The United States plans to help train and equip the Lebanese army so it can take control of all of its territory when the warfare between Israel and Hezbollah eases, the State Department said Thursday.
The program was approved by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to take effect "once we have conditions on the ground permitting," said department spokesman Sean McCormack.
McCormack provided no details on what equipment the United States might provide, the type of training that would be conducted, how many U.S. personnel would be involved, or how Associate Press
In 1982-1984 The United States attemopted the same thing. There was a lot of mutual admiration and congratulation among all those involved.
All went well until an attempt was made to use the "new Army" in combat to assert the sovereign authority of the Lebanese government. this was in the Chouf Mountains south of Beirut.
Once contact with Druze and Christian fighters was made there the units involved fell to pieces.
The United States ended its reform attempt shortly thereafter.
I feel like I’m looking at delusion. Or maybe I’m just ignorant.
Why would Hizbollah disarm when it thinks it just won? Do we pay them huge sums? Can it contrrol it’s local units?
Is the world community really going to pay a couple billion a year to go into this place which is likely to turn into guerilla hell?
And is the US going to put trainers in a coutry were all sorts of experienced terrorists can get at them?
I feel as though if the problems involved with these things could be solved we wouldn’t be in this mess.
It would seem not an exageration to say that Lebanon has not been a real country since the early 70’s, when its’ government chose to host various Palestinian paramilitary (read terrorist or “terrist”) organizations.
With the possibility that this nation de-Yugoslavs itself in the near future, as it now seems fashionable and de rigeur (Iraq), How many entities will grow out of that mess?
This command decision to field another “train and equip” fiasco will be interesting to watch, since the first evolution went so well. How many parts Maronite, Amal, Druze, Hezbollah, Heathen, etc. will it take to bring about military units of functional inoperability?
Will Vinell get first dibs? How about Halliburton for bases and support? Enlarged lobster tails pour mes mousquetaires?
Some days I just don’t believe this clown show can get more ironic.
Yeah, but so what? Those facts do not mean we can’t get to make the same mistakes all over again. Albeit with higher stakes this time. All that is required is an ignorance of history married to supreme arrogance.
Interesting. I loved the quote from the Lebanese ministry of defense thanking the US for its proposed assistance; oh, silly me, there wasn’t one – presumably because no one in Washington bothered to consult anyone in the Lebanese government over the plan.
I get the feeling that the Washington gang haven’t realised how many bridges they’ve burned in the past 3 weeks.
“Lebanon’s acting foreign minister, Tarek Mitri, said Wednesday he doubts that his government would agree to invite a European-led intervention force into southern Lebanon, citing fierce opposition from Hezbollah and its key foreign backers, Syria and Iran.
Mitri said Hezbollah’s political standing in Lebanon has been greatly enhanced during its three-week battle with Israel, and that its views on the size and mandate of an international force will have to be taken into account. He also said that “no solution” to the current violence in Lebanon can be found without the participation of Syria and Iran in the search for a political settlement.”
Not sure who will be inviting us to train the Lebanese army since Lebanon will likely still be a member of the “old” Middle East??
The US has NO reputation and handle in Lebanon. The plan is dead on arrival.
What Lebanon needs is
– deterance (air- and sea-defense against Israel to prevent permanent breach of its sovereignity by Israeli air and navy foces.
– deterance to Syria to prevent Syrian involvement beyond the natural symbiotic connections.
– a political solution to the underrepresentation of Shia muslims in the Lebanese political system while keeping a veto for the other constituencies.
i have laid this out a bit here:
and do welcome your coments.
Will that new lebanese army include any shia soldiers? Or will they have a de-hezbollah process in lebanon also?
They seem to be settting up a situation similar to Iraq with the shia in the sunni role. Wich is working so well.
The U.S. Defense Department says it has no plans to train Lebanon’s military, contrary to a comment Thursday by the spokesman for the State Department. But a Pentagon spokesman says the United States could provide some equipment to the Lebanese army, if certain conditions are met.
just over $10 million, the money would be used to buy spare parts for trucks, armored vehicles and helicopters, and would not include any weapons.
Considering all that has transpired, would the Lebanese Army not be better of getting training from Hizballah?