Great Power Mediation: The USA and the May 1983 Israeli—Lebanese Agreement

Efraim Inbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This article reviews the efforts of the Reagan Administration to mediate an agreement between Israel and Lebanon on the Israeli withdrawal, following its 1982 invasion of its northern neighbor. The USA, a superpower, was eventually successful in bridging the differences between the two disputants, whose contradicting interests are presented. Following procedural difficulties, the substantive points of contention were the nature of the security arrangements for Israel in southern Lebanon and the level of normalization between the two countries. The level of the American intervention in the talks gradually was raised to change the positions of the two sides and an agreement was reached only after the US Secretary of State engaged in shuttle diplomacy. A superpower is well suited for mediation. Yet, this article points out the limits on superpower leverage in pursuing its interests. The Israeli—Lebanese agreement was supposed to bring about a stronger central pro-Western Lebanese government. US mistakes, misperceptions and the domestic weakness of Lebanon were the reasons for the failure of this endeavor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Peace Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1991


Dive into the research topics of 'Great Power Mediation: The USA and the May 1983 Israeli—Lebanese Agreement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this