After Lebanese PM Hariri's Resignation, U.S. Should Suspend Aid to Lebanese Army

(Tablet) Tony Badran - Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, in his televised resignation speech on Saturday, cited Iran's control of Lebanon through Hizbullah as the reason for stepping down. Hizbullah, Hariri said, "has come to control the seams of the state and has the final and decisive say in the affairs of Lebanon and the Lebanese." Hariri went on to list how Hizbullah has turned Lebanon into a launching pad for military interventions and terrorist activities against fellow Arab states. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Hariri's resignation speech as a "wake-up call," and warned that Iran was trying to replicate in Syria the model through which it has come to dominate Lebanon. The reality of Hizbullah's total control in Lebanon carries implications for U.S. policy, which has been anchored around supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). By building up the LAF, America imagined this would strengthen "the state," and thereby weaken Hizbullah. When the anti-Hizbullah prime minister resigns, citing the group's total domination of the state, then perhaps a review of this policy is in order, since strengthening a state controlled by Hizbullah strengthens Hizbullah. The writer is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2017-11-08 00:00:00

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