Case study of Lebanon: can the U.S. build upon socio-economic influences in order to foster good citizenship versus insurgency?
Hoppe, Kirk D.
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Lebanon has long struggled with tremendous political upheaval. More recently, they have battled with heavy-handed Syrian interference, coped with a large number of Palestinian refugees, wrestled with Islamic fundamentalists, and have witnessed several attempts made upon the lives of prominent public figures. The country still remains mired in political inertia and suffers from an inability to institute the deeply needed reforms in its political structure and governing arrangement. A strong factor preventing any progress in the Lebanese political process is the emergence of new and potent political will within the Shia population charged by the insurgent group Hezbollah. This project analyzes the roles of Hezbollah in shaping the local economic picture among the people of southern Lebanon. Implications for political and military strategists are provided in order to possibly change the perception that Hezbollah is the only legitimate force able to provide safety, security, and basic services to a population lacking these essential goods, and thus changing the trends for people to strive towards good citizenship versus the counterproductive nature of insurgency.
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