Featured Papers

Ambassador Edward Gabriel
Lebanon is the first line of defense for America's interests in the Middle East

Lebanon is a country of 4.5 million people hosting 1.5 million Syrian refugees—the equivalent, percentage-wise, of all of Canada and half of Mexico flowing into the U.S. in about four years. In meetings I had last week in Beirut, the country’s Minister of Refugees told me that Lebanon is the “sandbag” against a rising flood that keeps this problem from overflowing to Europe and the West. And after speaking with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and other top government officials, I fear that Lebanon may not be able to cope much longer.

The Lebanese have borne direct and indirect costs of nearly $20 billion as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis, in a country with an annual GDP of $48 billion. Half the refugee children are not in school (which are plagued by overcrowding), power shortages produce less than half the needed electricity, only one-third of households have access to clean water, and the environmental damage from lack of sewage treatment is a disaster.

 
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Featured Institute

ABOUT THE BAKER INSTITUTE'S CENTER FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
 
The Baker Institute Center for the Middle East provides policymakers, scholars and the general public with comprehensive analyses of issues, events and trends across this critical region with important implications for U.S. policy and global stability. The center encompasses research programs addressing key policy areas including Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution, the political economy of the Gulf, the role of women in the countries of the region, U.S.-Iranian relations, and the role of Islamist movements in the region. The Center for the Middle East builds on the Baker Institute’s long engagement with the Middle East and provides support for research, lectures, conferences and affiliations with other experts and organizations confronting policy challenges in the region. The center offers a nonpartisan voice relying on data-driven research and direct engagement with decision-makers in the United States and in the region. The Center for the Middle East also collaborates with the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies as well as Rice University academics studying the history, politics and societies of the Middle East. As a meeting point for different academic disciplines and viewpoints, the center aims to foster informed, policy-relevant dialogue about often divisive issues and the future of the region.
Visit the center's website.
 
American Task
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American Task Force On Lebanon
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