Lebanon has so far avoided an economic and security collapse since the start of the Syrian crisis, but major threats remain. The war in Syria has divided the country politically and Lebanon has been without a president, as its sectarian factions have been unable to agree on a new one for over four months. The influx of over 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees has placed tremendous strains on the already struggling economy. Most worryingly, the government has not devised a clear strategy to deal with the refugee pressures. Worsening the threat, the Islamic State, which now controls large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, briefly seized the Lebanese border town of Arsal last month. Many worry the extremist group will make further inroads within a Sunni community feeling increasingly alienated from the country’s political process.
Four experts on Lebanon take an in-depth look at these challenges and their impact on the country’s stability. Please join the discussion by sharing your own views in the comments section.