Jordan–United States relations

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Jordan – United States relations
Map indicating locations of Jordan and USA


United States

Jordan–United States relations covers the bilateral relations between Jordan and the United States. Jordan has been a very close Major non-NATO ally in the Middle East since 1996.[1]


King Hussein meeting US President Jimmy Carter in Washington in 1977

Relations between the U.S. and Jordan have been close for over four decades. U.S. policy seeks to reinforce Jordan's commitment to peace, stability, and moderation. The peace process and Jordan's opposition to terrorism parallel and indirectly assist wider U.S. interests. Accordingly, through economic and military assistance and through close political cooperation, the United States has helped Jordan maintain its stability and prosperity.[2]

Since its inception, Jordan has relied on sponsorship from major Western powers. Great Britain filled this role until the late 1940s; the U.S. stepped in during the 1950s. During the Gulf War of 1991, Jordan tried to solve the situation in an Arabian framework[clarification needed] that the U.S. interpreted as pro-Iraq. As a result, the U.S. started monitoring the country's only ocean port, Aqaba, to prevent any supplies from reaching Iraq. Jordan suffered financial hardships for this, and attitudes toward the U.S. only improved during the Madrid Conference of 1991, where the U.S. deemed Jordanian participation as essential.[3]

King Abdullah advised Washington against the 2003 Iraq War, but later allegedly gave the invading coalition some degree of covert and tacit support, despite the overwhelming opinion of his own public.[4] The Jordanian government publicly opposed the war against Iraq. The King stressed to the United States and European Union that a diplomatic solution, in accordance with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 1284 (1999) and 1409 (2002), was the only appropriate model for resolving the conflict between Iraq and the UN.[5] In August 2002 he told the Washington Post that an attempt to invade Iraq would be a "tremendous mistake" and that it could "throw the whole area into turmoil".[6]


U.S. Air Force Special Tactics Commandos training with Jordanian special operations forces

Since 1952, the United States has provided Jordan with economic assistance totaling more than $9 billion ($1.3 billion in loans and $7.7 billion in grants), including funds for development projects, health care, education, construction to increase water availability, support for microeconomic policy shifts toward a more completely free market system, and both grant and loan acquisition of U.S. agriculture commodities. These programs have been successful and have contributed to Jordanian stability while strengthening the bilateral relationship. U.S. military assistance—provision of material and training—is designed to meet Jordan's legitimate defense needs, including preservation of border integrity and regional stability. Jordan signed a Threshold Agreement with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in October 2006, and was subsequently deemed by the MCC to be eligible for a Compact Agreement in recognition of the country's progress on economic, social, and political reform indicators.[2]

As of 2013, the United States had given Jordan's intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate (the G.I.D), over $3.3 billion in aid over the previous five years, with another $200 million pledged for the Syrian refugee crisis.[7] The G.I.D is a close partner of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[7] In 2014, due to concerns over Jordan's fragile economy being stretched by the influx of Syrian refugees, President Obama announced he would seek $1 billion in loan guarantees in addition to the $1.25 billion Congress approved in 2013.[8]

Human Rights Promotion[edit]

Since the deadly terrorist attacks of 9/11, the United States has focused on security and stability in the region, while simultaneously fighting the War on Terror. As military training and intelligence operations became a higher priority after 2001, the Bush Administration revised the nation's rhetoric on human rights promotion and democracy in the region, despite the turbulent political climate of the Middle East. In an effort to move toward a more interventionist foreign policy, Bush created a specific freedom agenda. He has strongly encouraged "...the spread of freedom as the great alternative to the terrorists' ideology of hatred...". Based on American ideals of democracy and liberty, the agenda emphasizes the way the continued spread of freedoms can combat the conditions and opposition that breed extremism. The United States' strong push for action and democratic reform, especially from 2001 to 2008 resulted in the refinement of technical programs and an increase in democracy assistance. Issues of gender empowerment, legislative reform, emphasis on elections, and support for educational and developmental programs have risen to the forefront.

Recent reform/action taken for human rights promotion and democratization in Jordan include: - 2,800 troops deployed for protection of the border - New leadership for the Ministry of Interior, Jordanian Armed Forces, and the General Intelligence - Democracy assistance for programs such as Jordan School Expansion Project, Community Engagement Project, Local Enterprise Support Activity, and Workforce Development Program - Push to pass proposal for the number of female representatives to grow to 23, one representative for each electoral district


Principal U.S. officials in Jordan include:

The U.S. embassy is located in Abdoun, Amman.

Friends of Jordan Caucus[edit]

In the United States Congress, the Friends of Jordan Caucus was launched March 6, 2009, to support a strong relationship between Jordan and the United States and to facilitate the exchange of ideas between Members of the House of Representatives and Jordanian officials. The caucus will be co-chaired by Congressmen Schiff and Boustany, and Congressmen Baird and Fortenberry (R-NE) will serve as vice chairs.[9]

See also[edit]

King Abdullah II with Queen Rania visiting Washington, DC, 6 March 2007.


  1. ^ Sharp, Jeremy M. (February 16, 2018). Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations (PDF). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Relations With Jordan" Background Notes
  3. ^ Elayyan, Hani Ismael (2007). "Jordan". In Levinson, David; Christensen, Karen (eds.). Global Perspectives on the United States: A Nation by Nation Survey. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group, Volume 1. pp. 350–4. ISBN 978-1-933782-06-5.
  4. ^ Rick Fawn and Raymond Hinnebusch The Iraq Causes and Consequences War (US, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers:2006, p. 143)
  5. ^ Rick Fawn and Raymond Hinnebusch The Iraq Causes and Consequences War (US, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers:2006, p. 144)
  6. ^ G. Kessler and P. Slevin, "Abdullah: Foreign Oppose Attack; Jordanian King to Urge Bush to Focus on Peace in Mideast, Not Invasion of Iraq," Washington Post, 1 August 2002
  7. ^ a b Eells, Josh (19 July 2013). "Sleep-Away Camp for Postmodern Cowboys". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2013. Jordan's intelligence agency, the G.I.D., is a close partner of the C.I.A. in the Arab world, and over the past five years, the United States has given Jordan more than $3.3 billion in aid and pledged an additional $200 million to help cope with the refugees who have poured over the Syrian border since August.
  8. ^ ARLENE SUPERVILLE (Feb 14, 2014). "Obama To Seek Additional Financial Aid For Jordan". Associated Press.
  9. ^ "Congressional Friends of Jordan Caucus Launched". Reuters. 6 March 2008.

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website

Further reading[edit]

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