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Sunday, November 23, 2008

US to sell tanks to Hezbullah?

Israel is concerned that a US plan to sell hundreds of M-60 tanks to Lebanon will result in Hezbullah acquiring heavy armor that it never had before.
On Friday, the An-Nahar daily reported the US was planning to deliver dozens of M60 tanks to Lebanon in several batches starting early next year. A specific number was not reported.

The M60 tank is an all-purpose tank made in the US with advanced firepower and mobility. Though superseded by the M1 Abrams, the M60 series remains in service throughout the world. Egypt has the most, with 1,700, Turkey is second with more than 900 and Israel is third with over 700.

The decision to send tanks to Lebanon is part of a $410 million military aid program the US approved following the 2006 Second Lebanon War, to bolster the Lebanese army against Syria and local militia groups such as Hizbullah.

The US has already provided the Lebanese army with weapons, ammunition, communication devices and vehicles such as Hummer jeeps.

Israel's concern, officials said, was that Hizbullah could gain control of the weaponry. "Already a large percentage of the LAF [the Lebanese Armed Forces] is Shi'ite," one official said. "It is definitely possible that in a future Hizbullah-Israeli conflict these tanks will be used against us."
Given that Hezbullah already effectively controls Lebanon, I'm worried about the US selling tanks or any other weaponry to Lebanon.

This sale is yet another indication of the ineffective manner in which the Olmert-Barak-Livni- Yishai government has handled Israel's relations with both its friends and its enemies. This government and its leaders must go.


At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With friends like these.....

At 9:31 AM, Blogger M Brueschke said...

They are a quite old tank. The Tzefa and Peten/Saraph will kill them very quickly from the air and the Merkavas and anti-armor weapons the IDF has will easily eliminate these tanks in the field.

Even if Hezbollah gets ahold of them, the Hezbollah fighters don't know how to use them nor will even qualified Lebanese tankers throwing their lot in with Hezbollah be any good at tactics that would make them effective. The Egyptian and Syrians at least had decent Soviet doctrine. Lebanon, Iran and Syria don't have the luxury of good tactical training anymore.


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