The Lebanese Front was a coalition formed on the eve of the civil war, consisting of leaders of the dominant Christian Maronite establishment and right-wing Lebanese nationalist parties with their affiliated military organizations. It was presided over by Camil Chamoun (NLP); its leadership included Pierre Gemayel (LKP), Suleiman Frangieh (president of Lebanon 1970-6) and other notable Maronite political, religious and intellectual figures. The leaders comprising the front favoured a neutral position of Lebanon with regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The front joined forces against the armed presence of Palestinian organizations in Lebanon, regarding the PLO as a threat to Lebanon's peace and sovereignty. The front was equally sceptical of Arab nationalism and strongly opposed left-wing proposed reforms. Its affiliated military organizations formed a joint military command in 1976 under the name of the Lebanese Forces.
Lebanese Kataeb Party or Phalange
Pierre Gemayel who led the Kataeb until his death in 1984 founded the party in 1936. It is a right-wing Lebanese nationalist party; its partisans are essentially Christian, mostly Maronite. The Kataeb was a central member of the Lebanese Front coalition. Gemayel's two sons, Amin and Bashir, played key roles in the party's politics and military organization, respectively. Bashir Gemayel was elected president of Lebanon in 1982; assassinated shortly after, he was succeeded by his brother Amin.
National Liberal Party (NLP)
Founded in 1958 by Camil Chamoun, the NLP was a right-wing Lebanese nationalist party. The party held a predominantly Christian membership with pro-Western political views and anti-Arab-nationalism sentiments. Chamoun was the president of the Lebanese Front alliance, while his son Dani commanded the NLP's military arm, the Numur (Tigers). With the rise of Bashir Gemayel's command over the Lebanese Forces, the Numur's military power was forcefully terminated through violent battles in 1980. A significant number of the Numur partisans were absorbed into the ranks of the Lebanese Forces.
A small organization formed in 1969 by former members of the Kataeb party, George Adwan, Fouad Chemali and Fawzi Mahfouz, who were radically opposed to the presence of Palestinian forces in Lebanon. The organization held an important position within the Lebanese Front coalition and played a substantial military role. In 1977 the Tanzim split in two and the wing led by Mahfouz merged with the Lebanese Forces.
Guardians of the Cedars
A political movement and military organization established in 1975 on the eve of the war, led by a former police officer, Etienne Sakr (Abu Arz). Right-wing, ultra-Lebanese nationalist and hostile to Arabism, it called for the expulsion of Palestinian refugees and forces from Lebanon. The organization fought as part of the Lebanese Forces in the early years of the war. In the mid-1980s, it fought alongside the Israeli army in South Lebanon against the Palestinian forces and the Lebanese National Resistance Front.
A political movement formed by Suleiman Frangieh during his presidency (1970-6). Frangieh's son, Tony, commanded the Marada's military wing. Partisans are Maronites from the North Lebanon region of Zghorta. It fought alongside the Lebanese Front in the north between 1975 and 1976. However, Suleiman Frangieh's close relationship to Syria, his accusations that the other members of the front were cooperating with Israel, and the subsequent murder of Tony Frangieh by the Kataeb in 1978 led the Marada movement to rupture its alliance with the Lebanese Front.