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By Lawrence Tal (auth.)

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Additional resources for Politics, the Military and National Security in Jordan, 1955–1967

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75 Although faction-building characterised military politics during this period, many officers were not committed to any particular group. Older officers were generally more concerned with maintaining pension rights and benefits than with the army’s political direction. Younger officers were often more receptive to the ideals of radical pan-Arabism and tended to be more ambitious politically. Moreover, they wished to secure greater economic reward and military power. Of the anti-Abu Nuwar groups, most lacked the organisational capability for serious political action.

Samir al-Rifa`i also backed Glubb’s sacking. 52 Al-Rifa`i felt Hussein was acting impetuously in the way he planned to fire Glubb, a move sure to antagonise Whitehall; better to wait and dismiss him on 31 March (when Glubb’s contract with the Jordanian government expired). ’53 Although Hussein chose the timing of the anti-Glubb coup, the Free Officers orchestrated the putsch. On the night of 28 February, Hussein ordered Abu Nuwar to set in motion plans for Glubb’s ouster. 56 Operation Dunlop ensured that Glubb, had he so desired, could not rally his supporters and stage a countercoup.

Limited pluralism, Hussein conjectured, might create stability and restore the throne’s reputation and boost his own tarnished image. Hussein asked Ibrahim Hashim, a perennial caretaker prime minister, to form a government to supervise the elections. However, outcry by a group of parliamentarians protesting the legality of the dissolution decree persuaded Hussein to reverse his decision to hold elections. 24 The December riots had been a bellwether of things to come. The age of ‘street politics’ had arrived in the Hashemite kingdom with a Between Imperialism and Arabism 25 vengeance.

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