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Armies in Lebanon 1982-84. The country, formerly part of Syria, embraced mutually antagonistic religious & ethnic groups. It was not a Lebanese issue that destroyed it, but the problem of the Palestinians.
Armies in Lebanon 1982-84. Lebanon achieved its independence in 1943, after years of French rule under a League of Nations Mandate that dated back to the First World War. The country, formerly part of Syria, embraced a wide variety of religious and ethnic groupings, all mutually antagonistic. The most important were Maronite and Greek Orthodox Christians, and Sunni and Shia Muslims, together with members of the secretive Druze sect. The government was structured by an agreement known as the National Covenant, which was supposed to divide power proportionally among the various factions. This resulted in a weak central government ill-equipped to merge the rival groups into a truly national state. However, the National Covenant served the country fairly well for nearly 30 years, despite the problems of urbanisation and rising Muslim demands for greater representation. In the end, it was not a Lebanese issue that destroyed it, but the problem of the Palestinians. Samuel M Katz and Lee E Russell examine the conflicts in Lebanon from 1982-84 in a volume containing a wealth of contemporary photographs and eight full page colour plates by Ron Volstad detailing uniforms [accompanied by 11 pages of commentaries].