Reassessing U.S. Military Assistance to Lebanon

(Washington Institute for Near East Policy) David Schenker - In the aftermath of the Lebanese Armed Forces' (LAF) August 3 cross-border shooting of two Israeli officers, one fatal, U.S. military assistance to Lebanon has come under increasing scrutiny. The State Department and congressional appropriators should work out clear, transparent, measurable, and verifiable benchmarks by which all sides - including the Lebanese - can evaluate the merit of maintaining assistance to the LAF. Are LAF officers who share intelligence with Hizbullah disciplined or congratulated? Does the LAF play a role in preventing the import of weapons from Syria or their flow south of the Litani or in facilitating it? Do officials of Hizbullah's militia transfer directly into the LAF? Does LAF weaponry end up under Hizbullah control? Do LAF units follow Hizbullah guidance in obstructing the operations of UNIFIL? Will the LAF arrest and transfer Hizbullah officials that may be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri?

2010-08-27 08:19:57

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