The security services in Lebanon and Syria: The mark of the French architect

‘The Levant is a crossroads where everything passes: religions, armies, empires, merchandise, and yet nothing changes.’ Charles De Gaulle

The Levant’s security system is a highly sensitive subject in today’s context. In Lebanon, the weight of the civil war and the persistent political activity of the militias within the country and against Israel are a strain on this evolving sector. In Syria, the political hold of the Al-‘Asad family, the opaque nature of the power structure and the authoritarian character of the security apparatus stand in the way of any move towards greater state transparency. In this context, Lebanon’s fragility and the Syrian orthodoxy are obstacles to democratic reform of the sector in the region.

The views represented in this paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arab Reform Initiative, its staff, or its board.