Civil wars hijacked: a case study of the Lebanese Civil War
Greenheck, Kyle L.
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The United States continues to be drawn into complex conflict environments where multiple internal and external state and non-state actors (NSAs) compete for influence. This thesis seeks to address how an external state actor can establish influence in a civil war environment through effective support of non-state actors. The research question is addressed through an in-depth analysis of the Lebanese Civil War from 1975 to 1990, using both qualitative and social network analysis to assess the strategies of three state actors in that conflict: Israel, Syria, and Iran. This study suggests that external state actors can increase influence in a civil war environment through a variety of strategies. However, the most dominant state actors are typically those that pursue a limited objective through a combination of direct and indirect support to a heterogeneous coalition of non-state actors employing a combination of violent and non-violent techniques. The lessons obtained from this analysis may provide valuable insights to planners tasked with the development of influence within a civil war through external support to NSAs.
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