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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.
The Axis of Evil deals extensively with Iran's involvement in terrorist activity against Israel through Hizballah after the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from Lebanon (May 2000) and the instigation of the Al-Aksa Intifada (September 2000-2003). It examines Iran's attitude towards the State of Israel since the rise of Knomeini, confirming that Iran sees Israel as a primary source of the world's wrongdoings and the epitome of evil. In turn, Israel has become one of Iran's archenemies. Over the years, Iran has strengthened its ideological links with radical Arab and Palestinian circles. In addition, it actively supports Hizballah, which acts on behalf of Iran from its base in Lebanon and perpetrates terror attacks against Israel and against representatives of Western and Arab countries in Lebanon as well as in the international arena.
This book is a comprehensive and in-depth study of Shiite and Iranian terror activity. In addition to drawing attention to the significance of Iran's contributions to terror, it provides readers with a better understanding of Iran's activities in light of the global war against terrorism as well as the deployment of American troops along Iran's borders with Afghanistan and Iraq.
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.
Since the end of the Cold War, academic debate over the nature of war in the contemporary world has focused upon the asymmetric nature of conflict among a raft of failed or failing states, often held together by only a fragile notion of a shared communal destiny. Little scholarly attention has been paid, however, to one such conflict that predates the ending of the Cold War, yet still appears as intractable as ever: Israel’s hostile relationship with Lebanon and in particular, its standoff with the Lebanese Shi’a militia group, Hizbollah. As events surrounding the ‘Second Lebanon War’ in the summer of 2006 demonstrate, the clear potential for further cross border violence as well as the potential for a wider regional conflagration that embraces Damascus and Tehran remains as acute as ever.
This book focuses on the historical background of the conflict, while also considering the role that other external actors, most notably Syria, Iran and the United Nations, play in influencing the conduct and outcomes of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. In addition, it also looks at Hizbollah’s increasing sway in Lebanese domestic politics, its increased military cooperation with Iran and Syria, and the implications of such developments.
This book will be of much interest to students of Middle Eastern politics, War and Conflict Studies, International Security and International Relations in general.
Clive Jones is Professor of Middle East Studies and International Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds, UK. His books include Soviet Jewish Aliyah 1989-92 (1996), Israel: Challenges to Democracy, Identity and the State (with Emma Murphy, 2002), and co-editor The al-Aqsa Intifada: Between Terrorism and Civil War (2005).
Sergio Catignani is Lecturer in Security and Strategic Studies and MA Programme Director for the MA in Security and Strategic Studies at the Department of Politics, University of Sussex. He is the author of Israeli Counter-Insurgency and the Intifadas: Dilemmas of a Conventional Army (2008).
The Making of Lebanese Foreign Policyillustrates how systemic theories are limited in terms of explaining foreign policy decisions because they largely ignore the role of internal, or sub state, factors. Within Lebanon, foreign policy is split between the interests of different internal Lebanese groups working in alliance with external actors. The competing interests of these internal groups compromise the cohesion of the Lebanese state and its capacity to promote its own interests above those of the different internal groups. The example of Lebanon during the 2006 war thus demonstrates the importance of these sub state factors in influencing state behaviour on an international level.
Arguing that a more pluralistic approach is necessary in order to understand the conditions that affect the foreign policy making of the Lebanese state, this book fills an important gap in the literature on the topic and will be of interest to students of International Relations, Middle East Studies and Islamic Studies amongst others.