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Augustus Richard Norton is professor of international relations and anthropology at Boston University and a fellow of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. A former U.S. Army officer and West Point professor, he has conducted research in Lebanon for more than three decades.
Recognizing that these two groups are increasingly relevant to U.S. national security, Gleis and Berti provide a comparative analysis of their histories and political missions that moves beyond reductionist portrayals of the organizations' military operations.-- William Martel, The Fletcher School, Tufts University
Recent events have put the spotlight on Syria's policies and actions. After the assassination of a Lebanese politician, protests in Lebanon led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops. While the withdrawal averted an immediate threat of bloodshed, the Bush administration accused Syria of being a source of instability in the Middle East, with Secretary of State Rice charging that Syria was still active in Lebanon and was supporting foreign terrorists fueling the insurgency in Iraq. The U.S.-Syrian relationship is of critical importance to the United States' efforts to promote democracy throughout the Middle East. At the same time, the United States has been pressuring Syria to clamp down on terrorism within its own borders. Rabil provides a history of the modern U.S.-Syrian relationship, putting the latest events in the context of this contemporary history, and placing the relationship in the context of Middle Eastern politics.
In Global Security Watch—Lebanon, author David Sorenson explores Lebanon's arcane—almost dysfunctional—political structure and economic system, as well as the complex religious makeup of a country that is home to Christians, Jews, and Arabs with no majority faith. Sorenson also looks at how the nation has often served as a focal point of diplomatic and military conflict for other nations, including Syria, Iran, and Israel, as well as how ill-informed American policies toward Lebanon have ultimately harmed American strategic interests in the Middle East.