This link is to a paper outlining the strategic framework for European assistance to Lebanon, as established before the outbreak of the recent conflict between Israel and Lebanon. The European Union has been a major donor to Lebanon in support of its attempts to build a democracy in the Middle East.
Guy Ben-Ari of the Center for Strategic and International Studies argues in this commentary that Israel has been taken by surprise by the technological capability of Hezbollah in Lebanon. He argues that Hezbollah has proved better armed than Israel expected, and that key elements of Israeli intelligence have exhibited failure.
This report from the International Crisis Group pieces together the current crisis in Israel, the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon and elsewhere, based on talks with officials and others, including Hamas and Hezbollah representatives. There are many dimensions to the explanation of why the capture of three soldiers has, so suddenly and so intensely, escalated at an extraordinary pace into a deep and widespread conflict: local ones like Hamas's struggle to govern and Hezbollah's desire to maintain its special status in Lebanon; regional ones, notably the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, Syria's interests in Lebanon, and the growing Sunni-Shiite divide; and wider international ones, especially the confrontation between Washington and Tehran.
Israel's military performance in Lebanon has not been impressive either in terms of strategy or execution, argues Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Israel seems to have escalated without a high probability it could do critical damage to Hezbollah or coerce the Lebanese government, and the tactical execution of its air and land actions seems to be weak.
In this Center for Strategic and International Studies brief, Anthony Cordesmann wars that despite significant arms transfers, analysts are overestimating Iran's influence over Hezbollah's latest actions.
In his paper, Pieter Koekeoonbier argues that building an effective Iraqi army should involve a study of Lebanon's successes and troubles in the effort to create a multi-ethnic military before and after 1975-1990 Lebanese war. His paper includes a model of society that emphasizes the role of the military, a history of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), a discussion of periods of inactivity in 1952 and 1958, an examination of disintegration in 1976 and 1984, and finally the reconstruction of the LAF in the wake of its second disintegration in 1984.
This report on Lebanon from the International Crisis Group was prepared before the start of the present round of hostilities: it warns that deep sectarian divisions, widespread corruption, and political gridlock all conspire to make Lebanon's transition to stable democracy highly uncertain.
Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres says the deaths of nearly sixty Lebanese civilians in an Israeli air strike was a "mistake" of wartime. In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, he said Israel finds itself in a war with no clear end, and warned that Iran's regional ambitions must be reined in.
On February 7, 1984, President Ronald Reagan withdrew the U.S. Marines from Lebanon—an action that was "perhaps the most purposeful and consequential foreign-policy decision of his presidency," Micah Zenko writes. In this article, Zenko discusses the unclear and unachievable mission of the United States in Lebanon, and Reagan's subsequent decision to withdraw.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.