there. Notwithstanding the obstacles already mentioned, there is probably a greater readiness among the Lebanese to invest in Lebanon than there is among Syrians to invest in Syria. Despite Syrian overlordship, political pressures are likely to be more mediated and indirect than in Syria proper, and the private sector's legal framework provides quite different business opportunities than those available even with the latest laws in Syria. If ever the reemergence of a strong private sector on Lebanese soil should imperil the position of the Syrian regime, these dangers could be warded off more easily due to the continuous formal distinction between the two countries. This distinction at present enables the Asad regime to dominate Lebanon and, at the same time, minimizes Lebanese claims to enfranchisement.
One of the major issues of debate among the ruling circles of Syria will certainly be the ways in which the strengthening of private capital, be it domestic or external, can be reconciled with the privileges and survival of the regime. But as the rulers do not intend to cut back on their ambitions, they will make every possible effort to tap external resources and integrate themselves into the new world order. Their choices in the Kuwait crisis facilitated this policy, but were its result rather than its cause.