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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Congressional Report: Let's Merge Hezbollah And The Lebanese Army!

According to a blog on Congressional reports in the region, there is a recent report Hezbollah: Background and Issues for Congress
:[M]ost observers believe that prospects for accommodation and engagement between the United States and Hezbollah are slim, even as the group’s close relationships with Syria and Iran, its pivotal role in Lebanese politics, and reinvigorated U.S. engagement in regional peace efforts increase Hezbollah’s potential influence over stated U.S. national security objectives. The Obama Administration is requesting $246 million in FY2011 foreign assistance to continue a multi-year program specifically designed to increase the central authority of the state and deter the use of force by non-state actors. Since FY2006, the United States has provided more than $1.35 billion in assistance for Lebanon.
So, what kind of recommendations are in the report?
According to Naharnet:
Among the suggestions, the report said, was to merge Hizbullah into the Lebanese Army, but it pointed to Hizbullah's rejection to this offer.


The report, however, finds this option could complicate U.S. policy in dealing with Hizbullah given that Hizbullah is classified by Washington as a terrorist organization but thought this may be the "best scenario" to resolve the Hizbullah issue.
Merge Hezbollah into the Lebanese Army?

Considering the involvement of the Lebanese Army in the ambush of the IDF back in August, after Israel arranged with UNIFIL in advance to trim a tree on the Israeli side of the border--an ambush where Lebanese Army  snipers fired on a commander who was not even near the tree cutting--Hezbollah already has influence on  Lebanese forces.

Why would Congress want to increase Hezbollah power and influence--especially when the Obama administration wants to increase aid to Lebanese forces?

Remember back in May--
U.S. wants to build up Hezbollah moderates: adviser

The Obama administration is looking for ways to build up "moderate elements" within the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla movement and to diminish the influence of hard-liners, a top White House official said on Tuesday.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.

"Hezbollah is a very interesting organization," Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from "purely a terrorist organization" to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet.

"There is certainly the elements of Hezbollah that are truly a concern to us what they're doing. And what we need to do is to find ways to diminish their influence within the organization and to try to build up the more moderate elements," Brennan said.
Some ideas just won't go away--
especially the bad ones.

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