Security by dissociation

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a celebration of military mothers and spouses at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Following months of hostile rhetoric and threats to nix the Iran nuclear deal, U.S. President Donald Trump, against the wishes of the world powers involved in the pact, triggered ordnance that reverberated around the planet without sparing U.S. allies, and definitely not the Middle East.

The effect of America’s withdrawal from the agreement is multifaceted. With both political and economic consequences, billions of dollars are at stake and U.S. allies are left in a quandary.

Early reactions suggest Trump has isolated himself from the world, but in the process has also disrupted geopolitics as well as the security, economy and future of the Middle East, rendering the region a ship sailing in treacherous and uncharted waters.

Especially vulnerable is Lebanon, which has just been released from the trauma ward and is attempting to convalesce while its government works to gradually return its institutions to functionality.

What is lurking around the corner and around us may be a game for the big players, but Lebanon is within easy reach of the ensuing ripples, and only wisdom and commitment to the country can spare us from the repercussions.

In the midst of this trepidation, any political inclination by any Lebanese party, whether for or against this bombshell, would disrupt our hard-earned calm, and any actions or measures that could rattle the status quo are cautioned against.

In the past, during similar tempestuous times, Lebanon’s policy of dissociation has acted as an effective shield, preventing peril from spilling over the country’s borders.

Today, the dark clouds hovering over the region foretell of tougher times, and underscore the need for full cooperation in guaranteeing that the dissociation policy continues to be implemented in words, deeds or any other manner required.

This marks a test for the entire governance setup to prove to the Lebanese and the rest of the world that when the country is in jeopardy, the astuteness and resolve wielded by the leadership is sufficient to ward off the threat.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 10, 2018, on page 1.




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