Next… It All Comes Together

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 6 February / Feb 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

It all comes together; the airstrike carried out by the Royal Jordanian Air Force against ISIS sites in the Syrian south a few days ago is not in any way secluded from the crystallising regional discourse, fundamentally reflective on Jordan’s interests and national security.

Whether it is the ongoing developments in Iraq or Syria, or even the arrival of the United States’ new administration in office, in regards to the relocation of the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem, notwithstanding the pending Arab Summit in Amman, it all has something to do with it.

In regards to Syria, Jordan is participating in the Astana Talks as an observer state, which much hope for the Russian role in the facilitation of the required political resolution in Syria.

Equally instrumental; the importance of the Astana Talks lies in the fact that, put aside the war on terror, it may facilitate the construction of political resolution on one hand, either that or the establishment of “Safe Zones” north and south of Syria.

America’s proposed safe zones, initially, seems to be acceptable by the Russians, but it would require extensive development, pending the convergence of US and Russian views.

However, if it does work, militarily speaking, then it may very well be an opportunity to invest in it economically; which would help Syrians and may also reopen commercial lines with Damascus.

As far as combatting terrorism goes, the pressures ISIS are taking in Iraq and Syria will soon turn the Syrian Badia region; from Deir al Zour to Palmyra, all the way Rukban and further to the east, into a terror infested swamp zone, which is what Amman is looking into as a massive responsibility, both security-wise and military, whereby Jordan would have to play a vital and indispensable role, along with friends overseas and proponent forces within Syria, like the Southern Frontier and the south Syrian tribes.

In Iraq, Jordan hopes to develop an active role in the national Iraqi reconciliation; Jordan considerably good ties with both Sunni and Shiite components of the Iraqi society, and will most probably try to convene with them before the Arab summit. Moreover, relations between Amman and Baghdad are gaining momentum recently, and are seen by Jordan as an invaluable key to alleviate some of the pressures of the economic crisis.

As for the American decision to relocate the US embassy, Jordan will have to wait until US Perisdent Trump meets with Netanyahu soon, in order for the US position on the Palestinian cause to be clear in terms of implications, both internally and externally.

Even though Arab Summits are not publically and politically seen as much, given the low level of expectations, Jordan’s attentiveness to it is not pointless; the Summit may be the perfect platform for Jordan to mediate an Arab-Iraqi reconciliation and construct a clear Arab stance on the Jerusalem situation that is communicable to the American Administration.

Also, Jordan can try to contribute, via the summit, in the aggregation of support for the political resolution in Syria.

All together, the summit is a chance for Jordan to try and reconstruct the Arab System.

Expectedly, the US position on Iran could push the Arabs, as well as Israel, to be optimistic. But Jordan is alert to making sure this is not on the expense of Palestine!

Despite the complexity and difficulty of the compound strategic-security-military challenges facing Jordan, the Kingdom is smartly well situated in regards to national interests and strategies in dealing with threats.

On one side, Jordan has maintained strong relations with both the Americans and the Russians, while on the other, mitigating the Iraqi situation, all the while maintaining the influence and capacity to address developments on the south and south eastern Syrian frontier on the borderline with Jordan.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.