The Aborted Mobilisation of Jordan's Retired Servicemen Notes de l’Ifri, February 2020
In the last decade, Jordan has been facing a resurgence in public discontent against harsh living conditions and the corruption of the regime.
Among the most vocal actors, the National Committee for Retired Servicemen (NCRS) has emerged as a key actor in successive episodes of social protests that have affected the Kingdom. Created in 2001 due to retired officers’ defiance over the restructuring of the military and a shrinking social welfare system, this union progressively evolved into an important actor of the Jordanian opposition.
However, as leaders of the Committee adapted their discourse in order to build links with other activist groups, they abandoned their initial demands concerning the living conditions of veterans. Consequently, the bonds between the Committee’s leadership and its base withered and calls to mobilise and protest were gradually ignored. Hence, the involvement of the Committee in Jordan’s public debate is perceived by many retired servicemen as an act of disdain towards their demands. The recent creations of new committees representing former officers who criticise the NCRS’s strategic choices mirror the marginalisation of the Committee among Jordanian veterans.