As the turmoil affecting Syria persists with no apparent end in sight, fears about the potential impact of the crisis on Syria’s neighbors remain at the fore. Among all of its neighbors, the complexity that defines Syria’s relationship with Lebanon and the characteristics of Lebanese society and politics - linked inextricably in so many respects to Syria - leave Lebanon especially vulnerable to a spillover of violence and instability from Syria, which continues to enjoy tremendous influence in Lebanon even after withdrawing its troops from the country in 2005.
-Chris Zambelis is an author and researcher with Helios Global, Inc., a risk management group based in the Washington, DC area. He specializes in Middle East politics. The opinion expressed here is the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of Helios Global, Inc.
2. Observations gleaned from author’s visit to Tripoli, Lebanon, December 2010