Evolution and Impact of U.S. Anti-Corruption Policy in Lebanon

Under the Biden administration, the United States has adopted an unprecedented focus on global anti-corruption policy. In Lebanon, this focus has largely manifested as a new strategy to combat financial corruption, where the U.S. has deployed targeted sanctions against corrupt actors outside of the counterterrorism framework that has long dominated U.S. policy in Lebanon.

Importantly, after the horrific October 7 attacks in Israel and the subsequent war in Gaza, the Biden administration’s anti-corruption agenda in Lebanon has taken a backseat as regional policy focuses on mitigating the war’s spillover effects and de-escalating tensions.

The shift in the Biden administration’s approach has been productive in some ways, but U.S. policy discourse does not capture the reality of how sanctions are experienced and understood by people in Lebanon.

To fill that gap, this report includes Lebanese voices in this policy conversation and integrates the perspectives, experiences, and reflections of members of Lebanese civil society.

Considering the relative novelty of U.S. global anti-corruption policy and especially the novelty of anti-corruption sanctions usage in Lebanon, this report reveals the need to further examine the long-term consequential effects of recent anti-corruption sanctions and the need to include members of Lebanese civil society in discussions about U.S. anti-corruption policy.

Read the report written by Raimy Khalife-Hamdan here.