Reflections

In Lebanon, Time Is Running Out to Avoid a Total Unraveling

Ryan Bohl
Middle East and North Africa Analyst, Stratfor
Jan 5, 2021 | 21:49 GMT
Supporters of Lebanon’s Future Movement party wave the party’s flag alongside the country’s national flag during a parade in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Oct. 22, 2020.

Supporters of Lebanon’s Future Movement party wave the party’s flag alongside the country’s national flag during a parade in the southern Lebanese city of Sidon on Oct. 22, 2020. 

(MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP via Getty Images)

After a year of severe economic and political instability, Lebanon is edging closer toward a full-blown crisis that could overwhelm even the most entrenched members of its ruling elite, raising the specter of widespread unrest or another civil war. Little about Lebanon is tenable, with its economy in shambles, its national budget unsustainable, its infrastructure in disrepair, and its security at constant threat from extremists, regional conflicts and internal unrest. But with no checks on their power, Lebanon’s various political factions are still finding ways to ritualize this dysfunction, scrambling to stay one step ahead of a disaster that upends their place in power -- and with it, the remaining threads keeping the country from coming apart at the seams. ...

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