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The cost of U.S. presence in Lebanon has been so shockingly raised following the tragic massacre of the Marines in Beirut that a renewed public debate about the various aspects of the Lebanon crisis and U.S. policy options in that country seems in order. This paper is consciously framed to address the dynamics of political forces inside Lebanon, as opposed to the wider regional view and international dimensions of the crisis. It is Lebanon's unique domestic political dynamics that deprive its body politic of basic mechanisms for internal tranquillity, and which, in turn, invite foreign intervention. Sections of the paper discuss the factional heritage, the mandate legacy, the national pact, the Palestinian catalyst, the continuing anarchy, and unification prospects.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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