• Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon Courts Civil War, Again

    Oct 14, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Once again, Lebanon teeters on the abyss of a civil war, this time over conflicts related to the investigation into the disastrous August 4, 2020 explosion at …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Foreign Influence in Lebanon and the Third Miqati Premiership

    Oct 13, 2021Joe Macaron

    For the third time in 16 years, Prime Minister Najib Miqati comes to office as a consensus candidate in a country with deep divisions within the Lebanese polit…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    The Conflicted Role of Lebanon’s Central Bank

    Oct 12, 2021Sabine Kik

    Over the past few decades, public debt, sectarian nepotism, and fixed exchange rates have been three significant challenges to the Lebanese economy; albeit the…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    No Rest for the Weary: Lebanon’s Miqati Must Hit the Ground Running

    Sep 10, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Najib Miqati, the billionaire tasked over a year ago with forming the Lebanese government, has finally finished putting it together, but not before President M…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    Lebanon’s Energy Crisis Fuels US-Iran Tensions

    Aug 25, 2021Joe Macaron

    In the midst of an economic collapse and an energy crisis, Lebanon has found itself in a tug of war between the United States and Iran. On August 19, Hezbollah…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Hezbollah Is Not Interested in a War with Israel

    Aug 11, 2021Imad K. Harb

    As Lebanon reels from seemingly unsolvable political, economic, social, and security crises, an exchange of rocket and artillery fire on August 6th between Hez…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    A Year after the Beirut Explosion, a Dreaded Civil War in Lebanon

    Aug 3, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Events over the last few days in Lebanon portended a serious escalation in sectarian tensions and a possible widespread resort to arms that could quickly lead …

  • Research Paper
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Youth in Lebanon: Policy Narratives, Attitudes, and Forms of Mobilization

    Jun 17, 2021Mona Harb

    IntroductionAs Lebanon is undergoing one of the worst economic and financial collapses in the world, one that was caused by the deliberate inaction1 of its rul…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Hezbollah in Moscow: Russia Flexes Its Diplomatic Muscles

    Apr 14, 2021Joe Macaron

    In a medium-sized van with no bodyguards, on a rainy March 15, 2021, a Hezbollah delegation quietly walked into the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Faces a Civil War, a Prospect of Its Own Making

    Mar 23, 2021Imad K. Harb

    The socioeconomic and political crises gripping Lebanon today are unprecedented in the country’s 100-year history, one that has witnessed intercommunal unrest …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    No Light at the End of Lebanon’s Long and Dark Tunnel

    Mar 3, 2021Joe Macaron

    By all accounts, Lebanon is a desperate case. The severe fiscal crises portend an extended economic depression ahead. The country has been in political paralys…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Assassination of Lebanon’s Lokman Slim

    Feb 4, 2021Imad K. Harb

    Assassination reared its ugly head once again in Lebanon when unknown assailants killed political analyst and activist Lokman Slim in southern Lebanon in the e…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Risks Becoming Irrelevant

    Nov 11, 2020Imad K. Harb

    For the third time in the span of a year, Lebanese politicians are trying to go back to the proverbial drawing board. On October 22nd, President Michel Aoun ap…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Prospects of US Mediation in the Lebanon-Israel Border Talks

    Oct 14, 2020Joe Macaron

    On October 14, Lebanon and Israel started the long-awaited US-mediated talks to demarcate their maritime borders under the supervision of the United Nations. T…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The French Initiative in Lebanon: Endgame and Challenges

    Sep 16, 2020Joe Macaron

    French President Emmanuel Macron has been leading a charm offensive in Lebanon since the August 4th Beirut explosion as Paris seeks to reinvigorate its role in…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon Chooses a Prime Minister, Thwarting the Protesters Again

    Aug 31, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb writes that Lebanon’s new and largely unknown prime minister-designate, Mustafa Adib, is relatively inexperienced in politics. Nevertheless, his c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    After the Beirut Blast: Hezbollah and Iran Walk a Tricky Line

    Aug 26, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg argues that Hezbollah and Iran are vested in preserving the current political system in Lebanon whose confessional institutions enable the part…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    How Can the United States Best Help Lebanon?

    Aug 25, 2020Charles W. Dunne

    With Lebanon in crisis and the United States’ desire to help, Charles W. Dunne writes that Washington’s focus on sidelining Hezbollah and Iran should not under…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Beirut Explosion Will Have a Lasting Impact on Lebanon

    Aug 14, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron argues that the Beirut explosion and its repercussions will have a profound impact on Lebanon’s future, whatever political scenario emerges followi…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Hezbollah-Aoun Political Process Has Failed in Lebanon

    Aug 11, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb posits that the resignation of the Lebanese government exposes the failure of the Hezbollah-Aoun political process but opens an opportunity for th…

  • Policy Analysis
    Lebanon

    The Explosions in Beirut and Their Repercussions for Lebanon

    Aug 7, 2020Mary-Jane Deeb Imad K. Harb Patricia Karam Nabeel A. Khoury Jean AbiNader

    The destruction of the Port of Beirut is a profound event that will have long-term consequences for Lebanon and its economy and, most of all, its people. Read …

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon: A Failed State Explodes

    Aug 6, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb contends that the failing Lebanese state will only begin to restore its legitimacy when the country’s political elites either step down or alter t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Lebanon’s Other Problem: Neutrality in Regional Affairs

    Aug 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Examining Lebanon’s traditional neutrality in regional affairs, Imad K. Harb writes that Hezbollah’s push to follow Iran’s policies is placing the country in a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Hezbollah Cannot Solve Lebanon’s Worsening Conditions

    Jun 10, 2020Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb contends that Hezbollah has not succeeded in helping to repair Lebanon's domestic political and economic problems, has made the country hostage to…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Fakhoury Fiasco and US-Lebanese Relations

    Apr 13, 2020Joe Macaron

    The unconventional release of Lebanese-American Amer Fakhoury highlights the extent of Washington’s leverage in Beirut and raises questions about the status of…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Imminent Collapse: How Can It Be Prevented?

    Mar 3, 2020Imad K. Harb

    The dissolution of confessional politics in Lebanon and the political coalescence of the street opposition to negotiate for social change are key to addressing…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    US, Iran Prolong Détente in Lebanon with a Status Quo Cabinet

    Jan 29, 2020Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron contends that the new Lebanese government of Hassan Diab is a continuation of the old oligarchic status quo and appears to prolong the US-Iran déte…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The United States and Iran Readjust to New Realities in Iraq and Lebanon

    Dec 18, 2019Joe Macaron

    After 15 years of rivalry in Iraq and Lebanon, the United States and Iran are adjusting their policies based on a new reality of popular uprisings that challen…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    America First or America Alone?

    Nov 20, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery is skeptical about the Trump Administration’s commitment to multilateral efforts to defeat the Islamic State and secure the Arabian Gulf whil…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonProtests and Activism

    The Lebanese Uprising: No End in Sight for the Current Impasse

    Nov 20, 2019Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron explains the different factors of the current impasse between the Lebanese ruling political class and the protesters, seeing no end in sight for th…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Battle to Defeat Confessional Politics in Lebanon and Beyond

    Nov 11, 2019Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg writes that despite demands for radical change, no force or group inside or outside Lebanon can predict what will happen if the country tries t…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Catch-22 of Lebanese Reform

    Nov 5, 2019Nabeel A. Khoury

    Nabeel Khoury discusses the Lebanese leadership’s catch-22 dilemma resulting from the influence of entrenched parties and their militias as they confront the l…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Lebanon Uprising: Causes and Ramifications

    Oct 24, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    Lebanon’s protests have been unique and inclusive and are united by a wish to topple the ruling political class and abandon the system of sectarian power-shari…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Radical Reform or Total Chaos for Lebanon?

    Oct 22, 2019Nabeel A. Khoury

    Nabeel Khouri argues that it is clear that radical reform in Lebanon is what stands between a safe and gradual transition to an accountable government, on the …

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Protests Cannot Be Ignored

    Oct 18, 2019Imad K. Harb

    Imad K. Harb writes that Lebanon’s current protests are a reminder that the Arab Spring is alive and well and that Lebanese politicians have no choice but to h…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Assessing the Latest Conflagrations between Israel and Hezbollah

    Sep 11, 2019Joe Macaron

    The latest conflagrations between Israel and Hezbollah were an attempt to dictate new rules of engagement. Nevertheless, both sides appear to be committed to t…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Trump’s Sanctions on Hezbollah Threaten Lebanon’s Stability

    Jul 30, 2019Nabeel A. Khoury

    Current conditions in the Middle East and American sanctions against Hezbollah could upset the delicate balance of power in Lebanon and potentially lead to an …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Symbolism behind the Latest US Sanctions against Hezbollah

    Jul 17, 2019Joe Macaron

    The latest US sanctions against Hezbollah--and their impact on domestic Lebanese politics--are largely symbolic. In reality, the Trump Administration may have …

  • Policy Analysis
    IranInternational Law

    On the Lebanese-Israeli Border, US and Iran Are Negotiating

    Jun 5, 2019Joe Macaron

    A breakthrough in Beirut is helping American mediation in the land and maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel, but many obstacles still prevent a q…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Avoiding Punishing Lebanon Because of Hezbollah

    Apr 16, 2019Khaldon Roukie

    The United States continues to ostracize and pressure Hezbollah in Lebanon which is inadvertently helping the party grow and become more influential in the cou…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Trickiness of Syria’s Return to the Arab League

    Mar 29, 2019Imad K. Harb

    It is important for Arab states to continue to withhold Syria’s membership until Damascus agrees to a political process that leads to a transition from Assad’s…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Syria’s Demographic Changes Buttress Assad’s Authoritarianism

    Mar 1, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    The Syrian regime violated international prohibitions on the conduct of war by forcing millions of people to flee their homes in order to spur demographic chan…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon’s New Government: No Need for Washington to Panic

    Feb 6, 2019Joe Macaron

    Lebanon’s new cabinet is not that different from the previous one. An American overreaction to Hezbollah’s role in it is likely to strengthen the party’s hold.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    The Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum Reinforces Current Regional Dynamics

    Jan 25, 2019Joe Macaron

    The recently announced Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum is not likely to aid cooperation or economic integration because the policies of its member states mirro…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    The Arab Rehabilitation of the Assad Regime

    Jan 16, 2019Radwan Ziadeh

    Assad will be able to regain his political legitimacy after winning his battle militarily only if he rehabilitates his regime’s standing in the Arab world.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Washington Policy Weekly

    New Congress kicks off with a diverse House majority; senators look to get involved in US foreign policy early on; fallout continues from Trump’s decision to w…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Cabinet Stalemate in Lebanon May Be Delaying a Political Confrontation

    Sep 24, 2018Joe Macaron

    Four months after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was designated to lead a national unity government on May 24, there appears to be no end in sight for the…

  • Policy Analysis
    JordanMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Syrian Refugees in Jordan and Lebanon: The Politics of their Return

    Jun 28, 2018Joe Macaron

    Overwhelmed by their own economic woes, Jordan and Lebanon are employing different tactics to achieve the same objective: to secure the return of Syrian refuge…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    Congressional Update – Week Ending May 25, 2018

    May 25, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    I. Congress1) LegislationH.R. 5898. On May 21, Democratic Representative David Cicilline (Rhode Island) introduced a bill requiring Secretary of State Mike Pom…

  • Viewpoint
    LebanonIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Lebanon’s Elections Provide No Serious Change

    May 10, 2018Imad K. Harb

    Lebanon has just finished a feverish election campaign for its 128-seat Chamber of Deputies. This round followed a nine-year period in which this basic democra…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Elections to Rearrange the Country’s Political Landscape

    May 3, 2018Joe Macaron

    For the first time since 2009, Lebanese will elect a new parliament on May 6, a decisive election that will redraw the representation of powers of the ruling c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Where Is Syria Headed?

    Apr 3, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The scenarios for Syria’s future after the fall of Eastern Ghouta now look very different from those drawn in 2012 or 2013, which depicted a peaceful political…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending March 23, 2018

    Mar 23, 2018Marcus Montgomery

    Congress averts another shutdown and funds the government through September; lawmakers hold hearings on Lebanon and a nuclear Saudi Arabia; Trump ousts moderat…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonEnergy and Economics

    A Saudi Comeback to Lebanese Politics?

    Mar 14, 2018Joe Macaron

    Nearly 100 days after his mysterious “captivity” in the Saudi capital, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri visited Riyadh again on February 28. The timing c…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Like Quicksand, Many Issues Threaten to Engulf Lebanon

    Feb 13, 2018Imad K. Harb

    As it approaches the highly anticipated round of legislative elections on May 6, Lebanon finds itself bereft of a cohesive political center that can withstand …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    US Curbs Saudi Arabia’s Surge in Lebanon

    Nov 14, 2017Joe Macaron

    Clear statements from the White House and the Department of State appear to have curbed the Saudi surge in Beirut and toned down Riyadh’s rhetoric against the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – Week Ending October 13, 2017

    Oct 13, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress debates Iran and its proxies; President Trump refuses to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA and designates the IRGC a terrorist organization.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Will US, Saudi Pressure Deter Hezbollah in Lebanon?

    Oct 12, 2017Joe Macaron

    Given the current status quo in Lebanon, the best American and Saudi pressure can do is to make the country’s political environment unbearable for Hezbollah.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Stretched over Two Borders, Hezbollah is Making Israel Anxious

    Aug 8, 2017Joe Macaron

    In the long run, the risks of confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah may largely depend on how the US-Russia deal will unfold in southern Syria.

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranThe GCC

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 28, 2017

    Jul 28, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    Congress takes on budgets before the House goes on recess; Qatar and the GCC are front and center in Washington; Lebanon’s PM Visits DC.

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Hariri Comes to Washington in the Shadow of Hezbollah’s Wars

    Jul 25, 2017Joe Macaron

    The measure of success for Hariri’s visit to Washington is his ability to convince US officials that the status quo is the best Lebanon can do considering the …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonUS Domestic Politics and Elections

    Congressional Update – Week Ending June 9, 2017

    James Comey's testimony shakes the Capitol; Congress holds hearings on ISIL, Hezbollah; battles continue over Saudi Arabian arms deal; Iran and Russia sanction…

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Once Again, Lebanon Faces the Ghost of a Political Vacuum

    May 17, 2017Joe Macaron

    Lebanon’s sectarian consensus rule raises questions about the functionality of the country’s political system. An agreement on its new electoral law is needed …

  • Policy Analysis
    LebanonDemocracy and Governance

    Lebanon’s Oligarchy Consolidates Control over the Security Establishment

    Mar 22, 2017Joe Macaron

    After an impasse of nearly four years, on March 8 the Lebanese government announced a sectarian quota deal to fill the security establishment's leadership posi…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Trump Administration’s Hezbollah Problem

    Mar 2, 2017Imad K. Harb

    As paramilitary organizations go, Lebanon’s Hezbollah has achieved resounding success since its establishment by the revolutionary Iranian regime, which was ne…

  • Policy Analysis

    Aoun in Riyadh: A Test for Lebanon’s Foreign Policy

    Jan 25, 2017Joe Macaron

    In November 2014, General Michel Aoun told the Lebanese daily newspaper, As-Safir, that the late Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal was behind a veto to ele…

  • Policy Analysis

    The Misplaced Hope of Lebanon’s Presidential Election

    Dec 1, 2016Imad K. Harb

    Developments in Lebanon during November 2016 made it increasingly evident that the election as president of Michel Aoun, former general and leader of the Refor…

  • Policy Analysis

    End of Stalemate: A Loose Power-Sharing Agreement in Lebanon

    Oct 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    After a 30-month impasse that paralyzed the country’s governing institutions and questioned the legitimacy of the confessional system, the Lebanese Parliament …

  • Policy Analysis

    Hezbollah, Iran, and the Politics of Obstructionism

    Sep 23, 2016Imad K. Harb

    On September 7, Lebanon’s Parliament failed for the forty-third time to convene a session to elect a president. Since the expiration of former president Michel…

  • Policy Analysis

    New Rules of Engagement for US-Hezbollah Arm Wrestling in Lebanon

    Jul 6, 2016Joe Macaron

    Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East where US policy is actively seeking to deter Iran’s regional influence. Washington is directly targeting Hezboll…

  • Policy Analysis

    What Municipal Elections Mean for Lebanon

    May 17, 2016Joe Macaron

    Lebanon is holding this month municipal elections across the country, the first electoral test since the start of the Syrian war. The ruling traditional partie…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonReligion; Political Islam

    Congressional Update

    Apr 29, 2016

     Note:  Congress will recess at the end of the week.  The House will return on Tuesday, May 10, the Senate will return on Monday, May 9. The next Congress…

  • Policy Analysis

    Saudi Arabia Goes on the Offensive against Hezbollah

    Mar 8, 2016Joe Macaron

    Saudi Arabia’s explicit identification of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah as a strategic threat is a tipping point in the underlying tensions between both sides. …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonUS Foreign Policy

    Congressional Update – February 29, 2016

    Feb 29, 2016

    1. Terrorism(1) Designating the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization (HR 3892) – On February 23, the House Judiciary Committee approved HR 3892,…