The Jordan Imperative

The smile on Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his meeting with NATO ministers said it all. Recognizing the EU's desperation, Turkey squeezed the Europeans for more than three billion dollars and a fresh talks on joining the Union in exchange for its promise to close the floodgates to millions of refugees who hope to make Europe their new home. But one must wonder, why did Turkey, a NATO ally not previously provide its European friends with much needed assistance?

It appears that modern western foreign policy is much like bad parenting, rewarding children who misbehave while ignoring those children who do the right thing. Case in point is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who despite its small population of six million people took in an astounding number of more than half a million refugees. This compared to Turkey's population of seventy five million people and the nearly two million Syrian refugees it took in. The ratios speak for themselves.

While the government of Erdogan has been accused of both direct and indirect support for ISIS, via oil purchases and supply lines, Jordan's King, Abdullah the Third has been a dependable and active partner in the war against the Islamic state. For decades, Jordan has been a stabilizing force in the Middle East. A close ally of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West, Jordan is a moderate Arab nation with a stabilizing influence on an all-together unstable region.

After three decades of refugee intake from the wars in Iraq, Palestine and Syria, the future of Jordan is uncertain. The Hashemites who constitute the nation's ruling elites and who embrace and promote a bridge between the Arab world and the West are becoming a smaller minority due to demographics and refugee intake.

Currently, both European nations and the United States are focused on finding short-term solutions to the Syrian crisis and its regional consequences. The squeaky wheel gets the grease foreign policy may prove short-sighted. Western leaders would be wise to consider the long-term stability of the region and the key role that pro western Sunni nations such as Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf states should play. Responding to Russia coalition with Iran and its allies in Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad, western nations must look beyond the current crisis and recognize the challenges that are ahead.

Providing Jordan with extensive financial, military, and diplomatic support should be a top priority for the West.