As Israeli air strikes decimate Lebanon, the elected government in Beirut is weak, divided, and seems powerless to control Hezbollah, whose attack on an Israeli convoy July 12 started the conflict.
Israeli air strikes continue to destroy Lebanon's infrastructure as Hezbollah rockets target Israeli cities. Experts say the violence is the result of regional political maneuvering by Iran and Syria—using as their proxies Hezbollah and, to a lesser extent, Hamas—that makes a quick end to the conflict unlikely.
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.
Israeli forces enter Lebanon as back-and-forth missile attacks between Hezbollah and Israel escalate. EU and UN officials have called for the deployment of international peacekeepers to defuse the crisis.
David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy talks to CFR.org's Esther Pan about the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by Hezbollah.
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is carrying out the worst crackdown on political dissidents since 2000, when Assad came to power. Some experts see the move as a sign of the regime's confidence as international pressure over the assassination of Rafik Hariri fades.
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.
Protests this week highlight Syria's continuing influence in Beirut, more than a year after the "Cedar Revolution." But experts say Lebanon's outdated political system is just as much to blame for lingering instability.
Karim Makdisi of the American University of Beirut says Lebanon's leaders are a closed elite trying to hold onto power for themselves and are powerless to reform the country's political situation.
Syria has agreed to cooperate with the UN investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri one year ago. Questions over Syria's sincerity remain, as international pressure on Damascus wanes and Lebanon struggles with internal tensions not seen since its civil war.
U.S. Institute of Peace expert Mona Yacoubian tells Bernard Gwertzman the international pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime seem to be easing—at least from Damascus' perspective.
A year after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, international pressure on Syria seems to be losing some steam. The opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is diffuse and disorganized, and many Syrians appear to value stability over the threats posed by regime change.
The murder of Lebanon's Rafik Hariri a year ago shocked his compatriots and brought change to Lebanese politics. But the ongoing search for his killers may yield even greater consequences.
A number of terrorist organizations operate in Lebanon. Hezbollah, the most powerful of these groups, recently attacked Israel, stirring up regional tensions.
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.
To encourage the free flow of conversation, the 2011 Corporate Conference was entirely not-for-attribution; however, several conference speakers joined us for sideline interviews further exploring their areas of expertise.
Former Treasury secretary Robert E. Rubin and Nobel Laureate economist Michael Spence on the global economic outlook.
Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose and Edward Morse on energy geopolitics.
Additional conference videos include:
Special operations play a critical role in how the United States confronts irregular threats, but to have long-term strategic impact, the author argues, numerous shortfalls must be addressed.
The author analyzes the potentially serious consequences, both at home and abroad, of a lightly overseen drone program and makes recommendations for improving its governance.
The story of the tragic and often tormented relationship between the United States and Pakistan, and a call to prepare for the worst, aim for the best, and avoid past mistakes. More
An authoritative and accessible look at what countries must do to build durable and prosperous democracies—and what the United States and others can do to help. More
A groundbreaking analysis of what the changes in American energy mean for the economy, national security, and the environment. More