Jordan: U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report provides an overview of Jordanian politics and current issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations. It provides a brief overview of Jordans government and economy and of its cooperation in promoting Arab-Israeli peace and other U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East. This report will be updated regularly. Several issues in U.S.-Jordanian relations are likely to figure in decisions by Congress and the Administration on future aid to and cooperation with Jordan. These include the stability of the Jordanian regime, the role of Jordan in the Arab-Israeli peace process, Jordan s role in stabilizing Iraq, and U.S.-Jordanian military and intelligence cooperation. Although the United States and Jordan have never been linked by a formal treaty, they have cooperated on a number of regional and international issues over the years. The country s small size and lack of major economic resources have made it dependent on aid from Western and friendly Arab sources. U.S. support, in particular, has helped Jordan deal with serious vulnerabilities, both internal and external. Jordan s geographic position, wedged between Israel, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, has made it vulnerable to the strategic designs of its more powerful neighbors, but has also given Jordan an important role as a buffer between these potential adversaries. In 1990, Jordan s unwillingness to join the allied coalition against Iraq disrupted its relations with the United States and the Persian Gulf states however, relations improved throughout the 1990s as Jordan played an increasing role in the Arab-Israeli peace process and distanced itself from Saddam Hussein s Iraq. The United States has markedly increased aid to Jordan since the mid-1990s to help Jordan strengthen its economy, maintain domestic stability, and pursue normalization of its relations with Israel.
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