home contact sitemap
background research material related activities keeping up-to-date
Home  >> Research Papers >> Sanctuary and Survival >> 1) Dilemmas of Sanctuary  
Research Material
Research Projects
Research Papers
Articles and Research Papers
  Newsletters and Opinion Surveys
Videos and Documentaries
Internet Resources

Sanctuary and Survival: The PLO in Lebanon

Boulder: Westview Press, 1990

by Rex Brynen

1) Dilemmas of Sanctuary
On 1 January 1965--a date now commemorated by Palestinians each year as the birthdate of al-thawra, the Palestinian "revolution"--a short communique by the heretofore unknown al-`Asifa forces announced from Beirut the successful completion of its first guerrilla raid into Israel. In fact, the group that had set out from `Ayn al-Hilwa refugee camp in Sidon the previous night had never reached the Lebanese-Israeli frontier, let alone their intended target of an Israeli water-pumping station. Instead, they had been immediately arrested by the Lebanese security forces.[1 ]

Inauspicious as this beginning was, the event spoke volumes about the emerging relationship between Lebanon and the al-muqawama al-filastiniyya--the "Palestinian resistance"--that would so very strongly shape the trajectories of both over the next two decades. Quite apart from the remarkable ideological importance of the issue in Arab domestic and regional politics, Lebanon was, by the simple fact of geography, inevitably destined to be affected by the conflict in Palestine. In 1948, the marginal participation of the Lebanese army in what was to become its first and last foray into the Arab-Israeli wars had signaled the reluctant recognition by Lebanon's political leadership of their country's status as a confrontation state. The eventual arrival of over one hundred thousand Palestinian refugees confirmed the connection. For a while, Beirut itself became home to al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni, the former Mufti of Jerusalem whose Arab Higher Committee had constituted the chief leadership of the Palestinian movement during the British Mandate. As elsewhere in the diaspora, Palestinian community organizations were slowly established or re-established in Lebanon through the 1950s and early 1960s, responding both to social needs and national aspirations. It was during this period too that a new generation of Palestinian political activists began to emerge, their activities evident within Beirut student unions, in the Arab Nationalists' Movement, and in the irregular appearance of the magazine Filastinuna ("Our Palestine"), clandestinely published by the same al-Fateh movement that lay behind the acts of al-`Asifa.

On the eve of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war, however, none of this was quite so apparent. The Palestinian movement was still weak and fragmented from the disaster it had suffered in 1948. Despite the formation by the Arab League of a "Palestinian entity"--the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)--in 1964, the modern Palestinian nationalist movement still only existed as such in a latent and nebulous sense. In Lebanon, as elsewhere, the authorities maintained tight rein over all Palestinian nationalist activities.

After June 1967, all this was to change with astonishing rapidity. Advocating popular armed struggle (al-kifah al-musallah al-sha`bi) against Israel, the activism of small Palestinian guerrilla groups (fida'iyyin) contrasted sharply with the failure of Arab regular armies. The result was rapid growth in their numbers and popular support. By 1968-69 they had taken control of the PLO, revolutionizing that organization from within, and restructuring the nature of relations between the Palestinians and the Arab confrontation states.

The repercussions of this for Lebanon were immense. By November 1969 the new dynamics of Palestinian-Lebanese relations had produced the "Cairo Agreement," a formal agreement between the PLO and government of Lebanon regulating their mutual relations. Under its terms the Lebanese government accepted the legitimacy of the PLO's presence in Lebanon and the pursuit of its struggle against Israel from Lebanese territory "within the framework of Lebanese sovereignty and security." A year later, in September 1970, the government of Jordan began its suppression of Palestinian nationalist activities there. With this, Lebanon soon became the headquarters and primary operational base of the PLO. Through the 1970s and early 1980s that base would see continuous if uneven expansion, such that by the spring of 1982 it constituted a virtual Palestinian "para-state" in Lebanon.[2]

The challenges faced by the Palestinian nationalist movement in safeguarding and expanding this presence in Lebanon over the years would be severe. The PLO would twice clash with the Lebanese army, in 1969 and again in 1973. Later it would find itself engulfed by the Lebanese civil war (1975-76), and the target of Syrian military intervention (1976). It would experience escalating military conflict with Israel and its Lebanese proxies in south Lebanon, including Israeli invasions in 1978 and 1982. Of all these, only the latter would succeed in destroying Palestinian bases and institutions in south Lebanon and forcing the withdrawal of PLO fighters and cadres from Beirut.

It is the position of the PLO in Lebanon, from its consolidation in the late 1960s to the Israeli invasion of June 1982 and beyond, that represents the focus of the study. It will examine how, during the critical period from the Cairo agreement to the Lebanese war, the PLO sought to safeguard both its organizational presence in Lebanon and the well-being of the Palestinian community resident there. It will identify the objectives and actions that comprised the PLO's "Lebanese" policy, and the often problematic process whereby such policy was formulated and implemented. And it will assess the effectiveness of the PLO in achieving its aims, assessing the extent to which the PLO's post-1982 difficulties in Lebanon are rooted in the legacies of earlier actions and experience.

As will be seen, the PLO's problems of maintaining a secure Lebanese base were to prove both complex and intense. Yet it can be argued that, in the broadest sense, they have not been entirely unique. Rather they reflect the existence of the dilemmas faced by any insurgent group which utilizes in its struggle the physical and political shelter offered by a "sanctuary state."

Insurgents and Sanctuaries

A Framework for Analysis
"Sanctuary"--that is to say, a secure base area within which an insurgent group is able to organize the politico-military infrastructure needed to support its activities--is central to the process of insurgency. It is from such sanctuaries that operations against the enemy are planned and launched. It is from here that troops and cadres are trained, logistics maintained, and leadership exercised--all relatively free from enemy interference. The structures and institutions of the insurgent state-in-waiting may first take form within the shelter of a sanctuary area. And it is here that (in the classic model of guerrilla warfare) guerrilla resources are built up to the point where the insurgents can challenge their opponent in semi-regular warfare. It comes as no surprise, then, to find that many guerrilla leaders--Mao Tse-Tung, Vo Nguyen Giap, Che Guevara, to name but a few--have devoted considerable attention to the importance of base areas in their writings. Mao, for example, identified the establishment of base areas as one of seven "fundamental steps" necessary to a successful guerrilla campaign:

A guerrilla base may be defined as an area, strategically located, in which the guerrillas can carry out their duties of training, self-preservation and development. [The] ability to fight a war without a rear area is a fundamental characteristic of guerrilla warfare, but this does not mean that guerrillas can exist and function over a long period of time without the development of base areas.[3]

Insurgent sanctuaries may differ widely in terms of geography, usage, and political context. Some--what we might term internal sanctuaries--are so-called "liberated zones" sited within the territory in contention. Generally these bases are established in areas of high insurgent activity and entrenched insurgent political influence near to major political targets, yet protected by geography (mountains, heavy vegetation, or otherwise protective terrain) or confused boundaries of administrative responsibility and political loyalty.[4 ]

The partisans in Yugoslavia, the Red Army in China, the struggle of the Viet-Minh against the French, and the revolution against Batista in Cuba all represent examples of successful insurgencies based almost entirely on internal sanctuaries of this type. Still, such examples are relatively rare.[5] More often insurgents opt for (or are forced into) significant dependence on external sanctuaries, utilizing the very different shelter of international borders by establishing major base areas within the territory of a proximate, but politically distinct, sanctuary state. Some are careless or even involuntary hosts, unwilling or unable to deny use of their their territory to the insurgents--hence the use of Cambodian and Laotian territory by the Viet-Cong during the Vietnam war. In many other cases, the extension of shelter to insurgents is a deliberate act of policy motivated by ideological sympathy, outside rewards or pressures, or in pursuit of more complex realpolitik objectives (especially as a tool of covert punishment or destabilization). Under such conditions it is the principal of state sovereignty, coupled with the willingness and ability of the host state to defend its territory from incursions by the insurgents' opponent, that generates the necessary protection.

What factors contribute to insurgent use of and reliance on sanctuary states? A necessary condition is, of course, the availability of states either willing to perform the sanctuary role or (such as Cambodia during the Vietnam war) unable to avoid it. Above and beyond this, four additional variables of importance can be identified.

The first of these is availability of internal sanctuary. Because of the psychological and political value of "liberated zones" as a symbols of insurgent power, internal sanctuaries are generally preferable to external ones. If, however, "a regime effectively prevents an insurgent movement from organizing within a target area, external support, in terms of sanctuary and freedom of movement, becomes critical."[6] So too when and where faced by unsuitable terrain or an unsupportive target population, insurgents will be correspondingly more reliant on the shelter of a sanctuary state.

The proximity and access offered by potential external sanctuaries is also an important variable. When utilizing the shelter of an external sanctuary, insurgent groups are more likely to prefer sanctuary states that are near to the conflict zone and which give easy geographical entry to the most important areas of insurgent activity. More distant sanctuaries might provide propaganda and organizational facilities, but are much less effective as operational bases.

Levels of sanctuary support are also likely to affect the choice of sanctuary areas. Tolerance or even active support by the government of the sanctuary state to the insurgent group will increase insurgent use of that sanctuary. Conversely, opposition to the insurgents' presence and activities will have the opposite effect--subject to the government's ability to extend its authority to the (often remote) border regions from which the insurgents seek to operate.

Similarly, the existence of popular support within the sanctuary state, of a population willing to provide the insurgents with recruits and other forms of assistance, will increase insurgent use of that sanctuary. This is particularly important when (as is often the case) the population shares ethnic, religious or other significant characteristics with the insurgents--perhaps even comprising sympathetic refugees displaced from the conflict zone itself.

All of these factors can be found at work in the illustrative case of the 1974-75 Kurdish insurgency in Iraq. Following the collapse of an earlier 1970 autonomy agreement between the central government and the leadership of the Kurdish Democratic Party, fighting once more erupted in Iraqi Kurdistan. Despite the formidable nature of the region's mountainous terrain, assertive military action by the well-armed Iraqi armed forces rendered many of the traditional bases of Kurdish insurgency untenable. Limited sanctuary was potentially available to the Iraqi Kurdish guerrillas (Pesh Merga) among the supportive populations of neighboring Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian Kurdistan. Of these, however, Turkey had long suppressed the Kurdish movement among its own Kurdish population, and hence denied its territory to the Pesh Merga as best it could. Syria (hostile to the rival Ba`thist regime in Baghdad) did grant the KDP propaganda support and use of offices in Damascus, but was reluctant to allow armed guerrillas to operate from its territory. Iran, in contrast, provided the Pesh Merga with both sanctuary and extensive material assistance, enabling the Kurds to mount several major counter-offensives. This continued until negotiations between the Shah of Iran and Iraq's Saddam Husayn brought an end to their long-simmering border dispute over the Shatt al-`Arab waterway in March 1975. With this, Iran immediately withdrew its aid and shelter to the Pesh Merga, causing an immediate collapse of the insurgency.[7]

Imperatives and Dilemmas of Insurgent-Sanctuary Relations
The importance of sanctuary--and hence of sanctuary states--to insurgent movements thus becomes clear. Excepting perhaps the strategies of coup d'état or spontaneous insurrection, the possession of secure base areas becomes a sine qua non of the insurgents' success. As Ibrahim Abu Lughod has noted:

One of the more important postulates of wars of national liberation is the support revolutionaries are able to obtain, politically, morally and material, from the international system.... It is virtually impossible to think of the successful wars of national liberation of Algeria, Mozambique and Vietnam without assigning important roles to Egypt and Tunis, Tanzania and Zambia, and China, as well as the Soviet Union. In all such cases, the neighboring country served as a hinterland for the revolutionaries, whom it provided with sanctuaries and so forth, while at the same time it provided them with the political support necessary to carry out the struggle internationally. In certain cases the neighboring countries provided the staging area for the transmission of weapons, material and manpower to the country waging its war of national liberation. In short, then, the principle can be stated simply: It is imperative for the population engaged in a war of national liberation to have the full material and political support of an external state.[8]

In Abu Lughod's view, "once a population achieves a certain level of mobilization and `revolutionary' consciousness, an adjacent territorial base controlled by an ally is crucial."

The extent to which the West Bank and Gaza Strip are mobilized today is evident... There is a logical need for an established state, adjacent to Palestine, that will provide support, succor and haven for the beleaguered population of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The extent to which the Palestinians succeed in securing such a terrain will have an important impact on the outcome of national resistance in the West Bank and Gaza.[9]

Conversely, the loss of such bases through the loss or withdrawal of sanctuary will almost invariably have a devastating--and perhaps fatal--effect on the insurgents in question.[ Aware of this dangerous possibility, Che Guevara warned that "unconditional help should not be expected from a government, whether friendly or simply negligent, that allows its territory to be used as a base of operations"; on the contrary, insurgents should treat the situation with a degree of caution and discipline "as if... in a completely hostile camp."[10 ]The susceptibility of the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland to the changing political environment in the Irish Republic during the 1920s and 1930s illustrates the point, as does the collapse of the communist insurgency in Greece after the closure of the Yugoslavian frontier in 1948. For the Kurds, it was a lesson underscored once more in the 1980s. Having fought against the Iraqi government (with significant success) almost from the outset of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980, Iraqi Kurds again found themselves abruptly cut off from Iranian aid and shelter when the latter agreed to a ceasefire in August 1988. With this, another Kurdish insurgency collapsed amid a brutal Iraqi offensive in Iraqi Kurdistan.[11]

Despite the importance of sanctuary states to insurgent movements, little analytical attention has been devoted to examining relations between the two, or to delineating how insurgent movements can and do respond to the dilemmas noted above. In part this reflects the fact that many of the most important and prolific theoreticians of revolutionary warfare (Lenin, Mao, Guevara, Giap) led guerrilla campaigns not involving significant use of an external sanctuary. It also reflects a sometimes deliberate obscuration of the question by insurgents themselves, with the role of external support suppressed amid emphasis on revolutionary action and self-reliance, or hidden by the secrecy under which insurgent-sanctuary diplomacy is so often conducted. As a consequence, the importance of sanctuaries-- although almost universally noted--is rarely analyzed in any depth. Accounts of particular cases of insurgent-sanctuary interaction remain largely descriptive, whilst the general question of insurgent policy towards sanctuary states has remained all but unexamined.[12]

One rare exception to this pattern is the treatment extended to sanctuary behavior by Douglas Anglin and Timothy Shaw in the context of a broader examination of Zambian foreign policy.[13] Here they suggest that Zambia's attitude towards southern African liberation movements should be seen in terms of its efforts to minimize the risks associated with providing transit facilities and other forms of assistance. In other words, Zambia's support as a sanctuary state was tempered by its vulnerability to the superior military power of Rhodesia and South Africa (Figure 1.1). Whenever the activities of southern African liberation movements in and from Zambia threatened to invite unacceptable retaliation (Z1), Lusaka restricted those activities so as to reduce the risk to an acceptable level (Z0). Conversely, as Zambia's vulnerability to retaliation (i.e., the potential cost of the insurgent presence) declined (Z2), controls were relaxed and support for southern African liberation movements stepped up (Z3).[ ]

Figure 1.1: Sanctuary Behavior

Here Anglin and Shaw concur with two hypotheses about sanctuary behavior proposed by one of the few other analysts to examine insurgent-sanctuary interaction, Bard O'Neill. Specifically, O'Neill (drawing upon the Palestinian case) has suggested that "if a sanctuary country is clearly in a position of military inferiority vis-à-vis the target state and lacks allies who will come to its defense, the costs inflicted by counterinsurgency reprisals are likely to increase," leading in turn to a situation wherein the host "defenseless against reprisals but perceiving itself to be militarily equal to or stronger than the insurgents, will curb the latter's operations as the costs of retaliation escalate."[ 14]

Indeed, herein lies the heart of the insurgents' dilemma. For while sanctuary provides important, perhaps indispensable, benefits for an insurgent movement, the granting of sanctuary may involve considerable costs for the sanctuary state and the regime that rules it. This in turn adversely affects insurgent-sanctuary relations--and hence threatens the availability of sanctuary itself.

Insurgents and the State
The potential costs faced by a sanctuary state are many. To begin with, the presence of the insurgents may invite "hot-pursuit" raids and other military action against them within the sanctuary's territory by the insurgents' opponent. It will also almost certainly involve some degree of pressure on their host to end its granting of sanctuary. Such pressure may range from diplomatic protests by the insurgents' opponent to punishment-strikes and possibly even armed intervention.

Furthermore, the activities of heavily-armed and difficult-to-control insurgents may adversely affect domestic public order. This is particularly the case if the insurgents' base area begins to assume political autonomy from the sanctuary state itself, threatening the state's ability to assert sovereignty over the insurgents and their activities on national soil.[15] The problems created by the presence of large numbers of armed insurgents among a sanctuary state's civilian population are further exacerbated by the fact that insurgents, by their very nature, reject many of the conventional symbols of state authority. Insurgents who are little more than mercenaries or brigands can be expected to act as such. Revolutionary combatants, on the other hand, may (justifiably or otherwise) view the activities of local security forces to control their activities as part of a counter-revolutionary effort to liquidate their struggle, and resist them accordingly.

The relative magnitude of such costs may be amplified by the context in which they occur. For poor, weak sanctuary states or those already suffering from a degree of political instability--categories embracing much of the third world--the strain of granting sanctuary can threaten to overwhelm.

Such has been the case among the Frontline states of southern Africa. There, in an effort to weaken the sanctuary and support given to the African National Congress (ANC), South West African People's Organization (SWAPO), and other southern African liberation movements, the Republic of South Africa has embarked on a major campaign of indirect economic pressure, subversion, and direct military attacks against Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Between 1980 and 1986 Angola and Mozambique (the chief targets of Pretoria's so-called "Total Strategy") suffered an estimated $25 billion in economic damage and a staggering total of 735,000 war-related deaths, in addition to the displacement of almost 2 million refugees.[16 ]By the mid-1980s such pressure had forced many of the Frontline states to negotiate bilateral security agreements with South Africa. Thus in February 1984 South Africa and Angola agreed to a ceasefire (the Lusaka Accord) and joint patrols to halt SWAPO infiltration into South African-occupied Namibia. One month later, Mozambique and South Africa signed the so-called Nikomati Accord, under which both pledged "not to allow their respective territories, territorial waters or air space to be used as a base, thoroughfare, or in any other way by any state, government, foreign military forces, organizations or individuals which plan or prepare to commit acts of violence, terrorism or aggression against the territorial integrity or political independence of the other or may threaten the security of its inhabitants."[17] Mozambique--a country long committed to the struggle against South African apartheid --promptly expelled ANC cadres from its territory.

The central point to be made here is that there exists, within any set of insurgent-sanctuary relations, considerable potential for divergence between the insurgents' raison de la révolution and the sanctuary's raison d'état. And for the insurgents involved, the potential for conflict between the two, coupled with the political and military value of sanctuary, poses a unique set of policy imperatives. Specifically, insurgent groups must formulate and implement policies whereby their position within a sanctuary is safeguarded or improved. To do otherwise is to risk serious damage to insurgent-sanctuary relations, and possibly the crippling or destruction of the insurgent movement itself.

Precisely how can this be achieved? If, as suggested earlier, sanctuary behavior is a response to real and potential insurgent-related costs, insurgent policy towards sanctuary states must largely be aimed at manipulating those costs in a favorable manner. The most immediate response would be to adopt what might be termed a strategy of restraint, reducing insurgent-related costs below the level at which containment and suppression would otherwise occur. The voluntary restriction of cross-border activity, strict codes of conduct for guerrilla personnel, and limitations on the display and deployment of weapons would all comprise elements of such an approach. The deliberate low profile of the Algerian Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) in Tunisia during the Algerian revolution--a policy designed to minimize French pressure upon that state--represented precisely such a strategy. So too did the willingness of the KDP to refrain from nationalist agitation in Iranian Kurdistan during the 1974-75 Kurdish war.[18 ]

Insurgents might also find that a coincidence of interests (or simple bribery) provides the grounds for securing local allies within the sanctuary state. Such allies--influential political parties, associations, interest groups, ethnic or religious groups, or even factions within the government itself--might then provide direct material support, and exert political pressure to obtain greater regime tolerance and support for insurgent activities. The efforts of Sri Lankan Tamil separatists to secure sanctuary and influence Indian policy through ties to Tamil ethnic and political leaders in India's Tamil Nadu state represents one (albeit largely unsuccessful) use of such a strategy of internal alliance in the 1980s.

Neither a strategy of internal alliance nor one of restraint, however, is unproblematic. Internal alliances may create dangerous entanglements. Tied to a domestic actor by such an alliance, insurgents may find themselves unwillingly dragged into domestic political issues. At worst, their internal alliance might be taken as evidence of insurgent interference in the internal affairs of the host regime, and hence received as a further cost by sanctuary decision-makers.

As for a strategy of restraint, it requires that self-restraining guerrilla actions will be appreciated as such by state decision-makers. To assure this it may be necessary to open and maintain close dialogue, even a formal framework for mutual consultation. Such communication may even become an ancillary strategy in itself, serving the additional purpose of reducing the likelihood of "accidental" deterioration in insurgent-sanctuary relations caused by misperceived acts by one party or the other.

The effectiveness of self-restraint is also mediated by the retaliatory activity of the insurgents' opponent, assuming as it does that retaliation is a function of insurgent activity. If this is the case, restraint risks undermining the very raison d'être of an insurgent group, generating conditions under which the requirements of maintaining sanctuary (the reduction of military activity so as to reduce retaliatory action against the insurgents' host) may directly contradict the requirements of armed struggle. Conversely, should the insurgents' opponent adopt a policy of deliberate, massive and disproportionate punishment attacks against the sanctuary regardless of insurgent activity, the effectiveness of insurgent restraint will be sharply limited.

Finally, a strategy of restraint assumes that costs are transitory, and hence mutable. But are they? To a significant extent, the costs of enemy retaliation and guerrilla banditry are. But other insurgent-related costs may be structural in nature, thus posing a significantly greater challenge to the course of insurgent-sanctuary relations.

Insurgency and Revolution
Not all insurgencies are created equal. Some lack any significant social content, merely seeking to replace one political elite with another within the framework of the same socio-economic system. Others, however, seek to transform the socio-economic as well as political nature of their own societies. Such revolutionary insurgencies have a far more unsettling effect on the regional and international system.[19] Because of this, insurgents who are revolutionaries face greater difficulties in maintaining sanctuary.

The political economy of revolution affects the problem of insurgent-sanctuary relations most seriously through the threat of contagion. By their very nature revolutions pose a standing challenge to the socio-economic and political structure of states, and more specifically to the social, economic, and political positions of their dominant classes. To the extent that the structures they challenge at home are replicated elsewhere, their threat expands beyond the immediate borders of the conflict area. The insurgents cannot advance a sociopolitical agenda for their own country (agrarian reform, redistribution of wealth, democratization, and so forth) without potentially causing similar questions to be raised within the host sanctuary. So too revolutionary ideology, organization and the notion of armed struggle may spread to groups within the sanctuaries in which they shelter.

In short, the costs of hosting revolutionary insurgents cannot simply be reduced to transitory costs imposed on an abstract state. Whether directly or by catalyzing latent forces within the host society, insurgents may spur developments fundamentally challenging to those in positions of political and economic power. In other words, the mere presence of a revolutionary movement within a dissonant state and society constitutes a structural threat to those who rule it--varying only with the dissonance between the revolutionary's program and the maintenance structures of the local sociopolitical order, and existing regardless of the activities of the movement and the direct imposition of outside costs. In turn, such a challenge to the status quo raises the regional repercussions of the insurgents' struggle and aggravates the problem of external intervention--quite likely in any case, but now doubly so.[20]

For the PLO this lesson was bitterly learned in 1970-71. At that time the Hashemite regime in Jordan, having suffered heavily from both Israeli attacks and the activities of the PLO, moved to suppress the latter in a bloody civil war that cost many thousands of casualties and brought to an end the PLO's effective presence in the country which had been its most important sanctuary. The costs of Israeli punishment attacks and the ill-disciplined behavior of the fida'iyyin provided major reasons for suppression. But of equal or greater importance than this was the threat that the Palestinian movement in and of itself represented to the stability of the conservative Hashemite monarchy.[21] Created by British colonial policy in 1921, the monarchy rested on the twin bases of East Bank (Transjordanian) tribal allegiances and a loyal army. Since its annexation of the Palestinian West Bank after 1948, the regime had sought to suppress most manifestations of a "Palestinian" identity among the Palestinians who comprised a majority or near-majority of its population. Jordanian foreign policy had been suspicious of radical pan-Arabism and closely aligned with the West. In this context, the rise of a radical Palestinian nationalist movement after 1967 challenged the very foundations of the regime. And it was precisely those elements most challenged--the monarchy, tribal leaders, the Transjordanian officer corps and political elite--who most favored suppression of the PLO. Anxious to preserve the status quo, their stance was passively supported by conservative Arab states alarmed at the rapid growth and influence of the fida'iyyin, and more openly by Israel and the United States. Essentially the "Black September" of 1970 was the military reaction of a conservative elite faced with a potential revolutionary threat to its power and position.

In policy terms, therefore, insurgents face particular difficulties in maintaining sanctuary to the degree in which their programs threaten the social and political status quo in the host state. The strategies of restraint and communications might be utilized to a limited extent. In contexts where the very existence of the revolutionary movement within the sanctuary state represents a major cost to sanctuary decision-makers, however, the revolutionaries are constrained in the degree to which they can "manage" relations by restricting insurgent-related costs.

Instead, insurgents might seek to avoid suppression through reliance on armed force. In some cases, the military power of the insurgents may outweigh the coercive ability of the sanctuary state, allowing insurgents to impose their activities on an otherwise unwilling host. Under such conditions an insurgent movement has the option of adopting an offensive posture, using its resources to overthrow (or helping others to overthrow) the host government with the aim of replacing it with a more supportive regime. But it is seldom that such circumstances arise; insurgents only rarely have military capabilities superior to those of their host state, and lacking these the contribution of the insurgents is only likely to be decisive in situations already pregnant with political instability and potential domestic revolution. Still, historical cases of such a strategy of offense do exist, including the PLO's own unsuccessful calls for the overthrow of the Hashemite regime in Jordan in 1970-71.

A more likely alternative is a strategy of defense whereby insurgents prepare to protect their status by force. Such a strategy seeks to increase the costs of suppression to an unacceptable level, effectively raising the threshold at which suppression might occur by adding to it a deterrent threat. If deterrence fails, the insurgents' military efforts are then aimed at defending their essential base of operations.

The Challenge of Intervention
The discussion thus far has examined insurgent responses to the potential threat posed by a sanctuary state, or possibly by its allies or proxies. In Lebanon, however, the PLO would in fact successfully resist all domestic efforts to contain or crush it for more than two decades after the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Indeed, it was only suppressed--and temporarily at that--by outside intervention by its opponent, Israel, in June 1982.

At first glance, such intervention falls outside the theoretical scope of insurgent-sanctuary relations as defined and discussed here. But in terms of practical policy, the strategic calculus of insurgent-sanctuary relations and external threats of enemy intervention are inextricably tied. For that reason, it is important that the issue be explicitly addressed.

Of the several features linking the internal and external threats, the first and most apparent is perhaps what might be termed "responsibility." Any country which provides sanctuary to insurgents will be held responsible (both under the terms of international law, and in the practical realities of international politics) for the insurgents' actions by the insurgents' target. If sanctuary is not withdrawn, the insurgents' host is likely to find itself subject to retaliatory diplomatic, economic or military measures. Indeed, the sanctuary state itself may become a primary focus of military action by the insurgents' opponent--partly to compel it to withdraw sanctuary, and partly because it represents (in contrast to the elusive insurgents) a clear target for engagement by regular armed forces.[22] The greater the sanctuary's support for the insurgents in question, the greater the likelihood and scope of retaliation it will suffer. Conversely, if the sanctuary evinces no support, and even claims an inability to control the insurgents operating on and from its territory, the greater too the likelihood of armed intervention. Arguing that the sanctuary state lacks both sovereignty over its own territory and the power to assert its authority, the "enemy" may well claim to itself the right of regional policeman, and enter the sanctuary's territory at will to conduct its own military operations.[23]

All of these factors can be seen at work in the South African case, where coercive diplomacy, identification of nationalist insurgency with its neighbors, and the belief direct military action was necessary to curb guerrilla infiltration all underpinned South African pursuit of its "Total Strategy" against the Frontline states. Even after the first of these rationales had been removed by the Lusaka and Nikomati accords, however, South African intervention continued for more than four years. At one level, military action against an external target provided a visible (if marginally effective) response to the government's inability to deal with rising levels of domestic protest and resistance. At another, military intervention acquired a virtual life of its own, rendering southern Angola and Mozambique a chaotic and continuing arena for the forceful deployment of South African military might.[24]

Yet such intervention does not occur in a vacuum, but rather in a critical international context. In the South African case, for example, Soviet and Cuban support for Angola increased the political and military costs of Pretoria's military actions there, ultimately forcing a revision in South African policy. Together with other factors, this led to the December 1988 "tripartite agreement" providing for the withdrawal of South African (and Cuban) troops from Angola and the independence of Namibia.

It is here that a second link between intervention and insurgent policy can be found. The ability of one state (the "enemy") to inflict punishment raids, massive retaliation, or invasion against another ("the sanctuary") is primarily constrained by the local and international balance of power; not only must the sanctuary state be so comparatively weak that it cannot prevent or deter such attacks, but the international system must allow it.[ ]During the Algerian War, for example, France responded to FLN use of Tunisian territory by claiming rights of both "hot pursuit" and "riposte" against the insurgents. Despite this, the political costs of such activities (notably its February 1958 bombing of the Tunisian town of Sakiet-Sidi Yusif) ultimately proved too high for France to bear, causing it to refrain from major attacks on Tunisia for the last four years of the war.[ ]Similarly, analysis of Rhodesian decision-making in the 1960s and 1970s has shown that, in the case of punishment attacks by the white minority regime against Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Angola, and Tanzania during the Zimbabwean war of liberation, "the political costs involved in such actions [were] the final sanction for their execution."[25] If the international political constraints are too great, the only choice remaining to the insurgents' target is either to adopt less open means of action (destabilization, covert penetration)[26] or to refrain from retaliation and punishment of the sanctuary altogether.

One possible insurgent response to this situation is to seek support from outside states, particularly from other regional states or the superpowers--a strategy of external alliances designed to affect both the regional environment and the dynamics of insurgent-sanctuary relations. External allies can assist by placing pressure on, or granting rewards to, the sanctuary state. They may also strengthen insurgents directly, through the supply of arms, funds, and intelligence. Finally, external allies become valuable not only as direct supporters and interceders on the insurgents' behalf, but potentially as direct supporters of the sanctuary state itself.[27] To the extent that they are able to increase through diplomatic or military means the sanctuary's will and capacity to deter and resist enemy military action, they reduce its vulnerability and the level of retaliatory pressure on it. This in turn effectively reduces the cost of the insurgent presence, and hence the likelihood of suppression.

Still, even external alliances may be insufficient to prevent external intervention. As the locus of conflict is forced backwards into heretofore secure sanctuaries by enemy raids and covert action, an important connection emerges between the insurgents' ability to resist (or deter) enemy action and the state of its local relations. Insurgents enjoying strong support from the sanctuary state or internal allies within it will be correspondingly more difficult to dislodge by external intervention than will those which do not. At the same time, the magnitude of insurgent-related costs suffered by the sanctuary state climb--putting the insurgent-sanctuary relationship to its most severe test yet.

Insurgent Strategy and Decision-making
Although the identification of possible insurgent responses ("restraint"; "communication"; "internal" and "external" alliances; "defense" and "offense") suggests the theoretical bases upon which insurgent policies might be based, it does not in itself fully explain either how and why a particular strategy or mix of strategies might be adopted, or the effectiveness with which they can be pursued. To do so requires examination not only of the policy options available, but also of the process whereby insurgent policy is formulated, adopted, and implemented.

Unfortunately, despite an extensive literature on insurgents and insurgencies, very little of this has addressed the dynamics of insurgent policy-making. In part this stems from the complexity of the subject and the heterogeneity of insurgent movements. It also reflects the historic dominance of a "realist" paradigm of international relations which has centered attention on the state and devalued the importance of non-state actors in the international system. Finally, there are the methodological obstacles which have inhibited the study of third world foreign policy in general, including secrecy and a lack of reliable data regarding decision-making, and an excessive concentration on the idiosyncratic role of political leaders.[28]

How then can we best approach the insurgent policy-making process in the context of insurgent-sanctuary relations? While the field lacks appropriate established models, several studies of third world foreign policy in general, and of Arab and PLO foreign policy in particular, do suggest approaches whereby the topic might be addressed.

The first of these stresses the importance of objective and systemic factors in foreign policy formulation, rather than a reductionist focus on the role of third world leaders.[29] Systemic and global constraints play a fundamental role in shaping third world foreign policy-making, both by limiting the menu of what can be achieved, and by exerting a determining effect on the degree to which chosen policies can attain their objectives.

For insurgent movements, their limited ability to affect the regional environment within which they must operate heightens the constraining impact of such systemic factors, forcing much of insurgent policy to be event-driven. The importance of external support (including sanctuary) renders them even more vulnerable to regional political developments. This in turn has important implications for the process of insurgent decision-making. The dynamic circumstances of conducting a guerrilla war may inhibit regularized decision-making. As a consequence, high-level (and often ad-hoc) crisis decision-making groups operating under conditions of limited information may predominate amid the breakdown or short-circuiting of formal decision-making procedures.[30]

A second set of factors that must be addressed pertains to the importance of underlying social and political processes in the shaping of foreign policy.[31] Despite the foreign/domestic dichotomy sometimes assumed by realist approaches to international relations, domestic politics and socio-economic circumstances comprise an inseparable part of the foreign policy process in the third world. In turn, the weakness and permeability of third world states generates circumstances under which external constraints are transnationalized, and reproduced within the social, economic and political structures of "domestic" society.

Insurgent movements, lacking for the most part the level of institutionalization achieved by even weak third world states, are if anything even more deeply affected by such factors. Almost all effective insurgent movements are ultimately dependent on successful mobilization of the domestic population, and hence highly sensitive to its cleavages and substructures. Yet the domestic politics of insurgency is easily transnationalized, both by the regional repercussions of the insurgents' struggle, and by the influence of external sponsors. Within the movement itself, these transnational linkages may be institutionalized by the creation of client or proxy groups by interested outside actors. While the event-sensitivity of insurgency requires from insurgents dynamic responses to changing circumstances, their simultaneous need to maintain a base of political support may render them subject to the sorts of policy immobilism characteristic of "constrained" political regimes.[32]

A third area of importance relates to the impact of the decision-making process itself.[33] While third world leaders often enjoy considerable presidential power, most neither control the decision-making process nor monopolize it. As a result, the exercise of executive power must be studies in the context of both institutional and social variables.

This is particularly true of movements that, like the PLO, have adopted a "national front" model of organization. By including a variety of political currents within the umbrella of a single broad-based nationalist movement, a national front seeks to maximize its appeal to all segments of its constituent population. With all major groups represented within the decision-making process, consensus-building becomes an important mechanism for maintaining unity and minimizing internal conflict. Indeed, given only limited ability to control member organizations, majoritarian policies can only be adopted at the risk of breaking up the essential inter-group alliance. Decision-making thus commonly rests on compromise, even issue-avoidance. Policies thus tend to be broad in statement (to allow a variety of interpretations), and policy changes incremental in nature, producing a "lowest common denominator" outcome.[34]

It is in the interaction of these systemic-situational, sociopolitical and organizational variables that insurgent policy emerges. To a significant extent, however, all coalesce into a single, multifaceted issue: the question of insurgent authority.

Authority becomes an important key to understanding the processes and constraints that shaped PLO policy in Lebanon, and which shape policy formation in other insurgent groups. The crucial aspect which distinguishes insurgents from the regimes they oppose is, after all, the exercise of sovereign authority over demarcated territory. It is precisely to gain such sovereignty and legal authority that insurgent groups struggle. And, in the meantime, their ability to make and implement policy decisions is deeply affected by its absence. As Mohamed Selim has noted of non-state actors in general, and the PLO in particular:

When they formulate foreign policies and operate in the international system, nonstate actors confront certain problems that state actors do not usually experience. Nonstate actors, especially when they take the form of a regional revolutionary movement aspiring to alter the territorial status quo, lack territorial political symbols to draw upon as a basis for defining foreign policy. They confront problems of control and legitimacy, factionalism, visibility, durability, and maneuverability. Lacking a territorial base and the conventional means of conferring legitimacy, these actors find the legitimacy of their representation to be always in question. They must be concerned with the issue of being heard, perceived, and recognized by nation-states and international organizations. As the nonstate actors become more visible and draw more international support, they run the risk of being portrayed by their adversaries as mavericks threatening international legitimacy. Allies may also become a source of threat. Supporters of nonstate actors expect a higher level of compliance from them than they expect from their state clients.[35]

The provisional nature of insurgent authority thus leaves insurgent policy open to challenge from both within and without. To the extent that insurgents lack constitutional-legal mechanisms of authority, societal consensus on the legitimacy of insurgent authority, and a monopoly on the legitimate use of force to assure compliance, then, other means of legitimation must be utilized. These might take the form of charismatic leadership, of ideological appeals, or be based on traditional symbols of authority such as the bonds of shared cultural, religious or ethnic identity. Insurgents may also approximate sovereignty in liberated zones or sanctuaries through revolutionary decrees, their own "laws" and legal procedures, and perhaps even the formal trappings of a state-in-exile. Such a resort to legal-bureaucratic and institutional frameworks in insurgent base areas has both symbolic value and, in a Weberian sense, serves as a mechanism for the routinization and maintenance of (insurgent) authority. Still, potential challenges to the authority of the insurgent decision-making structure are not eliminated. Nor, given the regional context within which they operate, may insurgents be capable of reducing their sensitivity[36] to external and internal pressures on their own decision-making processes.

Vulnerability, however, is another matter--indeed, it is an issue that will emerge as a central theme of the study that follows. Like many insurgent movements, the PLO has throughout its history faced severe (sometimes irresistible) pressures to accommodate itself to external demands. But while the constraints these have engendered have been real and significant, they have served to narrow Palestinian policy options rather than obviate Palestinian political autonomy. As will become evident, the Palestinian movement has expended considerable energy in attempting to maintain its freedom from outside "tutelage," Arab or otherwise. Indeed, the principle of safeguarding the independence of Palestinian decision-making is rooted in the very concept of "Palestinianism" upon which the post-1967 resurgence of the Palestinian movement would be implicitly based. It is a principle upon which each of the major independent Palestinian guerrilla organizations agree, whatever their other substantial political differences. Because of this, external threats to the survival and independence of the PLO--whether deriving from Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, Syrian, Egyptian or other sources--have always tended to engender a defensive unity of sorts. A similar reaction would be evident in Lebanon too, in repeated crises and confrontations with the Lebanese government, hostile Lebanese militias, Syria, and Israel.

This has two important implications. First, it underlines the importance of internal Palestinian politics in PLO policy, politics that is real and indigenous even if substantially affected by the regional political environment. Second, it suggests why Lebanon would prove so important to the PLO, and why over two decades the PLO would make such strenuous efforts to preserve its Lebanese base. Lebanon was important as a sanctuary in general, as a training ground, as a base for Palestinian military and political operations and a delivery point for external supplies. Above and beyond this, however, Lebanon would offer a Palestinian movement, long constrained by the interests and pressures of others, its first real political freedom. The Lebanese base would allow the PLO to make decisions and act in a fashion that was impossible elsewhere in the Arab world, and hence to sustain the independence of Palestinian decision-making it so prized. It would be in Lebanon, then, that the Palestinians would become uniquely free to construct their own institutions, to promote their own identity, and to choose their own, Palestinian, paths to their dream of national liberation.


1. Alan Hart, Arafat: Terrorist or Peacemaker?, 3rd ed. (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1987), p. 182. Text of al-`Asifa Communique No. 1 in al-Watha'iq al-filastiniyya al-`arabiyya 1965 [Arab Palestinian Documents, henceforth APD] (Beirut: Institute for Palestine Studies, annual), p. 1.

2. Rashid Khalidi, Under Siege: PLO Decisionmaking During the 1982 War (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986), pp. 28-29.

3. Mao Tse-Tung, On Guerilla Warfare, intro. and trans. by Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1961), p. 107. Similarly, for Vo Nguyen Giap "a strong rear area is always the decisive factor for victory in a revolutionary war"; see The Military Art of People's War, ed. Russell Stetler (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970), pp. 87-92, 160, 179-181.

4. Robert W. McColl, "A Political Geography of Revolution: China, Vietnam and Thailand," Journal of Conflict Resolution 11, 2 (June 1967): 153-156.

5. According to one study of twelve civil wars of the 1970s outside actors provided (narrowly-defined) "base facilities" to insurgents in 42% of cases, representing 83% (five of six) of successful insurgencies. Bertil Dunér, Military Intervention in Civil Wars: the 1970s (Aldershot: Gower, 1985).

6. Bard E. O'Neill, Armed Struggle in Palestine: A Political-Military Analysis (Boulder: Westview Press, 1978), p. 160.

7. Chris Kutschera, Le mouvement national Kurde (Paris: Flammarion, 1979), pp. 300-333.

8. Ibrahim Abu Lughod, "Lebanon and Palestine: Some Contrasts in the Application of the Principles of National Liberation," Arab Studies Quarterly 7, 4 (Fall 1985): 83.

9. Abu Lughod, "Lebanon and Palestine," p. 88.

10. Ernesto (Che) Guevara, Guerilla Warfare, intro. and case studies by Brian Loveman and Thomas M. Davies Jr. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1985), p. 157.

11. On the effect of changing sanctuary conditions on the Irish, Greek and Kurdish cases, see: J. Bowyer Bell, The Secret Army: The IRA 1916-79 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1980); Edgar O'Ballance, The Greek Civil War 1944-49 (New York: Praeger 1966); John Campbell, "The Greek Civil War," in Evan Luard, ed., The International Regulation of Civil War (New York: New York University Press, 1972), pp. 53, 59; Middle East International, 9 September 1988, pp. 3-4 [henceforth MEI].

12. For example, Peter Calvert, Revolution and International Politics (London: Frances Pinter, 1984); Harry Eckstein, "On the Etiology of Internal War", in George Kelly and Clifford Brown, eds., Struggle in the State: Sources and Patterns of World Revolution (New York: John Wiley & Son, 1970), p. 189; Nathan Leites and Charles Wolf Jr., Rebellion and Authority: An Analytic Essay on Insurgent Conflicts (Chicago: Markham Publishing, 1970), pp. 76-78; Andrew M. Scott et al, Insurgency (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970), p. 77; Eqbal Ahmed, "Revolutionary Warfare and Counterinsurgency," in Norman Miller and Roderick Aya, eds., National Liberation: Revolution in the Third World (New York: The Free Press, 1971), pp. 168-170; David Wilkinson, Revolutionary Civil War: The Elements of Victory and Defeat (Palo Alto, Calif.: Page-Ficklin, 1975), pp. 25-26; Gerard Chaliand, ed., Guerilla Strategies (Berkley: University of California Press, 1980), p. 16; Bard E. O'Neill et al., Insurgency in the Modern World (Boulder: Westview Press, 1980), pp. 15-16; Walter Lacqueur, Guerilla: A Historical and Critical Study (Boulder: Westview Press, 1984), p. 394. Notable exceptions are Thomas H. Greene, Comparative Revolutionary Movements 3rd ed. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1990), pp. 110-111, 125-132; McColl, "A Political Geography of Revolution," and J.D. Deiner, "Guerilla Border Sanctuaries and Counter-insurgent Warfare," The Army Quarterly 109, 2 (April 1979)--although the latter two studies tend to examine the question from a counter-insurgency perspective, analyzing the identification or destruction of guerilla base areas. In the Palestinian case, relations between the PLO and host governments are a central focus of Paul A. Jureidini and William E. Hazen, The Palestinian Movement in Politics (Lexington, Mass.: Lexington, 1973), wherein the issue is dealt with in largely descriptive terms.

13. Douglas Anglin and Timothy Shaw, "Zambia and Southern African Liberation Movements 1964-1974," Zambia's Foreign Policy: Studies in Diplomacy and Dependence (Boulder: Westview Press, 1979), pp. 234-271.

14. O'Neill, Armed Struggle in Palestine, p.160.

15. O'Neill, Armed Struggle in Palestine, p. 160 suggests that "if an insurgent organization finds it necessary to establish a parallel hierarchy in an external support state, which governs part of the state's territory and population, violent conflict with the host state is almost inevitable."

16. Dan O'Meara, "Destabilization of the Frontline States of Southern Africa," Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security Background Paper 20 (June 1988): 6-7.

17. The Accord prohibited guerilla organization, recruitment and transit; logistics bases, training centers, arms depots, command centers, telecommunication facilities and radio broadcast facilities. The text of the Nikomati Accord can be found in Ibrahim S.R. Msabaha and Timothy M. Shaw, eds., Confrontation and Liberation in Southern Africa: Regional Directions After the Nikomati Accord (Boulder: Westview Press, 1987), pp. 279-283.

18. Edgar O'Ballance, The Algerian Insurrection 1954-62 (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1967), p. 85; Saad Jawad, Iraq and the Kurdish Question 1958-70 (London: Ithaca Press, 1981), p. 297.

19. Examining the linkage between the two, James Rosenau has differentiated between "personnel wars" (concerned with the composition of the existing political elite), "authority wars" (concerned with the arrangement of political power), and "structural wars" (which challenge the substructures of society). The latter--corresponding with the concept of revolutionary insurgency as used in this study--involve more extensive international repercussions. See: "Internal War as an International Event," in James N. Rosenau, ed., International Aspects of Civil Strife (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964), pp. 45-91; Karl W. Deutsch, "External Involvement in Internal War," in Harry Eckstein, ed., Internal War: Problems and Approaches (New York: The Free Press, 1964); George A. Kelly and Linda B. Miller, Internal War and International Systems: Perspectives on Method, Occasional Paper No. 21 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Center for International Affairs, 1969).

20. K.J. Holsti has found external intervention in almost half of 200 cases of revolutions during 1900-1950; see Holsti, International Politics: A Framework for Analysis 3rd edition (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1977), p. 275.

21. Clinton Bailey, Jordan's Palestinian Challenge, 1948-1983: A Political History (Boulder: Westview Press, 1984).

22. This tendency may be reinforced by the unwillingness of regular military officers to accept the indigenous nature of an insurgency--and hence look for an external actor that can be blamed for insurgent actions, and engaged in conventional warfare. Eqbal Ahmed, "Revolutionary Warfare and Counterinsurgency," p. 168.

23. International law has traditionally enjoined states to refrain from assisting insurgencies against established governments, and to assume neutrality in the event of full-scale civil war. Richard Falk, ed., The International Law of Civil War (Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1971), pp. 11-16; Rosalyn Higgins, "International Law and Civil Conflict", in Luard, ed., The International Regulation of Civil Wars; James E. Bond, The Rules of Riot: Internal Conflict and the Law of War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974), pp. 99-102; John North Moore, ed., Law and Civil War in the Modern World (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1974); Françoise Hampson, "Winning by the Rules: Law and Warfare in the 1980s," Third World Quarterly 11, 2 (April 1989). A state's "right" of reprisal or hot pursuit is less clear; see Richard Falk, "The Beirut Raid and the International Law of Retaliation," American Journal of International Law 63 (July 1969); Yehuda Blum, "The Beirut Raid and the International Double Standard," American Journal of International Law 64 (January 1970).

24. O'Meara, "Destabilization of the Frontline States of Southern Africa, 1980-1987," pp. 5-6; Robert S. Jaster, "South Africa and its Neighbours: The Dynamics of Regional Conflict," International Institute for Strategic Studies Adelphi Papers 209 (Summer 1986): 62-73.

25. Arnold Fraleigh, "The Algerian Revolution as a Case Study in International Law," in Falk, ed., The International Law of Civil War, pp. 206-207; J. K. Cillier, Counter-Insurgency in Rhodesia (London: Croom Helm, 1985), pp. 173-174.

26. The use of covert action against sanctuary states is well established in the literature on counter-insurgency, e.g. Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfare (New York: Praeger, 1964), pp. 101-103; John McCuen, The Art of Counter-Revolutionary War (London: Faber & Faber, 1966), pp. 240-249. In the case of South Africa, Pretoria has supported UNITA guerillas against Angola, the "Mozambique National Resistance" (itself originally a creation of the Rhodesian regime) against Mozambique, "Super-ZAPU" in Zimbabwe, and the "Lesotho Liberation Army" in Lesotho. Steven Metz, "Pretoria's `Total Strategy' and Low-Intensity Warfare in Southern Africa," Comparative Strategy 6, 4 (1987): 437-469.

27. US encouragement to Honduras and Costa Rica to provide shelter and aid to Nicaraguan rebel forces represents perhaps the most obvious example of an external actor influencing insurgent-sanctuary relations in this way--although in this case, the Contra's dependence on the US made Washington, and not the Contra leadership, the prime initiator of policy. See US House of Representatives and Senate, Report of the Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair (Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1987).

28. Bahgat Korany, "The Take-Off of Third World Studies: The Case of Foreign Policy," World Politics 35, 3 (April 1983); Bahgat Korany, How Foreign Policy Decisions are Made in the Third World: A Comparative Analysis (Boulder: Westview Press, 1986), pp. 40-41; Ali Dessouki and Bahgat Korany, "A Literature Survey and Framework for Analysis," in Korany and Dessouki, The Foreign Policies of Arab States (Boulder: Westview, 1984), pp. 5-18. With regard to the PLO, Paul Noble has noted the need for "a more systematic treatment of the factors shaping policy and greater effort to link the internal and external setting of [the PLO] to its actual behavior," Canadian Journal of Political Science 18, 1 (March 1985): 193-194.

29. Korany, Foreign Policy Decisions, p. 169; Korany and Dessouki, "The Global System and Arab Foreign Policies: The Primacy of Constraints," and Paul Noble, "The Arab System: Opportunities, Constraints, and Pressures," both in Korany and Dessouki, Foreign Policies of Arab States.

30. The importance of objective factors in shaping both the outcomes and process of PLO policy-making is emphasized by Khalidi, Under Siege, pp. 67-129.

31. Korany, Foreign Policy Decisions, p.170; Korany and Dessouki, Foreign Policies of Arab States, p. 326.

32. The impact of domestic political constraints on foreign policy formation are examined by Barbara Salmore and Stephen Salmore, "Political Regimes and Foreign Policy," in Maurice East, Stephen Salmore, and Charles Hermann, eds., Why Nations Act: Theoretical Perspectives for Comparative Foreign Policy Studies (Beverley Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1978), pp. 103-122. The importance of internal political forces (and the influence on those forces of social and external factors) are stressed by Alain Gresh, PLO: The Struggle Within (London: Zed, 1985).

33. Korany, Foreign Policy Decisions, p.171.

34. Aaron David Miller, The PLO and the Politics of Survival, Georgetown Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington Papers 99 (New York: Praeger, 1983). This is evident in other policy-making groups based on organizational representatives. Charles Hermann writes of "delegate groups" in foreign policy formation: "participants are likely to feel cross-pressured between loyalty to the decision structure...and to the organizations they represent.... Instead of appeals to group loyalty...the primary process becomes incremental bargaining among group members.... Trade-offs, logrolling, and compromises tend to be prominent..." Similarly, in "leader-delegate groups" (corresponding to a national front with a dominant member), Hermann notes that new courses of action tend to be expressed in terms sufficently broad as to cover possible disagreements. Hermann, "Decision Structure and Process Influences on Foreign Policy," in East, Salmore, and Hermann, eds., Why Nations Act, pp. 86-88.

35. Mohammed Selim, "The Survival of a Non-State Actor: The Foreign Policy of the Palestine Liberation Organization," in Korany and Dessouki, Foreign Policies of Arab States, p. 198. See also Judy Bertelson, The Palestinian Arabs: A Non-State System Analysis (Beverley Hills, Calif.: Sage, 1979).

36. The concepts of "sensitivity" and "vulnerability" are used here in the sense developed by Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye, Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1977), pp. 11-19.

previous top next
  Copyright © 2008 PRRN home   contact us   sitemap