Rethink U.S. Security Aid to the Lebanese Army

(The Hill) Richard Natonski and Thomas Trask - The U.S. has provided the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) with $1.7 billion since 2006, hoping substantial military aid would decrease Hizbullah's influence in Lebanon. In recent years, however, multiple factors indicate that ties between Hizbullah and the LAF are growing dangerously close. In southern Lebanon, the LAF has ignored its obligation to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for the "disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon" other than the LAF, and Hizbullah's military capacity has continued growing unchecked. Lebanese President Michel Aoun remains a loyal ally of Hizbullah and has repeatedly hailed Hizbullah's "major" and "essential" role in Lebanon's defense apparatus. American policymakers should revisit their decision to fund the LAF, given its growing connections with Hizbullah. Maintaining the current policy endangers U.S. national security and that of our ally Israel. Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Richard Natonski is former Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command. Lt.-Gen. Thomas Trask is former Vice Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command. Both are members of the Hybrid Warfare Task Force of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA).

2019-07-08 00:00:00

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