Is deepening Shi'ite-Sunni tension plunging Lebanon into a new civil war?

Reuters

A man burns tires to block a road in Beirut's southern suburbs, to demand more security in the capital's suburb areas, January 21, 2014.

Article Highlights

  • Hezbollah has gained a major military and political foothold in Lebanon.

    Tweet This

  • US must get involved to counter Iranian influence in Lebanon.

    Tweet This

Subscribe to
The Rundown
A weekly digest of news and analysis from AEI's Foreign and Defense Studies team

First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Zip Code:

Key points in this Outlook:

  • With Iranian support, Hezbollah—a predominantly Shi’ite group and a US-designated terrorist organization—has emerged as the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon.
  • Through extensive soft-power efforts, Iran promotes its ideological and political agenda in Lebanon at the expense of American interests. 
  • To promote stability in Lebanon, the US must counter Iranian influence, strengthen Lebanese state institutions, and partner with moderate leaders from all Lebanese ethnic and religious groups, including the Shi’ites, to contain and marginalize Hezbollah.

 

Over the last half century, the Shi’ite community in Lebanon has emerged from obscurity to become the most influential political and military powerhouse in the country. With Iranian financial and military assistance, Hezbollah—a predominantly Shi’ite group and a US-designated terrorist organization—dominates Lebanese politics, maintains a militia force stronger than the Lebanese Armed Forces, runs an extensive social welfare program, and functions as a state within a state.

Recently, Hezbollah’s intervention in the Syrian civil war has inflamed long-standing Shi’ite-Sunni tension in Lebanon, radicalized the Sunni community, and paralyzed the political system, threatening to plunge the country into another civil war. Moreover, with Damascus grappling with its own internal conflict and Washington’s engagement in the Middle East
at its nadir, Iran has stepped up its hard- and soft-power efforts to fill the vacuum and has emerged as the most influential external force in Lebanese affairs at the expense of US geopolitical interests in the region.

Read the full Outlook.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Ahmad K.
Majidyar

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 01
    MON
  • 02
    TUE
  • 03
    WED
  • 04
    THU
  • 05
    FRI
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
From anarchy to Augustus: Lessons on dealing with disorder, from Rome’s first emperor

We invite you to join us for two panel discussions on how Augustus created order from chaos 2,000 years ago, and what makes for durable domestic and international political systems in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Multiple choice: Expanding opportunity through innovation in K–12 education

Please join us for a book launch event and panel discussion about how a marketplace of education options can help today's students succeed in tomorrow's economy. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of the featured book.

Thursday, September 04, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
How conservatives can save the safety net

Please join us for a luncheon event in which our panel will discuss what conservatives can learn from how liberals talk and think about the safety net and where free-market economics, federalism, and social responsibility intersect to lift people out of poverty.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.