Israel's Position on US Military Aid to the Lebanese Army
Israel's Position on US Military Aid to the Lebanese
The United States is determined to continue to provide assistance to Lebanon’s armed forces, believing that this military assistance helps maintain state stability. Yet while in his recent visit to Beirut Secretary of State Tillerson stressed repeatedly the administration’s opposition to Hezbollah, it did not appear that the United States has confronted the reality of Hezbollah’s partnership in the Lebanese government, or the identical interests of Hezbollah and official Lebanese government positions.
Israel’s official view of US aid to the Lebanese military runs sharply counter to the approach of the US administration. Therefore, the Israeli discourse with the US administration in this context should have two main goals: one, to ensure that the aid does not significantly increase the threat against Israel, based on the working assumption that Hezbollah will be able to appropriate the weapons; and two, to strengthen the administration’s use of this aid to motivate the authorities in Lebanon to impose limitations on Hezbollah. Moreover, advance coordination with the US administration regarding the realm of military operations and the time Israel will have to complete them is critical, if and when a military clash erupts between Israel and Hezbollah.