US Resupplies Lebanon Military to Stabilize Ally

US Resupplies Lebanon Military to Stabilize Ally - Robert Worth and Eric Lipton, New York Times

For years, the Lebanese military was ridiculed as the least effective armed group in a country that was full of them. After the army splintered during the 15-year civil war, its arsenal slowly rotted into a museum of obsolete tanks and grounded aircraft.

Now that is starting to change. At the gates of a military base just north of Beirut, groups of soldiers drive new American Humvees and trucks, and some tote gleaming new American rifles and grenade launchers.

The weapons are the leading edge of a new American commitment to resupply the military of this small but pivotal Middle Eastern country, which emerged three years ago from decades of Syrian domination.

The new wave of aid, the first major American military assistance to Lebanon since the 1980s, is meant to build an armed force that could help stabilize Lebanon's fractured state, fight a rising terrorist threat and provide a legitimate alternative to the Shiite militant group Hezbollah. That organization, which controls southern Lebanon, has refused to disarm, arguing that it is the only force that can defend the country against Israel.

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