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  • From Negative to Positive StabilityHow the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordans Outlook

    Ben Connable

    C O R P O R A T I O N

    http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1069.htmlhttp://www.rand.org/

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  • iii

    Preface

    In late 2013, the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity (MCIA) asked the RAND Corporation to examine how the United States might improve its support to Jordan. Jordan is a critical U.S. ally, and Jordans continued stability and support are deemed essential to ongoing coalition activities against the Islamic State and to broader efforts to improve stability in the Middle East. RAND researchers identified both risk and opportunity in the Syrian refugee crisis. This report presents findings from a year of research conducted in the United States and Jordan and presents analytic forecasts intended to support U.S. government analyses and policy decision-making. This report was aided by the expertise of the reviewers, Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University, and Barbara Sude, RAND.

    This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the Intelligence Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

    For more information on the RAND Intelligence Policy Center, see http://www.rand.org/nsrd/ndri/centers/intel.html or contact the director (contact information is provided on the web page).

    http://www.rand.org/nsrd/ndri/centers/intel.htmlhttp://www.rand.org/nsrd/ndri/centers/intel.html

  • v

    Contents

    Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iiiFigures and Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viiSummary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix

    CHAPTER ONE

    Introduction to the Status of Syrian Refugees as of Late 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Geographic Orientation and Syrian Refugees as of Late 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Late 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6Organization of This Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

    CHAPTER TWO

    Assessment of Stability and Strategic Challenges: Late 2014. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Jordans Stability as of Late 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Security from External and Internal Threats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9Political Turmoil and the Impact of the Arab Spring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11Water Shortages Contribute to Economic and Social Unease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13Economic and Financial Dependencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14Existing Refugee and Nonnational Worker Populations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Summary of Stability Issues as of Late 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

    CHAPTER THREE

    Economic Factors and Forecasted Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Current Economic Status and Economic Integration of Syrian Refugees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19Forecast: The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordans Economic Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

    CHAPTER FOUR

    Social Factors and Forecasted Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Assessing Late-2014 Social Integration and Social Impacts of Syrian Refugees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25Forecast: Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordans Social Stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

    CHAPTER FIVE

    Security Assessment and Forecasted Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordanian Security as of Late 2014 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Forecast: The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordans Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

  • vi From Negative to Positive Stability: How the Syrian Refugee Crisis Can Improve Jordans Outlook

    CHAPTER SIX

    Conclusion, Summary Forecast, and Black Swan Warnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33Black Swans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

    Abbreviations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

  • vii

    Figures and Table

    Figures 1.1. Jordan Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.2. Northern Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.3. Southern Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 1.4. General Population Distribution of Syrian Refugees in Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

    Table

    6.1. Black Swan Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

  • ix

    Summary

    This report describes the late-2014 stability of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and exam-ines how the Syrian refugees are likely to affect Jordans long-term stability. The key finding from this research is that the Syrian refugee crisis, while

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