• In a region wracked with conflict, the need to provide security has often become the primary reason for the existence of many governments in the region, and the chief source of interest for foreign powers.

  • Analysis // Apr 18, 2014
    Mona Alami
    The Syrian civil war is dividing society in neighboring Lebanon. The country, already cleaved along sectarian lines, is experiencing a period of instability that the Syrian conflict has further exacerbated. Inundated by refugees, unwillingly involved in the conflict due to Hezbollah’s defense of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and lacking a serious application of state power, Lebanon’s remaining fragile balance is eroding. This precarious situation has given rise to a new generation of Lebanese Salafis and jihadis, who seek to inject Lebanon and Syria with their radicalized politics and reduce what they see as the disproportionately large influence of Shi‘a. Although this attempt would in more peaceful times no doubt be unsuccessful, Hezbollah’s military commitment to the Assad regime and the lack of a robust Lebanese state presence have left some Lebanese Sunnis feeling that they have no recourse other than extremism.