By Stephen Blackwell
This booklet examines why the govt led via Harold Macmillan remained able to use army strength to prop up the regime of King Hussein. Blackwell offers new historic insights into the origins of the Anglo-American use of army strength to guard their pursuits within the center East. creation : Jordan, Suez and the decline of British impact within the heart East -- Glubb's Jordan : the Arab legion, the Hashemites and the nationalist problem, 1948-1956 -- Amman below the shadow of Nasser : Jordanian nationalism and the Suez concern, April-November 1956 -- The British abandonment and the yank retrieval of Jordan, November 1956-April 1957 -- The kings opposed to the colonels : Jordan and the Anglo-American plot to overthrow the Syrian govt, 1957 -- battling Nasser : Anglo-American aid for Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, November 1957-June 1958 -- The Baghdad coup and the Macmillan government's selection to intrude in Jordan, 14-17 July 1958 -- A tenuous foothold : British paratroops set up in Amman, July-August 1958 -- coping with the foreign concern : making a UN 'mantle' for Jordan, September-November 1958 -- Belated reappraisals : Anglo-American coverage, nearby nationalism and the way forward for Jordan, November 1958-March 1959
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Extra info for British Military Intervention and the Struggle for Jordan: King Hussein, Nasser and the Middle East Crisis, 1955-1958
There was a limited evacuation of wives and children from Jordan on 11 January. 67 In his private correspondence at the time of the nationalist upheaval in Jordan, he gave freer reign to his contempt and disdain for the new political class, an attitude at variance with his reputation for being a paternal Arabist and professional soldier. Glubb complained to Templar that although the Jordanian people as a whole were ‘not hostile’ to the West or Britain, they lacked ‘moral courage’. Britain itself was ‘responsible for introducing constitutional government, which has brought to office a class of talkative babus with no gift for leadership’.
What actually led to the growth of anti-British sentiment in Jordan was the impotence of the 1948 treaty in the face of punitive incursions by the Israeli Defence Forces. Unaware of the strength of mass nationalism by late 1955, London was guilty of complacency while its position in Jordan was undermined. Glubb’s sentimental attachment to the Bedouin was untenable given the extent to which Jordanian society had changed after 1949. Whether Whitehall liked it or not, there was now a new class of nationalist urban politicians and officers who had to be taken into account.
53 Templar had visited Jordan earlier in the year as part of a general tour of the Middle East. He formed a poor opinion of King Hussein when he was kept waiting for fi fty minutes for a meeting in Amman, and he was also struck by Glubb’s relative isolation in Jordan regardless of his popularity with the Bedouin troops. It was clear that Glubb operated with no clear idea of London’s policy in the country and with only sporadic contact with the British Embassy in Amman. He was also disappointed to fi nd British forces in the port of Aqaba ‘happily “digging in” to cantonments without any attempt to establish relations of confidence and intimacy with the local populations’, who lived in ‘very squalid conditions’.