The Role of the Jordanian Army in Regional Stability: Its role in the Arab Spring as case study (2011-2016)

waleed khaled abudalbouh

Abstract


The Arab Spring has changed the political dynamics of the Middle East dramatically since late 2010. Starting from the revolution in Tunisia, subsequent revolutions and political disorder swiftly swept across the so called Arab region/ the Arab uprising. Jordan also witnessed strong waves of political movements demanding various forms of reforms. Despite political frustrations, the overall political scene in Jordan appeared much more stable and much less violent compared to other Arab countries. The state security apparatus kept the domestic political situation highly under controland the riot police (Darak forces) was very active to suppress small civil uprisings in different cities within the kingdom. The Jordanian army remained unused instrument in dealing with the political movements which took place since late 2010. Sincethere has been no significant role taken by the Jordanian army domestically. The question worth asking here is, whether and to what extent the Jordanian army has had a relevant role in dealing with overall social and political movements in the Middle East since the spark of the Arab Spring. The objective of this research accordingly is to assess the extent to which military power in general and the Jordanian army in specific is capable to deliver peace and stability. The paper argues that the Arab Spring has enhanced the external role of the Jordanian army in the region, in particular in Arab states which have confronted social unrest and civic violence since early 2011. The paper starts with a historical description of the emergence of the Jordanian military to cast the gradual transformation of Jordanian Army duties and resposibilities to serve state's national intersts at various periods of time. With its descriptive approach – along with qualitative personal interviews method in many occasions - the paper investigates how the Arab Spring enforced an external role of the Jordanian military. It examines the role of the Jordanian army in four Arab states affected by political and social uprisings: Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, and Syria using critical analysis based on empirical findings and feedback interview information. In the final section, the paper assesses the relevance of external engagement of the military for generating funds for the Jordanian kingdom and how these feed into the national security strategy in the context of enhanced regional instability

Keywords


the Jordanian Armed forces, the Arab Spring, Stability, Foreign Policy, Peacekeeping Mission.

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