Twenty two years after its civil war came to a close, Lebanon remains plagued by sectarian tensions which have now brought the country back to the brink of conflict. Even before the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the subsequent Cedar Revolution, it was clear that the sectarian conflicts that fueled Lebanon’s 15-year civil war were far from resolved. The civil war itself often served as a series of proxy battles for broader regional conflicts, as did the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel. These wars were often marked by kidnappings, car bombings, and assassinations, all of which have returned to Lebanon in the form of spillover from the Syrian civil war.
While many were surprised by Lebanon’s resilience at the start of the Arab uprisings nearly two years ago, the country finds itself once again in significant turmoil. Lebanon’s Hezbollah-led governing coalition has adopted a policy of “dissociation” from the conflict in Syria, though the group has been repeatedly implicated in kidnappings and violence in Syria. In Lebanon itself, violence has erupted repeatedly—though not regularly—between Lebanese of different religious sects and political parties largely in Tripoli and Beirut.
USIP seeks to address Lebanon’s challenges through its Lebanon Working Group, which is co-sponsored by The Stimson Center. The working group facilitates interaction between experts on Lebanon and U.S. government officials to better inform U.S. policy and engagement on the ground in Lebanon.
- On the Issues: The Syrian Uprising's Impact on Lebanon
May 9, 2011 | Mona Yacoubian
- "Cairo, Heed the Lessons from Algiers and Beirut"
Foreign Policy | February 23, 2011 | Mona Yacoubian
- "The other shoe drops in Lebanon"
Foreign Policy | January 17, 2011 | Mona Yacoubian
- "Hezbollah's Nuclear Option"
Foreign Policy | January 13, 2011 | Steve Heydemann
- On the Issues: Lebanon's Government
January 13, 2011 | Mona Yacoubian assesses Lebanon's recently collapsed government.
- Watch now: "Life is Complicated in Lebanon," Bloggingheads Interview with USIP's Mona Yacoubian and Elias Muhanna
June 18, 2011
- Listen Now: A Congressional View: Lebanon and the Arab Spring
May 10, 2011 | Congressman Charles Boustany at USIP
- Watch Now: USIP expert Mona Yacoubian discusses the challenges facing Lebanon on Viewpoint with James Zogby
February 11, 2011
- Listen Now: Mona Yacoubian discusses Lebanon's political crisis on The Kojo Nnamdi Show
January 26, 2011
- Crisis in Lebanon: Sectarian Politics, Regional Dynamics and the U.N. Special Tribunal
Audio | December 8, 2010
- Promoting Political Reform in Lebanon - Part I
Audio | September 29, 2010
- Promoting Political Reform in Lebanon - Part II
Audio | September 29, 2010
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