Jordan's close relations with the United States are examined, with special attention paid to ongoing U.S.-Jordanian cooperation in fighting al-Qaeda and its terrorist allies. The work also probes Jordan's involvement in many of the great conflicts in the contemporary Middle East, for example, that between the Israelis and Palestinians, clarifying Jordanian policies, while helping the reader understand many of the regional problems Jordan finds itself forced to address.
The 2011 wave of pro-democracy and anti-regime protests known as the "Arab Spring" introduced new concerns for both Saudi Arabia and Iran to consider within the framework of their regional priorities. The Saudi-Iranian rivalry is therefore likely to intensify as a central feature in the Middle Eastern security landscape that reaches into both the Gulf region and the Arab-Israeli theater. This is a reality that will touch upon the interests of the United States in a number of situations. In many instances, Saudi opposition to Iran will serve U.S. interests, but this will not occur under all circumstances. Saudi Arabia remains a deeply anti-revolutionary state with values and priorities which sometimes overlap with those of Washington on matters of strategic interest and often conflict over matters of reform and democracy for other Middle Eastern states. Additionally, in seeking to support Middle Eastern stability, the United States must be prepared to mediate between Riyadh and Baghdad, and thereby help to limit Iranian efforts to insert itself into Iraqi politics.
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