The first part of the thesis addresses the evolution of the Kataeb Party from independence in the 1940s until the outbreak of war in 1975. The second part deals with the emergence and evolution of the Lebanese Forces from 1975-76 to 1988. The Lebanese Forces evolved in four phases. The first phase (1976-1980) witnessed the creation of a unified command council for the Christian militias. The second phase began with the "July 7th Corrective Movement" in 1980 and was marked by the ascendancy of Bashir Gemayel to the presidency. This phase ended with the assassination of President-elect Gemayel in September 1982. The third phase (1982-1986) was characterized by a dual power struggle: one between President Ajnin Gemayel who controlled the Kataeb Party and the leadership of the Lebanese Forces, and the other between Elie Hobeika and Samir Geagea the two leading figures in the Lebanese Forces. Finally, the fourth phase (1986-1988) began with the Geagea-led rebellion against forces led by Elie Hobeika. Three weeks earlier, Hobeika along with the Amal militia leader Nabih Berri and Druze leader Walid Junblatt signed the Tripartite Agreement in Damascus. This period was marked by the consolidation of power by Samir Geagea within the Christian regions and the systematic institutionalization of the Lebanese Forces.
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