The New Year, 2017, is ominous on both political and security levels; both internally and externally, for Jordan.
Prime of these challenges is the holding of the decentralised Municipal elections, and there is a lot riding on it to advance administrative and developmental progress, releasing the subsequent political strain on relations between the House of Representatives and the Government, in regards to governorate services, which will soon be part of the governorate boards’ specialty.
But decentralisation requires momentous citizen and bureaucratic preparation, driven by a culture that realises the objectives and goals of this step as well as its dynamics, else, it would fail.
Accordingly, this brings to light the importance of cultural prefacing and training, which is yet to be seriously initiated. There should also be an inauguration of the programme with the arrival of the New Year as well as before the elections.
The Arab Summit in Mars, similarly, is a zealously awaited event by politicians.
When Jordan agreed to host the Summit, two conditional statements were laid: first, a statement of representation; and second, of the minimum turnout. Aware of the fact that the current disputes are not addressable at the time being, Jordan seeks among other benifitial advances, the aggregation of Arab public opinion and political forces against any possible American decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, as President-Elect Donald Trump reiterated.
Such a move would weigh heavy on Jordan as the Kingdom seems to be standing alone against Israel in this Jerusalem thing, for it will have endless implications on the situation. So, Jordan will seek to restore the Arab stance and fortify it, as a political position against a possibly imminent American decision.
Notwithstanding, one of 2017’s major challenges is terrorism and extremism, and the ISIS escalation of confrontation with Jordan to an unprecedented new level, with the Karak events having being officially adopted by the terrorist Organisation, followed by the provocative statement made by ISIS proponents here, calling in what seems like a declaration of war on national security.
The decision makers are addressing this concern through one major lens: youth, in an attempt to safeguard our young from falling into the pits of this terrifying darkness, and therefore costing us the real and most decisive battle against terrorism; despite all the battles we win.
So, the Ministry of Youth was restored, as a basic priority for the government’s next plans, including development of youth centre roles and mechanisms by which state-public communication with this particular segment of society can be vitalised by extracurricular activities, coordinating plans among different institutions invested and respective in the youth regards, to redirect their vacancy from harmful discourses which may lead them into extremism and terror.
On the foreign frontier, Jordan’s role has relatively receded over the recent years, in terms of influence on regional events. And that is because, according to the official story, Jordan has no interest in the proxy wars surrounding us, nor in the destructive sectarian drag. Which is catalyst behind Jordan’s gentlemen’s accord with Russia to freeze the Daraa front, pending ongoing developments, with hopes for the attainment of a political solution in Syria.
Of course, the new president will take charge of the foreign affair soon. Until then all await his actual approach, especially in Syria. Meanwhile, a Russian-Turkish rearrangement is prefacing for the Astana talks in the beginning or end of January 2017, and it is vital to explore the horizons of resolution over there.
Behind all that, Jordan’s eye is fixed on ISIS, on the possible return of hundreds of Jordanian ISIS militants to Jordan, and on how to deal with them.
A solid comment on my articles criticised how they do not break out of the official storyline! And that is true, because I do not seek to propose a scientific conceptualisation for it, which will soon be issued by the Strategic Studies Centre at the University of Jordan, as much as I am trying to read and mitigate estimations of the decision makers’ priorities for the New Year.