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Lebanon’s Breaking Point

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Lebanon’s Breaking Point

Conditions are ripe for an uprising, which would have profound geopolitical consequences for the region.


5 min read
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Lebanon’s collapse could have wide-ranging geopolitical repercussions. 

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Lebanon has suffered from political instability for decades, but the recent explosion that devastated a large part of Beirut may serve as the proverbial straw that breaks the country’s back. Caroline Rose, who spent some time in the country on a research assignment prior to the explosion, argues that the indirect geopolitical consequences of the accident could be far-reaching. She offers a useful overview of the different foreign powers that will likely take advantage of the situation to increase their regional influence. 


Lebanon’s spiral into economic and political crisis is not a new phenomenon.

In August 2019, Lebanon was already a nation at its “breaking point.” Mismanagement and frequent resignations paralyzed the government. Public services stood in disarray and civil liberties were on the wane.

Sectarian infighting was on the rise, as were national protests and government crackdowns. Skyrocketing inflation and rising food and fuel prices made it difficult for many Lebanese to afford necessities. The COVID-19 crisis only increased the suffering.

The massive explosion that rocked the Port of Beirut exacerbated Lebanon’s already fragile economic and political situation...

About the Author

Caroline Rose is a researcher at the US think tank Geopolitical Futures.

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