Webinar: Securing Lebanon to Prevent a Larger Hezbollah-Israel War and Wider Escalation

July, 08 2024

Securing Lebanon to Prevent a Larger Hezbollah-Israel War and Wider Escalation

July 8, 2024 - 12:00pm ET

As tensions between Israel and Hezbollah escalate, the specter of full-scale war with the potential to draw in the United States and Iran demands the United States’ immediate attention. At the same time that the US actively tries to avoid Lebanon becoming a theater of regional war, a durable solution to the crisis will need to address Iran’s entrenched influence and destabilizing role within Lebanon and in the region, as well as Lebanon’s governance vacuum. Lebanon’s descent into a quasi-failed state following a financial collapse engineered by its governing elites has indeed reinforced the need to prioritize improved governance and accountability. Accordingly, a determined approach to dissuading parties from provocation together with a more comprehensive roadmap for lasting stability is essential to warding off a potentially catastrophic Hezbollah-Israel war and ensuring the survivability and recovery of the Lebanese state. Prioritizing diplomacy to avert a full-scale war offers an opportunity for the US and friends of Lebanon to confront these pressing issues, including the country’s erosion of sovereignty, its corrupt system of governance, and the collapse of its formal economy.

The latest policy brief written by a group of experts from the Middle East Institute (MEI) and the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL) proposes a framework for robust diplomacy designed, first and foremost, to steer Lebanon away from the precipice of war, and then help establish a direct and sustainable path to stability and recovery.

To launch this important policy document, MEI and ATFL co-hosted a panel of experts who discussed the key elements of the brief’s framework, including the pressing need to secure Lebanon by stabilizing the Lebanese-Israeli land border, addressing Lebanon’s leadership vacuum, as well as reviving its economy. Additionally, the assembled panelists outlined what an optimal multi-faceted US strategy and policy toward Lebanon and the region should look like.

Amb. (ret.) Edward Gabriel
American Task Force on Lebanon
Dr. Paul Salem
Middle East Institute
Amb. (ret.) David Hale
The Wilson Center
Patricia Karam
American Task Force on Lebanon
Fadi Nicholas Nassar
Middle East Institute
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