Lebanon: The Rise of the Militias as Political Actors fssjjjjj i
A Research Paper
paper was prepared by4
Office of Near Eastern and South AsianAnaJysis. with
LDftVlt was coordinated with the Directorateperations. (
the Siege for lhe Miliiias I
of Militia Politics
Rivalries in lias: Beirul
in Wot Beirut $
Ubanon: Explosively Unstable '
the Palestinians 12
for the South
Lebanon: Forgotten Arena
Scenarios , 16
siTinfl 1rt^ lln
Ixbaison: The Rise of lhe Militias as Political Aclc
a>toi*anuary 1OMmrj rtpori.
ear-old civil war has all bui dissolved the country" political order, and thc power of sectarian militias now surpasses lhe government's authority. The rise of Lebanese militias pursuing anti-Western objectives guarantees that Lebanon will remain an environment hostile to US interests. Thc breakdown of public order will ensure that Lebanon will continue to servetaging base for international terrorism, smuggling, and narcotics trafficking. Moreover. Lebanon'i continued agony will have dangerous spillover effects on broader Arab-lsncli and Palestinian issues.
society is virtually dismembered and probably beyond hope of recoastiiution. The fragmentation of Lebanese politics, governmenul paralysis, rampant violence, the deaths ofebanese in the civil war. and the ensuing civil disorder reflect the erosion of trust, loyalty, confidence, compassion, civihiy. and respect. Tbc fundamental social altitudes that ceice bound together the disparate elements of Lebanese society and allowed thc Lebanese to claim loyalty to something largereligious sect have collapsednflBLuaa. Lr, *^
The social, economic, and poliiical anarchy of ihc civil war along with profound demographic changes has accelerated Lebanon's decomposition while nurturing the growth of ihc militias. Tension between thc Maronilc Christians and otherthe Shias. who have replaced the Maronites as thc country's largestthe distribution of political power hasayor cause of the anarchy that has become synonymous with Lcbanoc Theake up Lebanese society nave for the most part abandoned) National Charter, which assigned government positions according to thc size of each sect and cnablod potentially irscornpatible groups to coexist as partarger whole4%%
The political consequence is ihe rule of guns. Groupso not have armed militias are helpless. Thc massacre of Palestinian refugees at the Sabra and Shatila camps in Beirut2 after ihc withdrawal of PLO fighters illustrates what can happen to Lebanese groups thai lack military
In ihc absence of other institutions, ihe militia has (Dwome lhc dominant institution in Lebanese politics. Il almost certainly will remain so. The miliiias. for example, have stepped in to provide services that the fovem-rnent can nokmie! provide. In addition tonodicurn of order in an otherwise anarchic environment, militias colleci trash, provide security al checkpoints between East anil West Beirut, and direct traffic. -aaajaat
No militia, however,n strong enough io impose iu version of the Lebanese stale on iu counterparts, nor is one sirong enough lo create anpolitical entity outside lhc Lebanese political system. Partly in response to their dilemma as weak individual actorsoose system, the militias ceaselessly negotiate as alliances are made, broken, remade, and rebroken to gain advantage over thc opponent of thc moment. Power rsolttka is their primary tool, and ideology, religion, or affiliauoa with foreign patrons do not preclude alliances thaiilitia's tactical
PaJwinian, Syrian. Israeli, and Iranian involvement has accelerated the population of Lebaneseeep disagreements over the legitimacy of Ihc Palestinian armed presence and whether and how to aceomn>odatc politically thc hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees helped spark the civil war3 and continue to cause turmoil. The presence of tens of -thousand* of Syrian Iroops in Lebanon further uruJcrculs Ihe authority of lhc weak central government, airengthens the political position of pro-Syrian aciora, and reduces Ihc likelihood of political arwmmodations among Lebanese polilical groups The coptinumc. Israeli presence in southern Lebanon haseeply radicalizing effect on Lebanon's Shias.
Iran is thc most recent presence and may be the most explosive. Tehranontingent of Revolutionary Guards to Lebanon shortly after the Israeli invasionnderscoring thc commiimeni of thc Shias' powerful ally yd thc emergenceolilical front of fuodamcnulastboth Lebanon andtocreatirtgan Islamic republic in Lebanon modeled or. lhe Iraniar example WkWtm /
Thc presidential election scheduled8 may demonstratethat the political compromise established3 is defunct. Muslim militia warlords vehemently oppose'the continuing Maronitc occupation of the presidency. The parliamentary process by which presidents arc selected will be strained and possibly paralyzed as Lebanon's seels use the electoral process to red res' longstanding grievances. Thereubstantial risk that militias could scuttle lhe selection process by preventing their coreligionist members of parliament from attending thelection session Effort* to avert electoral paralysis oauM easily founder on the conflicting demands of Muslim militia warlords and the unwillingness of theto make substantial poliiicalJJ
Virtually all militias view ihexcwernrrteni. and thc Army as just another Christianartifact of the National Charter that gaveto the Chriitians. Lebanon's militias will equate US suppori for ihc government with suppori for the Christians, even if authoritativeof US policy indicate otherwise. In addition, Ihe vigor with which militia alliances are made and remade indicates that US involvement inin suppori of thebe opposed, by most militias efS
Lebanon: Thc Rise of lhePolitical Act^rsataMf(3)
Ihr Slav- lor lhc MlltluH Lebanon has always beenland of diverse religious (room, which hai prevented il from developingrational traditions or experience. The Christians. Drurc. and Shias fled lo the Lebanon mountains In searchand thai would allow ihem io iciain Iheir social distinctiveness 'n the midn ofSunni Arab -dominated Middle Ea. t. Each troop carved out for itself or was pushed intoin which it could retain its claim to its specialhile cocxitiing with iu neighbors. Many of Ubanons sects have their own myths about their origins and uniqueness The Msrooitet. for esample, assert that they are noi realty Arabs bul are descended from the ancient
Tha French. In constructing modernolitical system thaihortly on lhe beau of religious sect, while reserving primacy for the Matomic Chrssiians who looked to Franceatron Although that system functioned for someean, most scholars agree thai the system's flawi helped promote tbe growth of sectarian militias. Thc National Charter encouragedancsc to define ruoc* fioraj sectarian point of view ratherational perspective and gave polilical Icarilinucy to the militias that became vehicles for^sccurtan griev-ancci against the governmeni,!
Ijthe loyalties of
mot! Lebanese to lhe nation never approachedof their loyally to family, dan. and village
red umbo ting political power exceptensus Most Christian political leaders assert thai any such crmut should include all overseas larbanesc, moat .of whom are Christian. Without an ogrcement on how ioensus, there ii scani incentiveruitful political dialogue between ibe Maronites. who have thc most io lose, and the other KCttBaaaaawt
"Ubanon is loo conspicuous and successful anof polilical democrect ond economic liberalism lo be toleratedegion ihai has lurned Ils back on both systems It may be answered ihai such fears are unfounded, lhal lhe conscience of lhe world would noi allow any harm lo befallarmless country as Lebanon, lhal the neighboring world would noi want loecalcitrant minority on their hondi. and that It Is In iheir Interests to preserve Lebanonindow on the Welt,'But, to anyone who has fallowed ihe course of national and iniernailonal politics in Ihe lastears, such arguments are sheer nonsense. Minorities have been effectively liquidated, windows have been violertlly slammed, andipple has stirred in the conscience of the world
Issawi. prlnceion University
the Maronites' solutionIo avoid thc lenprcrironment issue, withibat ihe government has become asarticipant in Lebaneseecade following the civil war ofLebanese Christians labored demographictoday's confrontational canironrncai makesimpossible Given their plurality, weIbeirplay lhein determining Lebanon's future Theirin responseew generation ofclerics preaching political activism and theihe Iranian revolution, means that they willminimal Christian authoi
batons Notional Chatter
The scmlformal Lebantst NaUonal Charier IMIlhoareceded formal independence and Ihr national toraiiluiion by tome ihree yean. Thii was no coincidence. Thr important poliiical issues were worked ouientlemen's agrtemeni about how to divide poliUcal power among Lebanon's reli-gious communities. In retrospect. It seems likely lhal, without such an agreement, the constitution would have been made Irrelevant by lhe wrangling ihat would have arisen over who got what, i
The NaUonal Charier specified that the Ala Christians would receive lhe office of President: ihe Sunnts would receive ihe office of Prime Minister: lhe Shias would receive ihe office of Speaker ofand the Drute would receive Ihc position of Minister of Defense ond other important portfolios. Seals in iht parliament art dividtd similarly among tht major Lebanese seas. Tht appointment of Adithia. os Minister of Defense under the Ctmaytl govemmeniinor adjustment in power-sharing among the Lebanese sects, but Shia politicians and militia leaders remain deeplywiih their Id. g
Dynamics or MUifU>oTTlks Dialogue of Intimidation. The trademarks otmilitia politics are amorality and violence. Car bombings, political assassinations, and hostage taking are commonplace. These acts are aof communication between militias in which unreasonable warlords arc confronted with Ihe limits of Iheir power and induced to behave more circumspectly. In some cases, Ihe car bombs and killings are (he attempts of underlings to scire power In their own militias. In Others, the goal is so eliminate recalcitrant opponents from another mili-fn.
The Last Vesiige of Nationalism: Thr Army
Lebanon'! Army, ot least in thef Commanding Ctntrol Michel Awn. It the last working naUonal Institution. The fragmemotton of the ArmyS. when many Muslimdtstried ai lhe dirtttion ofmltltlo Itadtr Nabih Barri. Itlusiraltd the Army's susctpiibilily lo Iht same kind of social prtsiurts lhal had splintered Ihe country. Awn has workedeprtstnt all ofskis In Iht Army, bui he has been forced into political contortionsaintain the illation that he has succeeded:
one-lhlrdand'one-halfofthe Army payroll goes to soldiers who perform no visible duiits and who art only nominally in military service.
Sunni and Shia officers meet with Awn onlyonth and mull moke special arrangements to cross into East Beirut, where Army headquarters is located.
6tk Brigade, composed predominantly ofis more responsive lo direction from Shia Amal leader Nabih Barri or iht Syrian military than to Awn's Army command.
IIth Brigade, composed predominantly of Drute. Is more responsive lo Druse leader Walld Junblatl than lo Awn.
The Christian brigades have been the target of proselytizing by Christian militia leader Samlr Ja Ja. who il attempting to gain the loyally of selected brigadesamewe suspect, convert thc Army piecemeal loonof hi: Lebanese Forces militia tgef
salient characteristic or ihc militia politicalis thc absenceeniral authority. No actor-even ihcstrong enough jo impose consensus, nor can any two or ihree aciori working together bringunctioning national political oidcf
Htntagc holding, which extendi well beyond Hirbal-Uh'i campaign agaimt Americana and other Wesi-erners. is an integral pan of militia politics. With no other constraints on lhe behavior of their opponents, mltilia leaders have reverted lo the ancient Middle Eastern practice of taking hostageseans of influencing opponents. On the basis of our assessment of reports from many sources and the views of knowledgeable observers, wc conclude thai at0 Lebanese are held hostage by the country's militias. Each of the major militias holds as many as several hundred hostages from oiher confessional groups. The release of someostages by thc Christian militia in East Beirut in6 indicates that such practices arc not limited io Muslim militias or anti-Western groups. Amal announced6 that it was willing io negotiate the releasej Israeli airman it was holding^
Paironi. Virtually all militias have foreign patrom who supply them with weapons and tt tempi to use ihem Io maintain political influence inSyria supports the Shia Amal oiganiialion and indirectly aids lbc Druxc Progressive Socialist Parly and several Other small militias, according to the dictates of Syrian policy Iran backs ihe Shia Hirbai-ttt. Iraq backs the Chreuan Lebanese Form Libya has provided financial backing to ibe Diure and some Nauru: groups. The Saudis give money io Christian. Oruac, and Sunni groups. Israel has had contacts with the Chrisiian. Shia, and Druie militias. The Lebanese Forces militia does not hide its lies io the United Stales from other Lebanese actors. Tbe Soviet Union and Libya have provided militaiy aid to the Druxe militia and Ihr lebaneie Communist Party militia.
Polilleal Aiiaiiinalion and Po-tr
Ja Ja, trader of the ChHillanodern version ofjebonon's
S heredawn attack planned by Bashir Gemeyel against the stronghold of former President Franjiyeh which resulted in the death of Franjiyah's son. his daughter-in-law, and their baby. Druiehold him responsible for the massacre of scores of civilians during sectarian fightingevrral hundred Christians dird during Ja Jo's struggleust III Hubayqa as Lebanese Forcer chiefe engineered the assaislnatlon of ihc Lebanese Army's 5th Brigade commander inemi
Junblait. leader of lhe Druie Progressive Socialist Party militia,imilarly violentbuiictim. Longtime observers of Lebanonidely cited apocryphal laleeeting between Syrian Preiidenl Assad andshortly after the assassination of Junblati'sthai portrays Junblati as relisting Syrian pressure. Assad pointed out to Junblati ihat he was familiar wiih ihe Druse reluctance to comply with Syrian wishes.emember your father silting in thai chair ond saying the samessad said. Junblait understood that ihe reference to hit late father meant thai he should be more pllanit
The assassination of Prime Minister Rashid Koromi in thr spring7 illustrates how the Identification and punishment of ossasslni become an exercise in sectarianism. In our view, ihe affair is the best rtccnl example of the government's Inabilityci. All bui pro-Ja Ja sources of information hove reportedlhal strongly implicated ihe ChristianForces militia os being behind Karami's death.
! The Judge appointed to invesligate the murder resigned. The militaryappointed to examine the evidence refused to Identify the culprits, ostensibly because ihey were members of the Army. An Army enlisted man sui-pecttd of planting the bomb that killed Karami tied to Sweden Inlfgfhj
yrla Vtatked i
remove hit adm
All Muslim militia leaders and SyrlaoWacktdovernment for not bringing Karami's murderers lo Jutticr. Sallm al-Huss. appointed as acting Prime Ministersidenl Gemayel. refuted toew governmcni unlilssassins wereIn our view, ihis left Gemeyel unable lo aci without alienating Christian supporters of Karami'i kilters and unable in< remove his administration from poliiical 'intboa^ff
and Profit. Jgsi below the surface oftraditional economy lias another layer ofservices and trade thai sustains economic activity. Some militias haveivil arm thattaxes and provides public services. Thc best organizedLebanesetrash, operates en inexpensive bus service for thc Christian enclave, and in7 begana Tood aid program for needy families. The Lebanese Forces alsomallemcc for ^jed^calassij'ance|ft^^
ocial welfare program, funded by Iran. Focusing c* the Shia poor in Al BiqalfBekaaiiballah provides staple foods, subsidiredcuiicals. and fuel oil in order to generate support for Hizballah and Iran-
All of thc majorexample thethe Progressive Socialist Party. Amal,solicit funds from localsources. In our view, increasingrival militias for funds intensifies thestruggle and increases the irrelevancy of thcsources of revenue
Fees from unofficial ports operated by (he mitiiias.
Support from foreign patrons.
Contributions from coreligionists at home and abroad.
Fees collected al checkpoints throughoutouniry,
Informal "taxes" imposed on Iocs lousiness.
: system includes computerizedlhal helps Ihe Christianrom businessmen, shopkeepers, and housewives. In relucn. lhe Lebanese Forces provides saniiaiwnjervice and limited public works for East Beirut
ports in the Christian enclave and leases the four most important ones to Christian entrepreneurs for large sums. Even though periodic crackdowns on smuggling by thc Syrian Governmeni cause fluctuations in ihe revenue thc ports generate.<
someercent ol Ihe cargoes unloaded in ihb port are destined for lhc SyrianaaaaV
The decline of Lebanon's economyas contributed mightily to the country's politicallawlessness, and the rise of tbe miliiias. The mililia warlords, in our view, arc Increasingly turning to smuggling and drug trafficking at sources of revenue. Tbe militia ports arc conveniem depots for drugs and illegal arms, asfor coeds stolen from other ports. asaaaV
Militia alliances arc fluid and arc influenced by the changing rceional interests of Lebanon's miliiias.
E'pedten tAII iances.
Ifbanon'i StrangestHisballah and the Lebanese Fotcei
The Christian Lelmesr Force, and Shia Hizballah gain by cooperation. Both favor the overthrow of the existing order. The Lebanese Forceseady have lies to some Muslim militants.!
Lebanese Forces gave sanctuary to members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who'fled West Beirut'entered in strength In.
Like other Lebanese groups. Hitballah has demon-siroted considerable tactical flexibility, Of all the actors in Lebanon, however.he most ideologically dogmatic, and we believe cooperation between Hisballah and the Christians Is entirely situational. Such coordination probably would take place even while the two groups were fighting each Olher. The survival Imperative of mililia politics and the distrust of Syria by the iwo groups their cooperaiion against Damaseus.fM
Beirut: Militias City The continuing power struggle among Lebanon'shas transformedlhc majorintellectual, and tourist center of lhe Araba lawless militarized rone contested by confessional and ideological factions Turf battles, terrorism, street crime, and the laek of eenlralir.ed
Palestinian! in/.ill' or New Home?
Tbe Palestinians Move been an important actor in Lebanon /or tke Ionears. Tke number ofin tkeestimate they composef the Lebanese population of some 3Jtheir presence importoni. They conaluable allyormldablr enemy. Palestinian fighters have returned to Lebanon in Strength. We estimate that there0 In the country. tflSSfJ
Despite the military importance of the Palestinian fighters, the place of lhe Palestinians in the Lebanese political system is slight. In Our view, manybelieve that lhe thousands of deaths ihcir people have suffered in Lebanon entitle themlace in Lebanese politics. Thc incorporation of Palestinians
regime, in preventing the emergenceiable Hanoi authority in Lebanon, and in opposing local dominance by any one militia. They are determined loiiablt presence in Lebanon
Palestinian ties lo Lebanon, turbulent thoughsuggest ihat Lebanon Is an acceptable place
The fluid Lebanese environment helps lheoehtete some of their goals Militias, suthprogressive Socialist Party, thed Hiiballah, have eida0 theIn returning fighters to Lebanon and
sutho-itv make thethe Muslimangerous. Beirut'shas markedly curtailed the social and economic activities ot gm-ernmenl institutions and provided sanctuary (or extremists of various affiliations. The city is an open arena in whleh terrorists can operate without fcarjsf beipe. apprehendedentral state authority..
According tu historians, cosmopolitan Beirut once wasas the mcclingplacc of Middle Eastern and Western culture The Beirutb prided ihemse'-ves on their sophistication and claimed with somethai they enjoyed the best ol both worlds. Tbe conditions that made Beirut the Paris of (he Middle East, however, were nothc political desires or social mores of most of Lebanon'seirut's tolerance arose, in large pan. from its French colonial east, tbe cosmopolitan ethic of Lebanon'selite, and Ihe apathy of most Lebanese.
a refugease of operations againsi Israel accelerated lhe country's poliiical collapse. The bur-geoning Palestinian presence disrupled relations be. tween Beirutthesects. The Israeli invasions8I upset Bcirul's fragile political balanceave of migration to West Beirut from southern Lepanon swelled lbc ranks ol Shia militias.
Christian Riealrirs in Can Beirut. Christian mmila leader Samir Ja Ja has used the moribund Gcrnayel government as his political foil lo garner supportolitically independent Christian enclave. Both Ja Ja and CemayeJ score victoria* of sons merely byalive lo Stmboinc their respective political positions We believe Ja la has been able to exploit drscssioa within lbc Lebaneseontinuing rivalry with Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Micbct Awn (who.may be position.rg himselfandidate fornd. perversely, the Muslim accusations against the predomininilyChristianf lowing the assassination of Muslim Prime Minister Karami In contiast io Ja Ja's image ofesser degree Generalpolitically failgued. I
Since Ja Ja and hit loyalitli look control of the Lebaneac Force* inhe mililia hu emphasised Christian superiorfsi growing SBia MtnZim strength. Thc Lcbancae Forces has worked toward the cootol-daiionhrisiian er-claveafeguard against thc Shia threat Carefulvoid lhe term* Ja has called for the decentralization of Lebanon along tbe lines or the Swiss polilical system.
Ja Ja hat worked to make Ihe Christianself-sufficient The Lebanese Forcescontrols its own ports, newspaper, and radiostation, and Ja Ja has beenboil success to create an international airportnorth of Tail Beirut
are emphasizing tbe Lebanese Forces* growing in-vo'.vemen; in public adrainntration in an effort lo highlight militia eapabilitiei and government den-caencaeaj
The Lebanese Forces, in our judgment, is determined to achieve preeminence in Lebanon's Christianalmost certainly at thc expense of thegovernmeni. Until recently, mililia leader JavJa and President Gemayel were linkedartnership of convenience againsi Syrian influence, Ja Ja'sto Cemayel is tied to8 presidential election and the Christian hardliner's attempts to dealosition of Strength or possibly, to entex thc
Who's Who in Beirut's Factions
CSimlr Ja In
Shu Muslim lAyaio&at,
Ja's challenge adds an unpredictable element to militia politics, mainly through his willingness lo use against both Christian and Muslim targels lo his goals. Although he is likely to seek to limit the political fallout of hit actions, we believe his lifelong dedication to the use of violence coulda major crisis in Beirut, perhaps splitting the Christian camp auafjv *
Gnngnerism in Weil Beirur, west Beirut has becomeatchwork of small areas loosely controlled by confessional or ideologically based militia! and plain gangsters. The traditional dividing lines between West Beirut'! sectarian neighborhoods have blurred as lhe clashing mililia force* plunge the city deeper into anarchy,.i
ekar winner baaibe struggle Anil.
Druze in Beirut have allied themselves with
Hizballah, ihr Palestinians, ind the Druze rnitiiias are the mayor eontenden for power. Amal hai been weakened by its inconclusive wir against lheIbe Dn-ze, by ine Syrianl" iroopa to Beirut inver the tan two yean Hizballah hat emergedorcee reckoned with, particularly in Beirut's southern suburbs and in neigh-(xxNoels near the Greenunofficial border between Muslim and Christian Beirut. Smallerwaged successful turf battles, carving out niches for themic)ves aaujaj
Many fighters remain uncommitted to any single
ne niEhe>'young militiamen
fignhngari of everyday life, as is (he absence of law and order. We believe Lebanon's acceleraiing economic decline will encourage the dwindling middle class to emigrate or join ranks with the street fightersurvive,
la our view. West Beirut "nttastion at* anarchy, despite Syrian attempts lo impoKceeer. The Palestinians almost certainly will continue to cooper-ale with ami Syrian lorces in efforts to relieve prea-"
sure on lhe caasp* by undercuttingyrian Amal milma. Hizballah remains an obstacle io ihe
cspnioan of Syrian influence and is likely to remain
SO The sway of lhe fundi menuroup, in our view.
aaabeca ivita.ned dcaaiacihc Syrian deploymenl in
February I - ataaa*
Vau ^ufi aa* aaSaicat mai'e*'CaMninuniii il naUrn ine) ilmi iitlim ihai! arc tea ^M'trialKit asUllal >kavwr.'Smaii'H Icawunc* aT
a ain)n| nwn oo ciiher at> liana* ti. "Wiimi ihaii-livHlWc tipeei Iunblan id cminui IS WiSerialuiWiw-iSi Pttaivufli.IS* Inula, aa*Qui hi wa Ir kc aiaHnana aW ( iinlivuarn Syria*
Lebanon; Eaploslrciy Unstable The continuing growth ol Shia extremism and ihc reestablishf thc Palestinian pretence have led la increased violence and poliiical instability inLebanon. Thc complex interplay of interests among Ihc region'sAmal, the Army of South Lebanon, the Israelis, thc Druie. andizarre situation in which Ihe groups that cooperate elsewhere or In attacks on Israel and iu supporters in ihc south sometimes attack each others
The Druzeood example. The Druie would be threatened if lhe Shias in the southHizballah's dynamism and lis gains againsi Amal have mac
Opposing Israel. Although Hizballah's roois reach to Ihe Bekaa Valley and Wesi Beirut,thc heart of Lebanon's Shiasoule funds mental 1stin South Lebanon. Shts leaders often refer lo the region in what are (forparticularly moving terms: "The Jabal (Amil|is Ihef thehe Lebanese equivalent ofe Alarrto.'S
Shaykh Kughcbrominent southern Shia cleric,hia resistance movemeni in lhe regionccording to our analysis of Let-anew aeeounis of opposition to the Israelii We believe Harb maintained contactanother prominent Shta ekncouthern family. AyatostahHusayn FadlalLah. Hiibaliah's spiritual guide. Fadlallah probablyember of the network of Shia clei.es who cooperated with Harb. and most or Ihcac clerics now belong to Hiiballah. Harb was killed4omb- -winch most Lebanese believe was planied by IsraeliShia religious shrine in the village of Ma'rakah
Harb has become ihe mosl prominent martyr of the Hizballah movemeni, and mere mention of his name is tantamountenedictionattle cry. He is almost always referred to in prim by Lebanese Shias as the "Prince ofnd his posthurpous status reP-ecss the politics of his death. Mflgal
Hizballah uses the religious staius conferred byto recruit young Shias eager io attack Israel. The group's attacks against the Army of South Lebanon and Israeli forces in Lebanon have been increasingly effective and have used growing numftrs of fighters Widely publicized assaults on pro-Israeli forces in South Lebanon have bolstered perceptions of Hiiballah as spearheading resistance to the Israeli presence in Lebanon. We believe Hizballah's activism in South Lebanon has translated into importantadvantages againsi Amal at
Tehran strongly assists Hizballah's efforts in
ranian-sponsored Martyrs'tipend and long-term supporthe .families of Shias killed in the tight against Israel. Other Iranian aid is used to provide housing for ihose Shias whose dwellings are destroyed by thc Israelis.
Hiiballah Allacks on Pro-Israelianuary7
J January Much
Sou ihr in Slrai.
operaiiont have dashed Tebancsc hopes Tor an Israeli withdrawal. Israeli and Army of South Lebanon retaliationycle of violence thai hasthe radical)/ation of southern Shias.onsequence, Amal is put in lhe position of cither defending Israel's presence in Lebanon or supporting Hiiballah in its attacks. We believe that Amal since6 has reluctantly followed thelead.
Iheir emotional aitncr
Despite Iheir emotional aiinchmcn.hcaouth. we do not believe driving Ihc Israelis out of [Lebanon Is Hizballah's most pressing goal. Ils operations in (he south seeme aimed as much at weakening Amal. In our view, Ihe fundsmcnialists are using their struggle against the Israeli presence in Lebanonoliiical weapon againsi (heir Lebanese Opponents.
Hizballah's successful attack on ihr Army of South Lebanon near Jazzin on JI May Involved more troops than Hiiballah bod ever fielded and showed growing fundamentalist military strength!
Public statements by Hiiballah leaders claim lhal the attack cracked ihe morale of lhe Army af South Lebanon and demonstrated lhe qualitative edge Hiiballah holds over Us opponents. Thc attack, moreover, almost certainly strengthened Htibotleh againsi oirTer Lebanese Shias who had argued ihat. because of high casualties suffered earlier, theshould stop.
Hizballah's other allacks Inparticularlylook place fust before the Arab LeagueNovember, displayed considerable
the November auack fundamentalists plantedin likely avenues of advance before theyan Army of South Lebanon sirongpoint. Army of South Lebanon militiamen who were en route to reinforce lhe sirongpoint advanced into the mined area, which caused addilional casualties and further complicated the defense of the position.
Resisting the Palestinians. Despite problems on otherat continues its war against (hein the camps near Sidon and Tyre. To control Ihe camps. Amal leader Barri hashia military group directly under his control, called "Ansar Al Jaysb" or "Supporters of lhetrategic location near Sidon.*!
Palestinian Coals in thc South
Since lhe Israeli Invasion1 and lhe evacuation of Palestinian fighters, ihe PLO has been slowly reentering Lebanon PLO leader Arafat had wonted to stay near Israel to conduct cross-border operations and to protect Palestinians within the camps. Most returning fighters, however, were first rearmed and placed in refugee camps In Beirut.
Amal's attemptsisarm these Palestinians hate forced Aeafai to redirect his efforts toward building up the PLO's sireasgth In southern Ubamon The PLO has infiltrated fighters from Cyprus and elsewhere through pons near Sidon and Tyre.
The PLO's strength, however, is likely lo remain largely defensive. Aeafai does notis10arms ond manpower nrcriiCry totatetate, which the PLO hod in southern Lebanon}
Moreover. Arafat 'i guarded statements on PLOin Lebanon suggest Ihat he wants to avoid involving the PLO In local conflicts so as not lo risk losing ground recoveeede appears acutely aware thai lhe PLO cannoi suffer another forced evacuation from Lebanon
Palestinianimed out ol the Sidon camps in6 and took position- overlooking thecoastal road. Irom which their guns and mortars could command access to the camps Intense fighting alternated with negotiations,artialof Palestinian forces Thc issueenewed Paieslinian presence oatside Ihc camps, however,ihc fear of another "FatehUnd- in the soaiifa. Timely intervention by lianiasrand Lebanese Shia esCrics, at well as restraint by the Palestinians,or. fronts tie* along Rbia-Sunni* linesand Amal's joint oppositionalestinian rebirth in soul hern Lebanon underscored ihe common interests of the southern ShiatgspflpaV
Outlook for the South. We believe Tel Aviv has Utile choice but to keep using the Army of South Lebanonhield. Thc current policy of enhancing the Army of South Lebanon's capabilliies through increased training or providing tactical air and artillery support inside Lebanon seems unlikelyhange
We judge thai Hirballah'i southern strategy ofAmal Is working. Lebanon's sou:hem Shias are growing increasingly radical, although' Amal had significant lysupport. Prominent clerics in Ihc south arc influential Hnbatiah stalwarts, and wc suspect thairla than those currently identified as Hiiballahare ia tbe fundamcntalisi camp. Becauseaboul Ihc.Hiiballah underground and clerical network is scant, wr suspect ihat Hiiballah inroads in Ihc south arc greater lhan they seem and thai more Shia villages contain both Hiiballah and Amal sup-porteri lhan reports lo dale inaanfll
The Shia-Palcsiinian struggle in Ihc south probably will continue,ajor and sustained increase In fighting seems unlikely. The Palestinians have.held their own. and they hold superior position* around Sidon. Nevertheless, wc suspect they will not push too bard, if only for fear lhal sustained fighting will undermine Arafat's leadership andharper reaction against lhe Palestinians from southerncl Sy Ha aafaTJggV
The Palestinians. Amal. Hizballah, and other players in Souih Lebanon could put aside Ihcir differences and cooperate in attacking Israel. In Ihc unlikely event ihat these disparate groups began to coordinate their military activities, they coulB punch through the Army of South Lebanon and attack northern Israel. Attacks of this kind, however, almost certainly would provoke Increased direct Israeli miliury involvement in Lebanon agBakw*
Lebanon: Forgotten Arena
0 Syrian troops occupy roughly half of Lebanon, stretching from just south of theamascus highway to Lebanon's northernith SyriaTSeveial militias arc active in the Bekaa Valley and Tripoli areas, but militia politics in these areas is less violent than in Beirul. Ihc Christian enclave, or South Let
The Syrian presence has brought witheasure of order. Car bombings occur, at well as elastics and shootings, but less frequently than in other parts of Lebanon. Syrian forces usually move quickly and successfully to contain disturbances.
Sotibtm Lebanon. Thc Islamicripoli-based Sunni fundamentalist group and the most active mililia in tbe north, has res ned lhe Syrians. Tbeaaatvtt**TM^
of whatever Tawhid supporters Syrian troopsajakjas.
We believe growth oTthe Islamic Unification Move-ment in Tripoli stemmed from the leaderships abilityranslate economic and social grievances intocauses. Thc lower-class Muslim community was mobilised through an intricate system of supcort from mosques and rdrgious centers throughout the csly. Islam servedfTrrcie for both military and social mobiltration.5 tbe Islamic Unificationbriefly createdvirtual city-state In Tripoli before Syria crushed it with miliiary
In our view, (he social forces ibat spawned tbc Islamic Unification Movement will help it remain onpolitical factor in the Tripoli area despite Syrian repression. Wc believe ihe sense or abaisdonmeni Icli by the Inhabitants of Tripoliesult of ihe declining authority of th* Lebanese Government was lhe primary cause for the emergencehe move-
ment. The City's geographical isolation, coupled with massive social dislocations resulting from increased unemployment, aggravated Tripolis economic and crerrtographic unbalance Muslim laborers pou'Cd mio the city from surrounding ullages aad competed for scarce job orecetuniiics These rustic Sunnis became the backbone of Ibe Islamic Unification Movement, and iheir grievances against Syrian preferentialtoward Northaw is fueled the movement's radicalism j
The Syrian-supported Ala wis have their ownii cecasionally clashed wiih lhc IslamicMovement.
the Arab Democratic PartyAlawi inierestt in northern Lebanon, as does ilt mililia Al Furtan. Led by Ali Id, the pro-Syrian group often acts in conjunction with Syrian forces in Lcba-
Bekao Vattty. Hiiballah has developed an impressive1 miliiary network in the Bekaa Valley. The center of its mUiija trsjnjngand related activity is near Ba'la-bakk. " -
JEapoflin* thc Islamic revolutioiTlb Lebanon is an impwioni Irbhiin foreign policy goal, and Tehran uses lis complci relationship with Damascus lo promote its interests and to shield Hiiballah from Syrian pressure.
Jihe Syrians retain the upper hand In the Uiongu la relationship betsveen themselves,and Iran in the Bekaa Valley, but not by asargin as they once enjoyed. Syrian-imposed order is compromised by the large area Syrian forcesand by Hizballah'sar^an.supported polilical and military network.'
deepening economic crisis, added toears of civil war. guarantees continued potiiTcaTand social turbulence. The country'sdeterioration, in Our view, will strengthen the groups ihai enjoy strong financial backing fromsources and will weaken those that doossible consequence is thc intensification of mililia warfare at lhe militias compete for fundi by al ing to capand the tcirilory under (heir tway.
In thc short term (here will be considerable on Lebanese militias to tell their loyalties and serviceshe highest bidder (flHHlM^Druicntil It's newfound will dig nesa to lenC troops to Libya and to move closer to HirbaHah, for eaampje. reflects the results of growing economic harrJtbJpnajW
n increased tendency toward mercenary porta in. given ihe already fluid political envi.-onment. ensures lhal Lebanon will retain in role as principal eat: teg round for regional conflicts.
Thc country's economic fiatcoalmost certainly worsen, reducing tbc chancesolitical settlement Investment is declining as it becomes increasingly obvious lhat assets caanot be protected. Genuine rccoostruction seems impossible Lebanon'sancial and human resources ai home and abroad could conceivably tuppori economic recovery, bul capital flight it worsening and the country willnever regain its prominence si lhe commercial center of the Middle Easi ajjnjaft* t_ ajj
The presidential election scheduled1 mayatershed. The collapse of the politicalestablished) may be demonstioted dramatically.
. We believe that, unlike earlier sessions, when ibe Syrians and Israelis could dominate Ibe election. Lebanon's militias could obstruct the process by preventing their coreligionist delegates from attending the parliamentary session,uorum and Killing the election Moat Lebanese politicians arc aware of tbs dark ponaibiliiy. ban efforts to avert electoral paialysrs may well founder on the claims to social and political futiscc rioted by Muslim militia warlords and thc unwillingness of lhe Christians lo offer substantial polilical concessions aswVJas*
Lebanon's crippled economy it certain toajor in the campaign. Riots have ahead) eruptedrotest deteriorating economic conditions and lhe plummeling cichangc raie of ihr Lebanese pound. Child abandonment and Increases In theft havebecause of Ihc ispid breakdown of social institutions. Although the government can do lillle about these mailers, many candidates will try to exploit issues lhat tianscend factional boundaries.
The Christian Lebanese Force* is likely to tryisruptciiotia]ajganin^
intends to run its own candidate, probably Samir Ja Ja, the militia's leader. Thc milllia candidate would run on an anti-Syrian platform and would promise lo restore Maronitc dominance or, falling, that, lor Independent Christian rmtitygggggf/J
A prolonged and violent campaign accompar continued economic and social deterioration is likely, threatening thc collapse of thc country's renaming poliiical and economic institution- No candidate could become president svithout Syrian acquiescence,andidate acceptable to the Syrians wouldalkout by Lebanese Forces-backedoriolent showdown. Shia Amal leader Nabih Uarri bat Stated that his group will not accept lhe election of another Maronitc. virtuallyan electoral dcadrockaaapnfgn1 ^s*
Hiiballah willey beneficiary of Lebanon's chaos. If prevailing political trendsuide. Hiiballah willajor force in Lebanese milllia politic* The fundamentalist! have maneuvered around potentially damaging clashes with Syria and Amal. while Ihe group's milllia strength has grown. HiibaliaVi influence may level off ir the near fame, but there is little reaaor. to believe that theclout will decline dramatically.ival Shia militia. Amal. seems increasingly fragment ed and unable to compete on even terms with the fundameniallsts for thc loyally of Lebanon's Shias.
Israel could withdraw in phases from South'
undercutting lhe appeal of HiibalUh lo (he southern Shias.
Iran could reduce its support for Hiiballah. making the* more vulnerablehe economic distress thai is hampering other militias.
Nabih Barri could be replacedorefigure as leader of Amal. and Amal could recover some of the ground it has tosti lo Hiiballah
Syriansiad could decide lo eraet down on Hiiballah in Beirut and the Bckaa Valley.ove would be militarily cosily for Syria but could drive Hizballah underground.
Walsd JuaUatt could vanish from tbc scene, tkiowiag lbc Drute into disarray This could enable the Syrians to extend then influence inio the Druie heartland and encircle Wesi Beirai and thesuburbs
Furthermore. Khomeini's death couldi be lUh'l political gains
spiritual authotny wielded by Iranian eleiica acting on Iran's behalf would decline, almost certainly complicating iclaiions wiih prominent
Iran could be increasingly occupied by domestic political concerns and decmphasize its suppori for exporting the Islamic revolution io Lebanon
Lebanon's myriadhe Lebanese people have been remarkably resilient. Unci pec tedcould prolong the lifespan of the currentsystem or begintem tbe tide of Shia radicalism:
Sizing Up (he Militias
ihe central government's authority has waned, Lebanese politics hasatchwork of local power struggles, particularjy in Beirut. Militias have become the major factor in this complex situation because theyominant role in grassroots poll lies j
Our rating of Lebanon's militias allows readers to assess the players. Because we have examined the major militias in terms ot military, social, andfactors, this rating can help illustrate why some communiiies prosper under militia rule and oibera do not and why Lebanese politics grows increasingly violent."
Where Is Square OueT
Several important factors must be considered before rating the militias: quality of cats, measurement schemes, objectivity of measurement criteria, and the validity of tbe exercise as an analytical tool:
Because the milllia situation is SO fluid and much of the data concerning military factors is esllmalive, (his study rates the militias against each other rather than against an objective standard.
We gauge thc mibtias" fighting proficiency oa tbe basis of combat performance, but the outcome of fighting againsi one militia isrude Indicator of how one militia will perform against another. Our method was to rank Lebanon's militias by averaging Ibe evaluationsanel of experts.
The goal of tbe exercise is tocorecard of. militia actors thai illustrates the major factors affecting the political and military strength of major Ubanesemtlitiasnfgggflr*' /
The Evaluation Process
We rated the militias on three clusters of Issues: miliury, social, and poliiical. The rating scheme used integersoepresenting ther "richest"eiMcsenting the "worst,"orAdditional criteria to be considered tx instructions to the evatuators are Included as necessary gggggV
Miliury fatten art:
Miliury Effectiveness (MEk Rank each militia using threetraining, and pies-enco of advisers. The militia wiih the "best"should be rankedhe one wiih the. Use ihe tame scheme for training and advisers. (The score tor military effectiveness is determined by dividing the ccmposite score
Leadershipohesiveness and command and control. (Composite score divided
Motivational Factors (MFj. Morale, pay, anddeg of ideological indoctrination. (Composite scoreby XlejSjffw
Social faeieet art:
Geographic Faciors (OF* Concentrationand potential forilitia wiih forces dispersed over several noncontiguous areas should receive ais lhe mostilitia ihat has iu forces concenirated most In one area should. Thc defenslbiliiy of ihe militia's area of operations is to be considered. The militia with the highest potential io defend an economically self-sufficient canton should be rankedCompos tie score divided
Financial Resourcesbility, to generate funds from activities inside Lebanon or from cxpatriaic Lebanesene subcategory) andbuin financial support from foreign govern menu. The militia ihat can gel ihe most money from foreign patrons should be rankedhe militia ibal has lbc best fund raising from Lebanese sources (bothand expalriate) should be rankedCompos-ilc score divided by /gggggV jg)^^
I'upiiinr Supportmagine every Lebanese could vole tor hit ot her favored mililia. The mililia lhat would get (he most voics should be ranked 9.
Foreign Supportank each mililia in lertrrt of thc reliability of its foreign patron, the degree to which the militia relies on its pairon. theor the patron's support, and (he degree to which lhc interests of the militia converge with those of (Is pairon. Thc mililia with lhc moil reliable foreign patron should be rankedhc mililialhat relics
lean on foreign support should be rankedhe one that relics most should be ranked I. Since militia politics in Lebanon is fluid, gauging thcdurability of thc militia-patron relationship isWc believe that thc most durablewill be one in whkb the mililia and tbe patron have common polilical interests. The least durable one will be when the militia and ihe pairon have divergentotheracticalTherefore, (he mililia wiih the besi fit of interests with its patron should be rankedbe one wiih thc worstComposite score divided