The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Arab monarchies “survived” the Arab Spring (not so shocking), but can they adjust and survive ISIS?

The Jordanian monarchy is feeling the ISIS heat and altering its decades long course in promoting conservatism and age in the security sector… perhaps, as this article suggests.

The essential question grows: After so many years of hearing that the monarchies were so much better suited to withstand the popular pressures of the Arab Spring (who is surprised by this really?), one must now wonder if they are prepared for a much more dangerous and determined foe – ISIS?

Translated in today’s Daily Briefing by (for a free trail email

On May 29, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following report by its Amman office Chief Bassam Bdareen: “The selection of an elite group of young generals from outside the traditional club to lead the Jordanian security bodies in the next stage, not only conveys the ongoing frustration towards the failure of the classical faces, but also an attempt to give the young generation a chance to participate in the security field work following the famous incident that led to the ousting of three veteran generals two weeks ago, due to flaws affecting the security system. For the second day in a row, the Jordanian monarch voiced his will by appointing Brigadier General Hussein Hawatmeh as General Director of the National Gendarmerie, less than 24 hours after the appointment of General Atef as-Saudi as General Security chief following his promotion to major-general.

“Hence, the latter became one of the youngest generals to ever hold this post. What was noticeable at the level of the aforementioned appointments is that the decision-making circles went against all the expectations and candidacies put forward by the public, which expected the return of retired or old faces, thus investing in the children of the security bodies in the hope of handling the flaws and shortcomings affecting the security system… The lack of field coordination between the security bodies, especially during the Maan incidents in the southern part of the country, was the announced reason behind the toppling of three powerful generals in the state apparatuses, including former Interior Minister Hussein Majali, Brigadier General Toufik at-Tawalbeh and Ahmad as-Suweilmiyin. The reliance on younger elite, that are not part of the classical candidacies or tribal weight in key security bodies, conveys a major shift…

“According to a knowledgeable source, the purpose behind this new pattern is to enhance and strengthen the political and bureaucratic core of the Interior Ministry exclusively, so that it becomes able to assume its responsibilities in fighting violence, terrorism, crime and extremism, in accordance with the Egyptian pattern and far away from regional and tribal influence and the bickering of the power centers and parliament. And in order to achieve that goal, it seems that the decision-making institutions chose the departure of the classical choices at the level of the security bodies’ appointments. It is probably based on this same approach that Salameh Hamad was chosen as the interior minister, so that he would place the necessary foundations for the new role that will be played by the Interior Ministry, at a time when the remaining sovereign affairs will be organized over two stages…”

“The first stage will be the activation of the Defense Ministry later on, while the second stage will affect the security consultations circle in the Royal Palace, which currently features prominent and essential players…, namely Chief of Staff General Mish’al az-Zaban and Intelligence Chief General Faisal ash-Shawbaki.”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

May 30, 2015 at 2:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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