Congress Forces Pentagon to Come Clean on Aid to Lebanon

(Bloomberg) Eli Lake - Last month, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Hizbullah was now "in complete control not just of the Lebanese [government], but also its army." Since 2007, the U.S. has provided $1.7 billion worth of aid and equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). U.S. military leaders have assured Congress that U.S. equipment has not ended up in the hands of Hizbullah, and that the LAF has fought valiantly against Sunni jihadis like the Islamic State, working alongside American special operations forces. Many in Congress, however, are ready to write off the U.S. relationship with the LAF. The original goal of America's aid to Lebanon's military, during the George W. Bush administration, was to help the LAF implement UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which requires the military to disarm Lebanon's militias. In the last 11 years, the LAF has made zero progress in disarming Hizbullah. Last month, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attached an amendment to the Senate defense authorization bill requiring the Pentagon and the State Department to assess how well the LAF is meeting the terms of Resolution 1701.

2018-06-07 00:00:00

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