Carnegie: Can Lebanon Survive the Syrian Crisis?
The Carnegie Endowment released a new paper written by Paul Salem, titled “Can Lebanon Survive the Syrian Crisis?” The paper addresses the current political climate in Lebanon, and how the Syrian crisis has affected the situation on the ground. Salem concludes with four concrete policy recommendations Lebanon should implement to weather the Syrian storm.
“Of all the countries neighboring Syria, Lebanon is the most vulnerable to spillover from the conflict there,” states Salem in the opening paragraph. Salem cites concerns over Lebanon’s sovereignty, political impermanence, Hezbollah’s relationship with the Assad regime, a slowing economy and growing refugee problem as factors contributing to Lebanon’s instability. Additionally, Lebanon has historically been susceptible to influence from external actors.
Salem outlines four policy recommendations that may help Lebanon remain stable during this tumultuous time in the region. First, Lebanon must build up its army and internal security forces. Second, Salem sees a need to form either a new national unity government or a more neutral technocratic government. Third, there must be a rapid and effective approach to address the needs of the growing Syrian refugee community, including aid from international actors. Finally, an election law must be approved and parliamentary elections should be held.