The Security Council resolution that ended the monthlong war with Israel called for the disarmament of Hezbollah. But new reports suggest the group continues to smuggle in weapons from Syria, which, if true, could threaten the delicate peace in the region.
The lifting of the Israeli blockade and the arrival of European peacekeepers are two long-awaited signs of progress in Lebanon. The withdrawal of Israeli forces could be next. Despite these developments, the UN force has a tough job ahead.
After a week of waffling, France commits a large number of troops and offers to lead the UN peacekeeping effort in Lebanon. The move is expected to clear a diplomatic logjam that delayed the deployment of peacekeepers. In the absence of a sizeable force, Kofi Annan is in the region attempting to stabilize the still-shaky cease-fire.
Multiethnic armies like the Lebanese, Iraqi, and Afghan national forces face enormous challenges as they attempt to become viable forces. Historically, successes in unifying a military force often have a huge impact on a nation's larger society.
David Makovsky, an expert on Israeli politics, says in the aftermath of the month-long Israeli-Hezbollah conflict, questions are being raised about the viability of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Michael Young, a veteran political observer in Lebanon, disputes the polls showing wide support for Hezbollah in its conflict with Israel. Young says Lebanese Christians, Sunnis, and Druze were all unhappy with the surprise Hezbollah attack on Israel.
The UN-mandated truce between Israel and Hezbollah holds fast, but huge questions remain about Hezbollah's willingness to cede authority to the Lebanese government and Israel's faith in a UN-backed peacekeeping force.
A UN Security Council truce finally forced Israel and Hezbollah to cease fire, but a final weekend of rockets, artillery, ground combat, and air strikes, as well as the blood spilled already, left the region's hatreds in full bloom.
Lee Feinstein, an expert on U.S. foreign policy and the United Nations, says the current cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel, while a "positive" development, is unlikely to last unless regional powers like Syria and Iran are brought into a dialogue on ways to maintain it.
This link is to Amnesty International’s initial assessment and concerns on the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Lebanon that has taken place during the recent conflict. It is based on first-hand information from a field mission which has visited Lebanon; interviews with dozens of victims of the attacks; official statements and press accounts; discussions with UN, Israeli military and Lebanese government officials; and talks with Israeli and Lebanese non-governmental groups.
France, experiencing a prolonged domestic malaise, is seeking to define itself again with an active role in the Lebanon crisis—one the United States welcomes, in spite of some differences, given Washington's own foreign entanglements.
Dennis B. Ross, former chief Middle East negotiator for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, says the Israeli Cabinet's decision to authorize a widening ground offensive in Lebanon might hasten diplomats at the UN Security Council to come up with a new resolution acceptable to the various parties.
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.