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Thursday, March 15, 2012

UNIFIL on the verge of collapsing

UNIFIL, the 'peacekeeping' force that was set up at the end of the Second Lebanon War, is on the verge of collapse, with both France and Italy set to withdraw substantial numbers of troops.
Earlier this week, France announced that it was withdrawing 400 soldiers from the force but that it would remain committed to the stability of Lebanon with the continued contribution of around 1,500 soldiers. Italy recently also announced plans to downsize its mission in Lebanon.

“This is concerning but expected,” a senior defense official said. “We hope the Europeans remain committed to the operation since without them it will be a force that is not particularly efficient.”

The official said that the Italian and French decision to downsize their contributions was the result of the global economic crisis as well as the growing frequency of attacks against the force.

A roadside bomb wounded five French peacekeepers in southern Lebanon in December, in the third attack of the year on UN forces in the area. Italy reduced its contribution to UNIFIL last year to 1,100 soldiers from 1,800 after six of its peacekeepers were wounded in May, although diplomats said the decision to cut its contingent had been taken before the attack.
I'm not convinced that UNIFIL going away is going to make a big difference in our security. In fact, we might even be better off if they leave. Their rules of engagement don't allow them to make much of a contribution to peace keeping anyway, and there would be less chance of foreign troops being in the way if Israel has to take care of Hezbullah.

What could go wrong?

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At 12:11 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Isn't the photo you used at the top from the day "someone" shot the commander of an IDF landscaping crew trimming bushes on your side away from sensors, or whatever. On the northern border. I remember looking at the maps with the access road and the road curved away from that spot and that commander was back from the border, not with the landscapers. And these UN and Lebanese Army guys were, what, watching the six of who ever the mystery murderer was who killed the IDF guy? Remember how shocking it was in this photo that the UN and Leb Army were all mixed in with their guns and a shot IDF commander in front of them... So they protected the shooter (assuming it wasn't any of these guys) from any return action, short of a battle. I'm pretty sure the UNIFIL is just a human shield operation, if not an active participant in getting the area ready to attack Israel some more.

At 12:39 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Yes, that's the photo.

I'm pretty sure UNIFIL are human shields at the end of the day, but for some reason the IDF seems concerned about keeping them there. Maybe to be witnesses for the defense the next time we are charged with 'war crimes' in that area.

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Well, if the IDF wants them there, then I'll defer to their judgment! Maybe they could write a paper on it to outline the reasoning. We had a woman pushing a stroller hit by a bullet in downtown El Paso during a gunfight that was going on over the border in Juarez, Mexico. Not a soul could figure out who shot her... maybe UNIFIL could sort it.

At 2:44 AM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

You know they're only human shields if you refuse to shoot back.


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