Abdullah's Jordan: America's Anxious Ally
By Robert J. Bookmiller
Since his surprise ascension to the throne in 1999, King Abdullah II has sought to reposition Jordan closer to the United States, while at the same time expand Amman's contacts and participation in multilateral international forums. Mindful of the tightrope that he walks with the Palestinian Question, the Israeli peace treaty and his country's one-time largest trading partner, Iraq, Abdullah has tried to gain leverage on these issues by forging closer ties with the United States. Yet, his active backing of Washington's war against terrorism and tacit support for the US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq has placed Jordan at odds with many other Arab states. Concurrently, Abdullah has also raised Jordan's international profile via multilateral forums and advocated policies in those settings which are often contrary to US views. Amman has actively championed numerous initiatives from the creation of the International Criminal Court to the ban on antipersonnel landmines and joined with a dozen other small and middle powers to form the Human Security Network, which focuses on the right of people to be free from want and fear. This article will examine the domestic and international factors which contribute to Jordan's diplomatic reorientation undertaken by King Abdullah after the September 11th attacks on the United States.
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