This volume examines Lebanon's post-2011 security dilemmas and the tenuous civil-military relations. The Syrian civil war has strained the Lebanese Armed Forces' (LAF) cohesion and threatens its neutrality - its most valued assets in a divided society. The spill-over from the Syrian civil war and Hezbollah's military engagement has magnified the security challenges facing the Army, making it a target. Massive foreign grants have sought to strengthen its military capability, stabilize the country and contain the Syria crisis. However, as this volume demonstrates, the real weakness of the LAF is not its lack of sophisticated armoury, but the fragile civil-military relations that compromise its fighting power, cripple its neutrality and expose it to accusations of partisanship and political bias. This testifies to both the importance of and the challenges facing multi-confessional armies in deeply divided countries.
Are John Knudsen is Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI), Bergen, Norway. He is a social anthropologist focusing on peace, conflict and forced migration in South Asia and the Middle East.
Tine Gade is a Senior Research Fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (EUI) 2016-2018. A political scientist, she works on Islamism and political leadership in Lebanon and Iraq.
1. Chapter 1: The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): A United Army for a Divided Country?.- Chapter 2: The Lebanese Army after the Syrian Crisis: Alienating the Sunni Community?.- Chapter 3:
Allure of the Army? Recruiting Rural Youth in the Lebanese Armed Forces.- Chapter 4: Patrolling a Proxy War: Citizens, Soldiers and Zu?ama in Syria Street, Tripoli.- Chapter 5: Gendering (In-) Security: The Army, Barriers and Frontiers in Urban Tripoli.- Chapter 6: Palestinian Camp-Military Relations in Lebanon: The Case of Nahr al-Bared.- Chapter 7: The Lebanese Armed Forces in Regional Perspective.