This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the 1982 war, by introducing the key international participating players. Central to this conflict is the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) in the war. The P.L.O. had been driven out of South Lebanon and then forced to leave Beirut in August 1982, without obtaining either binding guarantees for the Palestinian civilians left behind, or the political quid pro quo it sought for the evacuation. The result was a bloody massacre at Sabra and Shatila, and a marked decline in the Organization's visibility and effectiveness. The 1982 war had become a turning point for many of the powers involved, even as the United States, despite its involvement, remained for the most part tight-lipped regarding the war and its consequences.
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