A suggestion on America’s foreign policy towards Lebanon

13Mar09

American foreign policyContrary to conventional wisdom, a viable roadmap for disarming Hizbullah through domestic peace-building exists within Lebanon itself.

Beyrouth-based political analyst Nicholas Noe writes in a new report published by The Century Foundation. Such a course should be pursued vigorously by the Obama administration, Noe argues in his paper “Re-Imagining the Lebanon Track: Toward a New U.S. Policy.”   Noe, the editor of the 2007 book,Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah (Verso), and a co-founder of the Beyrouth-based news translation service Mideastwire.com, makes the case that a new, Lebanon-focused policy is needed in the immediate term regardless of the prospects for U.S. efforts on the Syrian and Iranian tracks.

While progress on these can certainly be helpful on the Lebanese front, he says, the deep challenges confronting both a Syrian-Israeli peace agreement and any “grand bargain” between the United States and Iran – and the not trivial prospects for failure on both tracks — suggest the need for concurrent US-backed efforts in Lebanon.



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