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Thursday, July 30, 2009

US may back expansion of UNIFIL powers

Susan Rice, the American ambassador to the United Nations, told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee this week that the United States does not have the power to expand UNIFIL's mandate in southern Lebanon. However she believes that the Security Council might be willing to expand the mandate.
Addressing the recent explosion at an arms cache in south Lebanon, US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told the House of Representative's Foreign Affairs Committee that while UNIFIL enjoys limited power in the Arab country, its presence still has some value.

Next month the Security Council is set to discuss the extension of UNIFIL's mandate in south Lebanon. Some 12,000 peacekeepers are stationed there.

Rice told the committee she does believe the Security Council would support expanding UNIFIL's authority in a bid to counter Hezbollah's increased presence in south Lebanon.
For once, I hope that she's right, but I'm afraid she's doing some wishful thinking.

The biggest problem with the current UNIFIL mandate is that it requires co-ordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces. Even if the Security Council approved expanding the mandate, I highly doubt that the Lebanese government would go along with the expansion. Since this is not (and is unlikely to be) a Chapter 7 resolution, if the Lebanese government does not want to play along, no one can force them to go along with it. Hope and change same!


At 12:30 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

More than likely, Rice's idea of expanded powers for
the UNIFIL peacekeepers will be to the detriment of Israel. Perhaps a one way door keeping action, i.e. only outgoing fire from Lebanon will permitted. Any Israeli response to a provocation will be made problematic if not prevented. Look for opportunities for the US to participate in a UN sanctioning of Israel.

At 6:04 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel should get of UNIFIL and police both sides of the border as it up to 2000. It would require pushing Hezbollah beyond the Litani and annexing southern Lebanon up to the river. The Arab population would flee and should not be allowed to return. Israel can build a separation wall to safeguard against Hezbollah infiltration. Its probably better than that the status quo. If Israel is going to fight in Lebanon down the road, it should with a clear territorial objective in mind. There is no reason to return southern Lebanon to the hands of a hostile regime.


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