Resource-limited Jordan will enter 2015 with little attention to development or social welfare, because of the need to preserve what neighboring countries have lost: security and stability. The country’s economic, political and social situations are bleak, and have been so since at least since 2003.
However, given the turbulent surroundings, one can understand why consecutive governments have been unable to bring about the necessary change to improve Jordanians’ lives. Amid fears over national stability and security, development and social welfare have become a luxury.
As Jordan enters 2015, the question is whether its people will continue to be understanding of their government’s inability to alleviate their accumulated problems.Raed Omari
Jordan has embarked on a package of reforms, and has able security bodies that are not violent. However, the major reason behind the kingdom’s ability to preserve security and stability is Jordanians’ understanding of their country’s difficult geopolitical status.
That is why the Arab Spring bypassed the kingdom, why political conservatives are more popular and influential than Islamists and leftists, and why most Jordanians have come to accept the planned natural gas imports from Israel despite seeing it as an enemy or unfriendly neighbor.
However, as Jordan enters 2015, the question is whether its people will continue to be understanding of their government’s inability to alleviate their accumulated problems. For example, how long will Jordanians tolerate the refugee burden given their country’s economic difficulties? On the other hand, they cannot afford to see Jordan turn into Syria or Iraq.
Even if Syria’s war ends in 2015, which is unlikely, it would take years for the 1.5 million refugees in Jordan to be able to return home. As such, they have become a long-term reality in the kingdom. Neighboring Iraq is also expected to continue suffering from instability and violence in 2015, obliging Jordan to take costly military measures to avert a spillover.
The kingdom begins the year with one of its pilots a prisoner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This in itself is a big challenge for Jordan, taking into consideration its membership in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, and Iraqi requests for Jordanian military training of troops and tribes fighting the jihadist group.
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