Lebanon’s reconstruction, so painstakingly carried out in the 1990’s, is now at risk of being undone. But Lebanon is not alone in that respect: according to the UN and several independent studies, countries in transition from war to peace face roughly a 50% chance of sliding back into warfare. Indeed, in East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and many other countries, the transition to peace seems to be failing.
Likewise, there is unfinished business in many other countries undergoing reconstruction. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example, just held its first elections in 40 years. The stability of the Great Lakes region of Africa, perhaps that continent’s most violent area, will depend on the success of its transition and reconstruction.