ABSTRACT

Lebanon is a small, Levantine state located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, suffering, at present, from internal disorder and the military encroachments of Palestinians, Israelis, and Syrians. The residue of its most recent period of civil war-proxy militias caught in a syndrome of attack and reprisal, occupation forces on patrol, and politicians retreating to separate communities-has left the state in a condition of incoherence and dependence. Having only 4,015 square miles of territory, Lebanon is about the size of Connecticut, i.e., a bit larger than the Yellowstone National Park, but “with a more lethal wildlife,” as old hands in the diplomatic establishment used to say. At present, the Lebanese are beginning to recover from fifteen years of civil war and are attempting to rebuild their country, but they are also forced to tread water, so to speak, while awaiting the “peace process” to yield agreements among their neighbors that would make a normal national life possible.1