Lebanon: The Uncertain Road to Reconstruction
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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Lebanon is in the midst of an ill-fated reconstruction effort. The 30 billion plan involves not only physical reconstruction after 15 years of a devastating civil war but also an attempt at national reconciliation between Lebanons historically contentious confessional groups. I argue that the effort is doomed to a path of diminishing returns due to the lack of a regional peace agreement between Israel and Syria. Syrias domination of the Lebanese political scene and Israels occupation of nearly 10 of Lebanese territory, both of which are near certainties in the absence of peace, ensure Lebanon will remain the last remaining battlefield of the Arab Israeli conflict. The lack of stability in the region, real or perceived, negatively impacts investor confidence, virtually crippling a reconstruction plan that relies heavily on foreign investment. Further, the lack of a regional peace exacerbates internal problems within Lebanese society, which in and of themselves are quite capable of derailing reconstruction. Lebanons reconstruction will have to wait for the precarious peace process to run its course.
- Government and Political Science