More on the Lebanese Army…..

There are some new  developments to yesterday’s post  (scroll down) that are worth taking note of concerning the arming of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).   Gen. Petraeus was on a surprise visit to Beirut yesterday and met with President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and the new army commander Gen. Jean Qahwaji.    It turns out that the US will not be sending arms to Lebanon before the spring parliamentary elections take place there, and heavy weapons will not be sent at all because of US concerns about “Israel’s military edge”.

It is worth wondering why the US wants to shelf its shipment of arms until the spring elections.  Was there a pre-condition set for the shipment based on who would win the elections? In that case, why even promise weapons? And if there is no waiting game to see which party wins a majority, then why even wait until then? If another Nahr Al-Bard situation occurs from now until then, the US will have to send out an emergency supply anyway. 

4 Responses

  1. perhaps in a future post you can fill us in on the upcoming elections, what r the issues, what to look for etc-

    but wouldnt taking the step of providing heavy weapons be the kind of thing that could effect the outcome of a Lebanese election? So isnt it almost the responsible thing to do if you are the US?

  2. According to the Nahar article, heavy weapons won’t be sent, ever.
    Although no one specifies what the kind of weapons are that are going to be held until after the spring elections, i’m taking a wild guess that it’s the light weaponry, spare parts, night goggles etc.

    What’s your rationale for saying that a shipment of arms can influence the outcome of the elections? I’m not sure I’m following you on that one.

  3. I know.
    We could just ask Syria to march back in and reoccupy Lebanon yet again. That way we get to save money, don’t have to worry who wins the elections, because there wouldn’t be any and we get to keep the Israelis happy.
    Oh wait, you’ve already suggested that before, haven’t you?

  4. Blackstar,
    The US taking the decision to arm a particulur party can have enourmous implications on local politics- in any country, not just Lebanon. Thats a big step, especially if there is some kind of change in the amount of type of weapons provided. Therefore, I can see the decision to wait till after the elections as an American attempt to not want to interfere in local Lebanese politics.

    Edward,
    Yes, I have suggested it. But so have many others so its not like this is some personal theory of mine.

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