Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

The Lebanon War

Academic journal article Air & Space Power Journal

The Lebanon War

Article excerpt

The Lebanon War by A. J. Abraham. Greenwood Publishing Group, 88 Post Road West, Westport, Connecticut 06881-5007, 1996, 216 pages, S55.00.

The Lebanon War provides a chronological study of the civil war that has plagued the Lebanese people. A. J. Abraham, who teaches at John Jay College and New York Institute of Technology and has guest lectured on Lebanon at several colleges and universities in the United States, analyzes the period from the war's genesis in April 1975 through the Israeli invasion and occupation of West Beirut in January 1982. He has contacts with both predominantly Christian, right-wing Lebanese forces as well as the overwhelmingly Moslem, left-wing, antigovernment National Movement. He provides a balanced review encompassing both the military and political aspects of the conflict.

The book's highlight is its treatment of the immense complexity of the Lebanon conflict. The country contains a tremendous diversity of cultures, political ideologies, and religions. For decades prior to 1975, Christian Maronites, Moslem Druze, Greek Orthodox, and Greek Catholics, as well as Sunnite and Shi'ite Moslems lived and worked together, sharing power in the Lebanese government. A formula, based on population, that assigned major political posts to the different groups resulted in a relative balance of political and religious representation. A host of changes, such as shifts in demography and-perhaps more importantly-several major external sources of influence, disrupted this careful balance. …

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