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Everywhere in the news we have to hear about Palestine. Most people don;t know much about it, or don't want to talk about why the world's population should pick this one country on which to throw all of their pity.

After all, they elected Hamas, before that they had the PLO and currently, most of the population is living in squalor not just because Israel is fighting a punitive war there, but because they have allowed or have had pushed upon them? a multi million dollar theft of national wealth (the usual Hamas and UN suspects)

I would think that some of us would turn our eyes to the north and wonder what is actually going on in one of the most misused countries in the Middle East, the nation of Lebanon.

Lebanon has been forced to play unhappy host to Iran's Hezbollah for years. It has had it's Presidents assassinated and it's better governments overthrown either by Syria or Iran or any of number of combinations since it first was emancipated after WW2.

So with the imminent face off between Israel's IDF and Iran's Hezbollah that is soon to take place in southern Lebanon, let's try to be constructive as to what lebanon can draw out of this series of unfortunate events.

surrounded by "friends"


Since 2019, Lebanon has struggled with deep economic and financial crises, which have further complicated its attempts to extricate itself from the influences of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. This paper discusses historical contexts and strategic avenues Lebanon could pursue to achieve autonomy from these powerful players, while also addressing domestic governance issues and rebuilding its socio-economic structure. Furthermore, it examines potential scenarios, including the implications of an Israeli intervention to push Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and envisions Lebanon's future in such contexts.

Historical Influences and Interventions

  1. Syrian Influence: Syria's relationship with Lebanon dates back to its role as a colonial administrator under the French Mandate. Syria’s military intervention in Lebanon began in 1976 during the Lebanese Civil War to maintain regional stability according to its interests. After 29 years of military presence, Syria officially withdrew its troops in 2005 following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, an event that drew immense international pressure and led to the Cedar Revolution.

  2. Iranian Influence and Hezbollah: Iran's influence in Lebanon is significantly exerted through Hezbollah, an organization formed in the early 1980s with Iranian assistance and ideological guidance. Following the 2005 Syrian withdrawal, Hezbollah’s influence grew, culminating in the 2006 Hezbollah-Free Patriotic Movement pact, which significantly shifted Lebanon’s political landscape and entrenched Iran’s presence in Lebanese affairs.

The Current Crisis and the Role of External Influences

Lebanon’s economic collapse has been exacerbated by Hezbollah’s dominance in national politics, resulting in reluctance from international bodies to provide economic aid without substantial reforms. Human rights violations, including increased hostility towards refugees and LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as persistent impunity for the Beirut port explosion in 2020, have further alienated Lebanon from potential Western support.

Strategic Pathways for Liberation

To mitigate the influence of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, Lebanon must adopt a multi-faceted strategy focusing on internal and external policy shifts.

  1. Strengthening State Institutions:

  • Judicial Independence: Passage and enforcement of laws securing judicial independence from political influences, such as those proposed by parliament in March 2023, would bolster rule of law and accountability.

  • Military Reforms: Enhancing the capacity and neutrality of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is essential. Supporting LAF operational independence could prevent Hezbollah from unilaterally engaging in military actions that draw foreign intervention.

  1. Economic Reforms:

  • IMF and International Aid: Implementing the economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including banking sector restructuring and anti-corruption measures, could unlock substantial international aid. This would address the dire economic situation, reducing Hezbollah’s ability to leverage economic distress for political control.

  • Diversifying Economic Alliances: Establishing economic ties with a broader range of international actors, including Arab Gulf states and Western countries, could reduce Lebanon's economic dependence on entities sympathetic to Iranian interests.

  1. Building Diplomatic Coalitions:

  • Arab and Western Partnerships: Actively engaging with Arab League members and Western allies to build diplomatic coalitions could facilitate coordinated efforts to exert pressure on Syria and Iran to reduce their meddling in Lebanese affairs.

  • Regional Stability Initiatives: Promoting and participating in regional dialogues, such as the Abraham Accords, could lead to a reconfiguration of regional alliances, weakening Iranian hegemony.

  1. Promoting Civic Engagement and Rule of Law:

  • Civil Society Empowerment: Strengthening civil society organizations that advocate for transparency, democracy, and human rights could foster a more robust civic environment resistant to external manipulation.

  • Anti-Corruption Campaigns: Initiating comprehensive anti-corruption drives and reinforcing legal frameworks to prosecute corrupt officials would address some root causes of Lebanese vulnerability to foreign influence.

Case Study: The Cedar Revolution

The 2005 Cedar Revolution serves as a historical precedent for successful grassroots mobilization leading to significant political change. Following the assassination of Rafic Hariri and widespread protests, international pressure, particularly from the United States and France, led to Syria's withdrawal from Lebanon. This example underscores the potential impact of coordinated domestic and international efforts in counteracting foreign dominance.

Impact of Potential Israeli Action Against Hezbollah

Israeli policy options concerning Hezbollah range from deterrence to full-scale military action. Should Israel decide to push Hezbollah out of Lebanon, several scenarios and implications emerge:

  1. Status Quo Maintenance: Continuing current policies of deterrence and limited engagement could perpetuate the unstable equilibrium, with occasional escalations incapable of decisively resolving Hezbollah’s threat.

  2. Limited War: Engaging Hezbollah in a limited war to pressure the group and push its forces further from Israeli borders might temporarily reduce immediate threats but would not eliminate Hezbollah’s capabilities or influence.

  3. Full-Scale War: A comprehensive military campaign to eradicate Hezbollah’s military presence and infrastructures, particularly to curb its rocket arsenal and tunnel networks, would have significant military and humanitarian repercussions. Such an effort might result in heavy casualties, extensive regional destabilization, and could potentially draw in Iranian and Syrian retaliations.

  4. Coercive Diplomacy: Leveraging diplomatic and economic pressures, potentially mirrored by limited military actions, to enforce the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, demanding Hezbollah’s disarmament and withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

Potential Futures Post-Hezbollah

  1. Security and Stability: Should Israel successfully degrade Hezbollah’s capabilities without devastating retaliation, Lebanon could see improved border security and a reduction in internal sectarian tensions driven by Hezbollah’s dominance. This could embolden the LAF and central government to reclaim sovereignty.

  2. Political Rebalancing: A significant weakening of Hezbollah could prompt a realignment of Lebanon’s political landscape, reducing external Iranian influence and allowing pro-sovereignty factions to gain traction in governance and policy-making.

  3. Economic Recovery: With diminished military conflict and political stabilization, Lebanon’s prospects for economic recovery could improve. International confidence might be restored, unlocking critical financial aid and investment needed for reconstruction and development.

  4. Structural Reforms: The vacuum left by a weakened Hezbollah could expedite necessary reforms, fostering transparency, accountability, and rebuilding trust in public institutions. This might catalyze broader social and economic reforms crucial for sustainable development.

  5. Humanitarian Costs and Challenges: The immediate aftermath of a military campaign would likely involve significant humanitarian crises, including displacement, infrastructural damage, and exacerbated economic instability. Coordinated international humanitarian and reconstruction efforts would be essential in the short term to mitigate these impacts and support recovery.

The future of Lebanon remains deeply uncertain and contingent on multifaceted internal and external factors. Nonetheless, a strategic approach leveraging historical lessons, domestic reforms, and international partnerships could pave the way for a stable, autonomous, and prosperous Lebanon.


The pathway to Lebanon's liberation from the influence of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah is multifaceted and complex, requiring robust internal reforms, strategic international alliances, and a commitment to upholding democratic principles and human rights. While the current geopolitical and economic landscape poses substantial challenges, a concerted, strategic approach that leverages historical lessons could pave the way for a sovereign and stable Lebanon. An improved security environment, contingent upon the mitigation of Hezbollah's influence, could catalyze broader political and economic rejuvenation, positioning Lebanon to reclaim its historical role as a beacon of cultural and economic vitality in the Middle East.


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