The Middle East Institute and the American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), with the cooperation of the Lebanese International Financial Executives, convened a group of experts on Lebanon who co-authored this policy brief.
Lebanon is on a tragic trajectory, never before seen in its history. The next few months, with or without needed reforms, will shape its path for years to come. Lebanon’s failings can be attributed to endemic corruption by the political class and the “state within a state” impunity of Hezbollah. Lebanon’s leaders must take the necessary risks to reverse their country from falling into the abyss of an economic and political meltdown, but they will not be able to undertake this challenge alone.
The US must lead its friends in Europe and the Gulf to encourage political parties and leaders, who have previously failed to respond effectively to their people, to create a new framework for Lebanon to begin its recovery. The time is now ripe to build on the US-mediated maritime agreement by encouraging Lebanon to take steps on other achievable objectives that continue the momentum forward. The Lebanon Working Group proposes seven policy areas on which the US should focus its work with Lebanon.
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