Civil War and Intervention: Lessons Remembered From the Lebanese Civil War and the U.S. Response
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The 1975 Lebanese Civil War was one of the most disastrous and costly civil wars in modern history. The human toll of the First Phase of the war was immense, with estimates of 40,000 dead, 60,000 wounded and 600,000 Lebanese civilians displaced from their homes. When the Lebanese conflagration began, the United States was beset by a number of political and economic challenges. President Gerald R. Ford was an unelected leader with very little political influence and the U.S. military was in disarray following Vietnam. Confronted with a weakening economy, domestic political instability, Cold War political maneuvering and Middle East peace initiatives, President Ford decided against a U.S. military intervention in Lebanon. This inaction and passivity ultimately contributed to an abdication of U.S. regional leadership and international influence during a very tumultuous time. The U.S. leadership opted instead to focus on diplomacy and partnerships with regional actors to influence Lebanese peace negotiations. This strategy led to the empowerment of a authoritarian Syrian regime, which culminated in a massive Syrian invasion of Lebanon under the guise of ending the violence.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics