Lebanon dating culture
When Syria imposed itself on its western neighbor in 1975, Washington officially supported "the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Lebanon." The government in Damascus repeatedly promised to withdraw its forces.
Instead, it deepened its hold on Lebanon orchestrating a forceful occupation when the world's attention was focussed on the crisis in Kuwait.
Further, the signatories endorsed this report in their individual capacities.
Today, the occupation appears more entrenched than ever.
In response to these circumstances, the Middle East Forum convened the Lebanon Study Group to analyze this situation and recommend assertive measures in the interests of the United States, Lebanon, and the Middle East at large.
The Middle East Forum extends its appreciation to the members of the Lebanon Study Group and their efforts to forge the consensus opinion detailed in this report.
That said, not every member endorses every judgement or recommend-ation in the report.
SIGNATORIES The Syrian occupation of Lebanon began nearly a quarter-century ago; its implications continue adversely to affect what is the world's only satellite state.
Stemming from this understanding, the Lebanon Study Group holds that until Damascus removes its heavy-handed influence re-deploying its forces in accordance with the Ta'if agreement, endorsed by Syria in 1989, there will be no real and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Although Syrian rule in Lebanon stands in direct opposition to American ideals, U. policy has been to court the Asad regime with the hopes of it achieving a peace treaty with Israel.
This approach has had grave consequences for both Lebanese society and American strategic interests in the Middle East, and has met with very limited success. government should make the withdrawal of Syrian forces a priority.
The Lebanon Study Group endorses an American foreign policy strategy refined to reflect a commitment to salvaging Lebanon's freedoms and anchor its regained sovereignty. In accordance with this conviction, the Lebanon Study Group presents several specific policy recommendations designed to effect this goal.
The bipartisan group comprises statesmen, diplomats, legislators, military officers, scholars, experts and business leaders.
The group recognizes that Lebanon is a significant and forceful presence in the Arab world capable of being a leader towards religious tolerance, democracy and greater economic and social freedoms, once Syrian hegemony is brought to an end.