In an October 15, 2021 article by Karin Laub, “More repression, fewer jobs: Jordanians face bleak outlook,” Advocacy Director Seth Binder comments on shifting U.S. foreign policy priorities in Jordan and highlights POMED’s recent report on President Biden’s FY22 Foreign Affairs Budget.
“Any hint of instability should worry Jordan’s Western allies, foremost the United States, who value the kingdom for its help in the fight against Islamic extremists, its security ties with Israel and its willingness to host refugees.
But the focus of the Biden administration has shifted to the Indo-Pacific, with Middle East policy in maintenance mode and the approach to Jordan seemingly on autopilot, said Seth Binder of the Project on Middle East Democracy, a Washington-based advocacy group….
In a report circulated among Washington decision-makers in September, Binder’s group called for more stringent conditions to be attached to direct cash transfers, and to eventually phase them out. Aid should be leveraged in a push for economic and political reforms, it said.
‘A cash transfer to the government is a privilege that should be reserved for U.S. partners committed to democracy and human rights and not known for rampant corruption,’ the report said.
The State Department said in a response that aid to Jordan is in the direct national security interest of the U.S., describing the kingdom as an ‘invaluable ally.’ It said the U.S. carefully monitors its aid programs to Jordan and that the U.S. routinely engages the Jordanian government on a wide range of issues, including human rights.”