The defense of Jordan comprises (2010) 101,000 men enlisted, of which the army is 88,000 men with 65,000 men in reserve. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that JOR stands for Jordan. The army is organized in four commands with a central operational reserve. In total, 13 brigades are deployed with 1,200 tanks. The Navy comprises 500 men with 13 patrol vessels. The Air Force comprises 13,500 men with 102 fighter aircraft and 25 combat helicopters. Semi-military security forces amount to 10,000 men. The so-called People’s Army comprises 35,000 men. The stock is primarily of American origin.
Defense costs decreased in 1985-2008 from 15.9% to 10.6% of GDP. Jordan participates in the UN peacekeeping operation with a battalion in Ivory Coast (UNOCI), a battalion in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and a company in Liberia (UNMIL). They also contribute observers in Afghanistan (ISAF), Congo (Kinshasa) (MUNOC), Iraq (UNAMI), Nepal (UNMIN), Sudan (UNAMID, UNMIS) and Western Sahara (MINURSO).
In June 2013, the authorities closed 260 news sites on the Internet. In October 2012, the King had signed a new law on Web censorship. It required that all news sites be registered with the Ministry of the Interior and at the same time accepted that the Ministry could close them or subject them to censorship. The 260 sites had, in protest against the new censorship law, refused to register. They were now closed instead.
In December 2013, Amman was buried in snow. Global climate change is balancing jet streams in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Such an imbalance in the jet streams in December created an anti-cyclone over eastern Europe and the Middle East and pulled ice-cold Arctic air down over the Middle East, triggering heavy snowfall. It was snowing in Cairo – for the first time in 112 years.
- COUNTRYAAH: Do you know where is Jordan on the world map? Come to see the location and all bordering countries of Jordan.
In March 2014, the UN Human Rights Council Jordan submitted to the three-year periodic review of the human rights situation in the country. The Council particularly criticized Jordan’s frequent use of torture and mistreatment of prisoners; the widespread use of administrative detention (without judgment); the frequent use of the country’s Security Court for cases that should be dealt with by civil courts.
In 2014, Jordan continued to buy oil from IS’s (Islamic State) oil fields in Iraq and Syria. At the same time, the country participated in the US aerial bombardment of IS in Iraq and Syria. In late December, IS captured a Jordanian fighter pilot who had crashed with his plane.
On December 21, 2014, Jordan broke the hope of becoming the first country in the Arab world to abolish the death penalty, as the king had otherwise declared in 2006. On December 21, Jordan executed 11 death sentences. The first time since 2006 a death sentence had been enforced.
In late December, a Jordanian fighter plane crashed into Syria and the pilot was captured by IS. Over the following weeks, an exchange of prisoners was negotiated between IS and the Jordanian authorities, but the negotiations broke down. In late January 2015, the IS executed the pilot. Jordan immediately responded again, executing 2 doomed radical Islamists. While IS posted its execution on the Internet, the Jordanian authorities failed to post their executions on the Internet. In return, Jordan launched a bombing campaign against IS, and edited videos from that campaign were posted online. As part of the “Arab Initiative”, Denmark had for 10 years been working to “civilize” Jordan’s dealings with prisoners. Jordan even put the program in the grave.
By the end of 2014, 618,000 registered Syrian refugees were sitting in camps in Jordan. Jordan refused to accept Palestinian refugees from Syria. They were rejected at the border and refugees who had entered illegally were sent back to Syria. Contrary to the UN Refugee Convention.
In March 2016, the government made a number of amendments to the Civil Society Act that would allow the authorities to arbitrarily shut down NGOs if they were “at risk of government or public order” or if they received funding from abroad.
In May 2016, the king dissolved parliament and inaugurated Hani al-Mulki as interim prime minister. The king then conducted a parliamentary election in September. Despite electoral reforms, there was no question of democracy. Parties were still not allowed in the monarchy. The turnout declined to 37% from 56% in 2013. After the election, the king appointed al-Mulki as prime minister. New reforms gave the king the right to appoint leading judges, military and police officers, and intelligence agencies.
The border with Syria remained extremely uncertain. In June, a bomb killed several Jordanian soldiers near no-man’s land that housed 70,000 Syrian refugees. Jordan then closed the border crossings to Syria. In December, an IS attack near Karak killed 10 people, including 3 civilians.