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Smuggling activities and their impact on Jordan

Jan 11,2024 - Last updated at Jan 11,2024

Jordan has long been regarded as a stabilising force in the tumultuous Middle East region. However, recent events have highlighted the evolving security concerns faced by the country. Jordan’s strategic location and regional necessitate a comprehensive approach to address these security threats effectively. Jordan, its allies and the international community must recognise and support the Kingdom’s efforts in ensuring its security and stability.

Weeks ago, an unwelcome intrusion unfolded on the Jordanian stage, introducing events that are particularly unwarranted in our current circumstances, especially along Jordan’s northern border. For years, the Kingdom’s attention has been tuned to reports detailing the steadfast defence efforts of our armed forces against the backdrop of combating drug smuggling operations. We understood these activities were linked to the endeavours of criminal gangs seeking financial gain through illicit trafficking.

However, in recent weeks, there has been a significant surge in such activities. Each day brings forth an unprecedented wave, employing sophisticated methodologies, attempting to forcefully breach Jordanian territory. We are delving deeper into the unfolding events, realising that they have transcended the realms of conventional drug smuggling. Instead, they seem to be part of a sinister, well-orchestrated plan, aimed at ensnaring a nation whose focus is unwaveringly set on supporting the Palestinian cause, into internal turmoil.

The smuggling of arms, drugs and weaponry by these groups into Jordan poses a direct threat to the kingdom’s internal security. The influx of illicit weapons could fuel domestic instability, empower criminal elements, and potentially lead to an increase in violent incidents. The presence of drugs can also contribute to social and health issues, further straining the country’s stability.

The increased availability of weapons could potentially escalate existing conflicts or fuel new ones in the broader region. This could have ripple effects on neighbouring countries, exacerbating regional tensions and potentially leading to a wider destabilization.

Jordan has played a crucial role in maintaining stability and balancing competing interests within the country.

The smuggling activities would not go unnoticed by the international community. Such actions are likely to draw condemnation and lead to increased scrutiny of these groups’ actions in the region. This could result in diplomatic repercussions, including potential sanctions or other measures that could further isolate those countries which harbour these groups of smugglers. The international community’s response to these activities would also impact the monarchy’s standing and support from its allies.

To address the threat posed by these smuggling groups, Jordan would need to implement a multi-faceted approach. The Kingdom should strengthen border security by enhancing its border control measures, including the deployment of advanced surveillance technology, increased patrols and intelligence sharing with regional and international partners. This would help detect and prevent smuggling attempts.

Jordan should seek assistance and cooperation from its international allies, particularly those with shared security interests, to address the smuggling activities effectively. Collaboration with neighbouring countries, regional organisations and international bodies would be crucial in disrupting smuggling networks and holding accountable those involved. Enhancing intelligence sharing among security agencies at the national and international levels is crucial to identifying and tracking smuggling networks. Sharing information on suspicious groups’ activities with relevant partners would help build a comprehensive picture of the threat landscape and enable effective responses.

Jordan should leverage its diplomatic channels to raise awareness about smuggling activities, seeking international support to counter such threats. Engaging with regional and international actors to highlight the destabilising impact of these actions can garner diplomatic pressure for halting illicit activities.

Jordan must implement a comprehensive approach that combines enhanced border security, international cooperation, intelligence sharing, diplomatic engagement, and socioeconomic development to counter these illicit activities effectively. By addressing these challenges, Jordan can mitigate the destabilising impact of smuggling efforts and safeguard its internal security.

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