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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
    << Back to Jordan National Security


    Soldier firing a mortar


    Cobra attack helicopter armed with TOW antitank missiles of the Royal Jordanian Air Force

    When the Amirate of Transjordan was formed in 1921, the small scattered police elements left over from Ottoman days were inadequate to maintain order and establish central government control. The police units were expanded, and a small mobile force of balanced elements of infantry, cavalry, and artillery was created. Two years later the police, numbering about 300, and the military force of about 1,000 were combined under the command of British Captain F.G. Peake. The establishment was originally known as the Arab Army (Al Jaysh al Arabi)--a perpetuation of the military force led by the Hashimites in World War I against the Turks--and this Arabic title has been retained. In English, however, the name became the Arab Legion, a designation that lasted until 1956 (see Transjordan , ch. 1).

    Data as of December 1989

    NOTE: The information regarding Jordan on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Jordan THE MILITARY HERITAGE information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Jordan THE MILITARY HERITAGE should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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