UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Jordan Border Security

The search for peace in the Middle East depends on many factors. One of the most important is border security. The problem of disputed and unrecognized borders in the region is slowly being resolved. Jordan plays a pivotal political and geographic role in the Middle East. Geographically, Jordan acts as a land bridge for passage both east to west and north to south. This position places Jordan among larger and stronger states than itself, both demographically and in terms of their military power.

Except for small sections of the borders with Israel and Syria, Jordan’s international boundaries do not follow well-defined natural features of the terrain. The country’s boundaries were established by various international agreements, and none are currently in dispute. By the time political boundaries were drawn defining Transjordan after World War 1, most of the nomadic tribes in that region had long-established areas lying within the confines of the new state. To accommodate the few cases where tribal peoples traditionally had moved back and forth across the country’s borders, agreements with neighboring countries provided for a continuation of migratory practices, subject to certain regulations.

In April 2013 US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he would be deploying 200 US troops along the Jordanian-Syrian border to replace a similar number already there. The Pentagon sent nearly 200 troops from the 1st Armored Division to establish a “small headquarters” near Jordan’s border with Syria and plan potential military operations, including a rapid buildup of American forces if the White House decides intervention is necessary. The troops’ specialties will include will include intelligence, logistics and operations. The Pentagon had plans to expand the force to 20,000 or more if necessary.

Uncontrolled illegal crossings of Jordan’s borders are the primary threat today, and sovereignty depends on effective control of Jordan’s borders. Currently, army units and public security personnel patrol the borders. The mission of these forces is to maintain security and stability by preventing all forms of illegal crossings. The incorporation of surveillance technology in these forces’ capabilities would enhance their effectiveness.

On 02 April 2008 DRS Technologies, Inc. announced that it received an order from the U.S. Army's Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM), Fort Monmouth, N.J., for the initial phase of the Jordan Border Security Program. In conjunction with the U.S. Army, DRS will provide the Jordan Armed Forces with an end-to-end border security system for a section of Jordan's border. On September 9, 2008 the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Jordan of Increment 2 Requirements for Border Security Program as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $390 million.

The Government of Jordan requested a possible sale to extend the Jordan Border Security Program (JBSP) to cover Increment 2 requirements. The proposed sale will include exportable Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware and exportable U.S. military Command and Control application software and hardware, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support, and other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $390 million.

The proposed sale will enhance the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a key regional partner who has proven to be a vital force for political stability and peace in the Middle East.

Jordan needs this equipment to upgrade its border security to allow greater dependence on modern technology rather than mostly manual means. These defense articles and services will enable Jordan to more effectively organize its armed forces to be able to respond quickly, effectively, and comprehensively to situations concerning its national security. Jordan will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The DRS integrated border surveillance system is an end-to-end, scaleable system. On the front lines, DRS will provide Distant Sentry(TM) mobile and fixed surveillance towers that utilize a variety of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) sensors. The DRS solution will provide communications connectivity between the Distant Sentry(TM) towers and mobile and fixed Command and Control (C2) Centers. Within the C2 Centers, DRS will provide software and computing systems, situational awareness displays and connectivity to the Jordan Armed Forces command and control infrastructure.

The prime contractor will be DRS Corporation in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In conjunction with the U.S. Army, DRS will provide the Jordan Armed Forces with an end-to-end border security system for a section of Jordan's border. In addition, the company will design a nation-wide border security architecture. DRS will also provide post delivery, maintenance, logistics and training support of the system. The work for this award will be accomplished by the company's DRS Command, Control and Communications (C3) Systems unit in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. The United States Government and contractor representatives will participate in program services and technical reviews during 2008 to 2013. The number of in-country U.S. Government personnel and contractor representatives required to support this program will be determined in joint negotiations as the program proceeds through the development, production and equipment installation phases.

On May 12, 2008 Finmeccanica, S.p.A. (Milan: FNC), a world leader in the supply of electronics equipment and defense and security systems and services, and DRS Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: DRS), a leading supplier of integrated defense electronics products, services and support, announced that they had signed a definitive merger agreement under which Finmeccanica will acquire 100% of DRS stock for US$81 per share in cash. The transaction allows Finmeccanica to consolidate its international role as a key supplier of integrated systems for defense and security, entering the U.S. market as a key player. It further allows DRS to seek new business opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.

April 11, 2013 Raytheon Company was awarded a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) border security contract valued at $35.9 million. Under the nearly three-year base contract, Raytheon will design, develop and implement an integrated surveillance system along parts of the Jordanian border. Also, the contract requires Raytheon to provide training, maintenance and repair, as well as equipment. "Raytheon's global reach and the Jordan project affirm our ability to provide subject matter expertise and solid experience on cooperative threat reduction programs in all regions of the world," said John Harris, Raytheon Company vice president and general manager of Intelligence, Information and Services. "Our company is committed to offering competitive, open architecture solutions that employ equipment and sensors best suited to a country's requirements and that can adapt to the needs of customers like DTRA in making the world more secure." Raytheon has performed cooperative threat reduction work for DTRA under a number of contracts. The CTR Integrating Contract (CTRIC II), awarded in April 2011, is a multiple award indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, and the Jordan project is part of CTRIC II.

The mission of the CTR Program is partnering with willing countries world-wide to reduce the threat of WMD and related materials, technology, and expertise, including providing for the safe destruction of WMD, associated delivery systems, and related infrastructure. Historically, CTR partners included states of the Former Soviet Union, but recent legislation has broadened the program worldwide. Systems engineering practices and procedures are a critical component of these complex engineering projects, beginning from the design stage through project close out. The CTR Program continues to dismantle and eliminate strategic weapons delivery systems and prevent the proliferation of weapons technology, materials, and expertise. The CTR program also facilitates defense and military contacts to encourage military reductions and reform.

In the FY 2010 budget request, the Department of Defense expanded the strategic focus of the CTR program to support the Global War on Terrorism. In FY 2001, the CTR Program awarded the current CTR Integrating Contract (CTRIC), an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract to five integrating contractors to support the CTR Program.

As part of the U.S. Government’s continuing support of Jordanian border enforcement efforts, the U.S. Embassy’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program donated border inspection equipment worth nearly $200,000 to the Government of Jordan in late March 2011. The equipment will be used to inspect cargo entering or transiting Jordan and to identify illegal or potentially hazardous items. The U.S. Embassy distributed the equipment, which includes contraband inspection kits, gamma neutron radiation pagers, and other items, to the Jordan Customs Department, Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other Jordanian Government offices. The U.S. Embassy’s Export Control and Related Border Security program regularly provides equipment and training to the Government of Jordan to help strengthen border enforcement activities. In 2010 the EXBS program provided the Government of Jordan with $1.5 million of training and equipment.

Iraq-Jordan boundary

The Iraq-Jordan boundary is 185 km long. During the 20th Century there were no boundary markers or demarcation on the ground. The boundary is essentially artificial and associated with the division of spheres of interest between Britain and France following the defeat of Ottoman Turkey in World War I. The entire boundary area is desert and part of the plateau is known as the Syrian Desert. The northern three-quarters of the border are flat with low hills in the southern quarter. The only paved all-weather road crossing the boundary is near the midpoint, about 70 km from the northern point where Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq meet. The inactive Iraq Petroleum Company pipeline runs parallel to the south of the road. There are no active disputes between Iraq and Jordan regarding the specific alignment of the boundary. Nomadic Bedouin tribes are permitted to cross the border in either direction to graze and water their animals subject to oversight by security forces in each country.

The Jordanian-Iraqi Border center at Al Karameh is an important border facilitating the ever increasing flow of Passengers and Cargo. However, the border facilities were constructed in 1989 as a temporary site. Given the fact that the available facilities are old, and suffer from being located in the flood plain, they are incapable of supporting the existing traffic flow at Al Karameh border.

The Jordanian Public Security Department (PSD) received a notification in January 2013 from the Iraqi authorities that the Jordanian-Iraqi border will be closed from Iraq's side through the Treibil crossing. In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the PSD added that the Iraqi authorities did not give reasons for the closure but said it was an internal matter. The PSD urged citizens to avoid going to the Jordanian-Iraqi border until Baghdad reopens the crossing.

Jordan-Syria boundary

The Jordan-Syria boundary is 377 km long with 339 km on land and 39 km along the Yarrnuk River. During the 20th Century there were no boundary markers or demarcation on the ground. The boundary is artificial, a result of a division of British and French spheres of influence following the Allied defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I. There are no active disputes between Jordan and Syria regarding the specific alignment of the boundary. Nomadic Bedouin tribes are permitted to cross the border in either direction to graze and water their animals subject to oversight by security forces in each country.

By June 2015 Jordan had installed the second phase of a surveillance system that US officials say provides an effective defense against infiltration attempts by ISIS militants. The security system unveiled by the Jordanian military included a network of radar and surveillance towers that makes it possible to spot suspected infiltrators several kilometers before they reach the border. The system now operates along the entire Jordanian-Syrian border. The installation along the Iraqi border was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

Israel and Jordan

The Israeli Army occupied Syrian territory north of the Yarmuk River and the area known as the Golan Heights in June 1967. The river east of the A1-Hammah Railroad Bridge, nevertheless, is considered a segment of the Jordan-Syria international boundary.

An Israeli fence marks the border between Israel and Jordan. The fence has sensors that notify the Israeli army when someone touches the fence. Jordan’s boundaries with Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia do not have the special significance that the border with Israel does. Until 1994, the recognized border with Israel was based on the armistice line agreed to in April 1949 by Israel and what was then Transjordan, following negotiations facilitated by the United Nations (see map in Figure 6). In general, the border represented the battle positions held by Transjordanian and Israeli forces when a cease-fire went into effect and had no relation to economic or administrative factors. Until the Israeli occupation of the West Bank during the June 1967 War, the demarcation line divided the city of Jerusalem, with Jordan holding the Old City and most of the holy places.

The government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the government of the State of Israel signed a peace treaty on October 26, 1994. The treaty was based on principles contained in UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and formalized the 480-km-long boundary between them. Both parties recognize the international boundary, as well as each other’s territory, territorial waters, and airspace, as inviolable.

As of 1999 there were sixteen army battalions with a total of 12,000 personnel [out of 90,000 total] were deployed for border security duty. The relatively large number of units assigned to border security duty places a heavy administrative and financial burden on Jordan. To decrease the number of troops and financial costs, it is necessary to acquire monitoring equipment, high mobility vehicles, and a modern system of command and control, and to establish new road networks in the border areas.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 10-06-2015 21:32:09 ZULU