Jordan: Still Stable, But Less So

A brief excerpt of Dr. Krasna's article is published here with the express permission of "War on the Rocks"

Dr. Joshua Krasna · Security Program SET Instructor at PDI - Posted 28 May 2021

On April 3, teams of masked gunmen, emerging from tinted-windowed sport utility vehicles, grabbed 18 highly placed Jordanians at their homes, their farms, and on the street. Those seized — including Bassem Awadallah, a former chief of the royal court and finance minister — were jailed for promoting sedition and conspiring with foreign powersKing Abdullah II’s half-brother Prince Hamza was instructed to restrict contact outside his immediate family and to not use social media. His security team was reportedly replaced. This event was unparalleled in the past 50 years of Jordanian history.

The regime has been careful not to speak of a “coup,” and no military or security personnel have been reported arrested. Its actions seem more about prevention and deterrence than about disruption of actual activity or plans. The extremely rare and open tension in the royal family was papered over by Hamza’s swearing fealty to the king and by submitting to intra-dynastic mediation. Sixteen of the 18 arrested, though not Awadallah, were released pending further investigation.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Professional Development Institute of the University of Ottawa.

 Dr. Joshua Krasna is a senior researcher, writer and university lecturer. He retired in 2017 after 30 years of government service in Israel, including as a strategic planner, senior Middle East and strategic analyst, manager of government analytical teams, and diplomat. He was assigned  as counselor at the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, followed by being appointed an instructor and team leader at the Israel National Defence College. Dr. Krasna is now a Fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the New York University Center for Global Affairs.

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