. Specifically, according to the Pentagon line was financed activities to strengthen the Kingdom's border with Syria to $ 150 million. For the same purpose the rapid reaction forces of Jordan received two batches of twelve helicopters UH-60M Black Hawk ($ 200 + $ 117,2 million). In the 2015, Jordan requested additional acquisition of another helicopter UH-60M Blackhawk over $ 21 million for surveillance purposes abroad and combating terrorism.

Counterterrorism cooperation between the security services of Jordan and the CIA, as well as the regional policies of its leaders, made Jordan an important partner of the United States. Jordan from the autumn of 2014 participates in the coalition created by the United States against IGIL and inflicts air strikes on it in Syria and Iraq. Let us recall that the coalition allies of the GCC are only in Syria. At the beginning of 2016, after the loss of one aircraft and the burning of Igilov in the cage of its pilot, Jordan demonstrated its former level of military activity, unlike the UAE and Saudi Arabia, who were concerned about the safety of their pilots.

After the start of US military operations against the LIH in Jordan "at the request of its government," they were sent to approximately 2300 US troops. They are placed indefinitely, until the situation improves. In some cases, special forces of Jordan in cooperation with the US strikes at militants LIH, if they are close to the borders of the Kingdom.

Jordan is an attractive target for LIH due to the difficult domestic economic situation, the form of government "traitors" because of the strong relationship with the US and relations with Israel. American experts say that with 2011 years 4 thousand Jordanian citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq. It is believed that the degree of foreign participation in the LIH Jordanians occupied the second place after the Tunisians.

In the 2016 in Jordan categories associated with LIH, carried out several attacks in which, inter alia, killing American soldiers, the Jordanian military and security personnel. In December 2016, the US State Department issued a warning about the threats posed by terrorist groups, the US citizens when visiting Jordan. All employees of the US government in an official visit to Jordan, must obtain prior permission to visit any area located in 10 km from Jordan's border with Syria.

Officially, the Government of Jordan has denied that the country has provided technical and financial support to the Syrian rebels fighting the government of President troopsBashar al-Assad. Instead, the government of Jordan in every possible way emphasizes its participation in the international coalition against IGIL. This is like a cover. However, in practice, Jordan in military terms directly supports the "moderate" Syrian rebel groups, like some "Southern Front" operating in the south-west of Syria. Immediately in the border zone with Jordan in Syria, the units associated with IGIL are also operating. In Jordan, they fear that after the fall of Aleppo military actions with Russian participation will move to the south of Syria, ie, to the borders of Jordan. Last year, the Kingdom tried to coordinate its activities with Moscow in order to prevent a clash of armed forces. Since the beginning of 2017, Jordanian officials have supported diplomatic efforts by Russia and Turkey to achieve a cease-fire and the start of the peace process.

The most serious consequence of the Syrian conflict for Jordan was the flow of refugees from Syria. Jordan accepted at least about 655 thousand registered Syrian refugees, who increased the population of the country by 10%. As of January 2017, about 85 thousand Syrian refugees remain on the border with Syria of the unsettled desert Berm. After the London conference on refugees in February 2016, Jordan gave permission to work for 200 thousands of Syrian refugees, expanded access to education for more than 165 thousand Syrian children. In June 2016, taking advantage of another terrorist attack as an excuse, the government of Jordan closed the border with Syria for refugees. At the same time, Jordan warned Damascus, and indirectly, to Moscow, that "any action that will push refugees to our border with Syria or push it towards our border will be considered Jordan's military act."

It is only natural that Jordan supported the application of the US missile strike on the basis of the Air Forces in Syria, Homs. On the eve of this aggravation, April 5 2017 years, the official visit of the King of JordanAbdullahin Washington. King met with the PresidentDonald Trump. After that, from sources in the Jordan became aware of the preparation of the armed forces of the USA, the UK and Jordan co-operation against "terrorists" on the Jordanian-Syrian border. Prior to that, in March of the year 2017 the Jordanian capital - Amman visited British Prime Minister Theresa May. May also visited the headquarters of the Special Forces of the Kingdom. Apparently, during this visit, we determine the prospects for Britain's participation in the military operations in Syria with the Americans with Jordan direction.

If the war in Syria or LIH is the current security policy challenge Jordan's relations with Israel constitute a constant fundamental problem for the Kingdom.

In the 1994, Jordan and Israel signed a separate peace treaty. In fact, Jordan has recognized the results of the Arab-Israeli wars 1947-1949 and 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan and East Jerusalem. Jordan and betrayed the principles of Arab unity against Israel.

This circumstance has improved Jordan's relations with Western governments and international financial institutions, which allows Amman to count on external support and assistance. Between Jordan and Israel, a number of bilateral agreements were signed aimed at normalizing economic and cultural ties. Both countries exchanged ambassadors. The payment for a peace treaty on the part of Israel was the transfer of water from Tiberias Lake to Jordan. In December 2013, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority signed a regional water agreement on the use of the Dead Sea water.

The United States for the legitimization of Israel in the Middle East is interested in drawing Jordan into economic relations with it. For example, since 2011, Jordan had to purchase more natural gas in the open market, as pipeline supplies from Egypt were interrupted due to repeated terrorist attacks on gas pipelines in the Sinai Peninsula. In September 2016, the state electric power company of Jordan, NEPCO, signed an 15-year contract with the American consortium Noble Energy Inc. and the Israeli company Delek Drilling-LP for the import of natural gas from Israel for $ 10 billion. Under the contract, 28 million cubic meters of gas will be supplied to Jordan, which will cover approximately 40% of the Jordanian electricity generation. Supplies to Jordan from the Leviathan offshore field in Israel will begin in 2019 through a pipeline that is currently under construction.

Nevertheless, broad public discontent was expressed against economically viable contracts with Israel in Jordan. The continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite peace with Israel 1994, remains a serious problem for Jordan. The question of the rights of Palestinians finds the most lively response among the majority of the population of Jordan. More than half of all citizens of Jordan are descended from Palestinian refugees. Jordanians of Palestinian origin make up about 55% to 70% of the population and, as a rule, they tend to gravitate towards the private sector because of the initial impossibility of holding positions in the state and military service in Jordan.

Therefore, the government of Jordan has reacted extremely negatively to Donald Trump's promise as a presidential candidate to transfer the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In early January of 2017, the government of Jordan warned that the move of the US Embassy in Jerusalem would become a "red line" for Jordan. In the peace treaty of the year 1994, the rights of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan were confirmed for the historical Muslim shrines of Jerusalem. Since 1924, the monarch of Jordan was officially recognized as the keeper of the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram ash-Sharif or the "Noble Sanctuary".

Against the backdrop of the Islamic revolution in domestic and regional politics, poverty, corruption, slow economic growth and high unemployment, especially among young people and women, have become a challenge for Jordan. Unemployment among young people up to 24 years is in 29,3% in Jordan. It should be noted that in the age category from one to 24 years 55% of the population of Jordan is listed. This is a ready-made powder keg. Unemployment among women is 48,8%, that is, almost half. Every year, thousands of Jordanians go abroad in search of better jobs and opportunities. Jordan suffers from a "brain drain". Unemployment breeds extremism.

Officially, Jordan is currently listed as a "constitutional monarchy". However, the constitution of Jordan, and in its last edition from 2016 year, gives the king the widest executive powers. So, for example, the king appoints the prime minister and can reject or accept his resignation. He also has the exclusive right to appoint a crown prince, senior military leaders, constitutional court judges and all senators for the upper house of the local parliament. The king appoints cabinet ministers. The constitution allows the king to dissolve both houses of parliament and postpone elections to the lower house for two years. The king can circumvent lawmakers through a constitutional mechanism that allows legislation to be issued at a time when parliament is not sitting or has been dissolved. The king can also issue royal decrees that are not subject to parliamentary control. The king commands the armed forces, declares war and ratifies treaties. Article 195 of the Jordanian criminal code prohibits offending the dignity of the king. Ultimately, the amendments to the constitution strengthened the centralization of Jordan's governance by the ruling royal family and made the constitutional constituent of the monarchy spectral.

With this form of government, political parties in Jordan are extremely weak and have a predominantly sectarian rather than civic orientation. In Jordan, there are Islamic parties: the Jordanian Brotherhood of Muslims and the political wing of the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as the Islamic Action Front. Because of the events in Egypt in 2011-2013, the Jordanian authorities in the spring of 2015 banned the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. The withdrawal of the Muslim Brotherhood from the political process is capable of radicalizing a certain part of the local population and additionally adversely affecting the country's security.

The US Department of State's report on human rights in Jordan for 2016 lists the following problems in this area: the inability of citizens to choose their highest governing body, the restriction of freedom of expression, including harassment of journalists, the use by security agencies of detainees of ill-treatment and even torture, and meetings, poor conditions in prisons, violation of the right to privacy, gender inequality, violence against women and children, legal and public th discrimination against women, religious minorities, LGBT, human trafficking and so on. e., t. e. a common set of conservative Arab monarchies, however, not an employee the reason for the imposition of sanctions. The US response to such violations has always been muted, since Jordan is a key ally of the United States on the approaches to Israel.

Jordan has a small industrial base. Kingdom's economy is heavily dependent on aid from abroad, tourism, remittances from emigrants and the services sector. In the 2016, the growth of the Jordanian economy was about 2%. The state of Jordan is the largest employer, which is directly related to the well-being, according to various estimates, between one and two thirds of the workers.

In the 2000, the United States and Jordan signed a free trade agreement (FTA). This was the first agreement of its kind with the Arab world. In addition, a special decision of the Congress of the United States products, created in industrial areas of Israel, Jordan, Egypt or the West Bank and Gaza Strip are imported into the United States duty-free. In the 2016 21%, the export of Jordan was in the United States. If the export of Jordan United States is in first place, then on imports - the third after Saudi Arabia and China.

The United States and Jordan have "open skies" agreement on civil aviation, Bilateral Investment Treaty, an agreement on scientific and technical cooperation and a memorandum of understanding in the field of nuclear energy. Officially, these agreements stimulate economic growth and contribute to the "diversification" of the economy of Jordan, although the latter is by no means "oil" or "monokulurnoy". Jordan clearly problems become chronic, and the United States enjoy this.

A source: EADaily

Tags: US, Jordan, Politics, International Relations, Middle East, Analytics, Economy, Armament, Israel