From Taif to Geneva: Insights from Lebanon for Syria

  • Colonel David Wayne Hardy

This paper uses the Lebanese civil war and conflict resolution theories to look at the possibility of achieving a negotiated settlement in Syria. Lebanon contained many similar features to the current Syrian conflict and provides a useful perspective of the possible trajectory of the Syrian conflict, the challenges associated with resolving an ethno-sectarian civil war, and the long-term implications for the region. The Syrian civil war will continue for years under current conditions, and its effects will reverberate in the region for decades. The international community plays an essential role in resolving the conflict and mitigating its effects in the region. Policy recommendations include strengthening opposition unity and capability, developing a regional framework that includes all states with interests in the conflict, and focusing additional effort on the violent extremist networks emerging in Syria.