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Cablegate: Lebanon: Bravo Zulu for U.S. Military Assistance

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLB #0861 1651623
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 141623Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIRUT
TO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8502
RHMFIUU/CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL IMMEDIATE
INFO RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1242
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS BEIRUT 000861

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

NSC FOR ABRAMS/SINGH/MARCHESE/HARDING
SECDEF FOR DIRECTOR, DEFENSE SECURITY COOPERATION
AGENCY/COMMANDER, US SECURITY ASSISTANCE COMMAND

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MASS MOPS PTER PREL LE SY
SUBJECT: LEBANON: BRAVO ZULU FOR U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE
EFFORT

1. Speed, professionalism, effectiveness: those qualities
exemplified the extraordinary effort put forth by our EUCOM,
CENTCOM and TRANSCOM military brethren and our State and DOD
civilian colleagues in providing urgently needed military
assistance to Lebanon's fledgling armed forces in their time
of dire need. On behalf of the entire U.S. Embassy team in
Beirut, I want to extend my thanks for the incredibly quick
and effective work undertaken by our military and civilian
colleagues who are involved in the rapid responsiveness to
the Lebanese Armed Forces' needs.

2. On May 20, well-armed Sunni fundamentalist extremists
launched a violent attack against Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF)
that were stationed outside the Nahr al-Barid refugee camp in
northern Lebanon. The already over-stretched Lebanese army
troops were poorly equipped to confront this serious threat
to Lebanon's stability and sovereignty. Following urgent
consultations between U.S. Embassy Beirut and the Government
of Lebanon, a list of critically-needed equipment was drawn
up and forwarded to Washington.

3. Displaying unprecedented speed of response, the Office of
the Secretary of Defense, in concert with applicable
components of the European Command and Central Command,
organized and executed an airlift of 22 C-17 flights which,
in a matter of days, delivered desperately needed munitions
and associated equipment to LAF troops engaged in fierce
hostilities against a determined and well-supplied foe. With
the LAF now facing some of the most critical battles, these
efforts are continuing. In the execution of this operation,
the U.S. Transportation Command also performed brilliantly
and deserves special recognition. Our colleagues at the
State Department also played critical, essential roles in
facilitating these shipments. Bravo to all of you.

4. Although the extremely important battle at Nahr al-Barid
still hangs in the balance, we have already received numerous
statements of appreciation and admiration from both the
Lebanese Armed Forces and the political leadership of Lebanon
for the U.S. military assistance over the past three weeks.
Accordingly, when the history of these critical days is
written, justice will be served only if proper acknowledgment
is given to the men and women of the U.S. military and to the
civilian employees of State and DOD who participated in this
pivotal and superbly-executed supply effort.

5. I am both deeply impressed and deeply grateful. The LAF
is engaged in a battle that it cannot afford to lose, and our
assistance can help tip the balance in the LAF's favor.
Please accept our most sincere thanks for a job well done!
FELTMAN

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