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Hezbollah fighters stand guard during a rally commemorating "Liberation Day," which marks the withdrawal of the Israeli army from southern Lebanon in 2000, Nabatiyeh, Lebanon, May 24, 2015 (AP photo by Mohammed Zaatari).

Trial by Fire: Can Lebanon’s Fragile Stability Hold?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The political change heralded by the 2010-2011 wave of protests across the Middle East and North Africa known as the Arab Spring never reached Lebanon, but the small Mediterranean country of 4 million has been suffering from the repercussions of those momentous events ever since.

To the north, fighters and goods are still being smuggled to embattled Syria. To the northeast, a war of attrition is underway with Islamist militants, who have already seized vast swathes of territory from northern Syria and Iraq. To the south, there is the ever-volatile border with Israel. Indeed, in all directions, Lebanon’s fate is inextricably linked to that of its neighbors. ...

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