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Friday, October 22, 2010

Why the US should not resume military assistance to Lebanon

This is from a piece arguing that the US should resume its military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Ultimately, ongoing U.S. military support for the LAF will require an understanding of the deeply embedded Hezbollah position in southern Lebanon and a realistic understanding of what stability the LAF is capable of delivering in both the short and long term, as peace initiatives -- either Israel-Syria or broader Arab peace agreements -- take root. The LAF is unlikely to engage in direct confrontation with Hezbollah, if for no other reason than Hezbollah has succeeded to a considerable extent in depicting itself as Lebanon's primary defense against Israel. But an LAF which takes on greater security and infrastructure building responsibilities, with a membership which includes Sunnis, Shias and Christians, could serve as an increasingly important stabilizing force in years to come.
If the LAF won't confront Hezbullah then they won't accomplish any of the things this article envisions them accomplishing. And as it happens the LAF itself is mostly Shia and controlled by Hezbullah (and has been pretty much since Israel fled southern Lebanon ten years ago).

As I wrote earlier in a different context, if it ain't fixable, don't waste resources trying to fix it.


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