Following Lebanon: A National Security Interest


By Scott Morgan

In 2018, one of the flash points in the world will once again be in the Middle East. The location has been obvious due to events that have taken place in that country over recent weeks.

The situation in Lebanon is both a vital concern to the National Security Interest of both the United States and Israel, and it appears to be one of the next areas of contention in the ongoing proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. One of the main allies of Tehran, Hizbullah, which has a political party in Lebanon and several seats in Parliament (not to mention it controls several ministries in the current Lebanese Government) is a power broker regarding the future of the country.

Geography also makes the country an area of concern. It has a border adjoining Syria. On more than one occasion the violence that has taken place during the Syrian Civil War has crossed the border into some of the villages. It is clear that, in the future, Lebanon is going to be a vital interest.

On December 15th 2017, the United States announced that [after a visit to the country by Gen Votel - the head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM)] Lebanon would be receiving military equipment under three distinct programs :

  1. Providing provisions for purchase of six MD 530G Helicopters with the additional training and equipment. The US Embassy in Beirut places the total of this package at $94 Million
  2. The second program will provide Sea Eagles (UAVs) to the Lebanese Armed Forces to provide computers and other equipment to improve command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and recon abilities. The value of this program comes in at $11 Million
  3. The third program will provide equipment to improve joint fire support and close air support at a cost of $16 Million

These transfers from the United States show that the Lebanese Military notices some holes in their capability to deal with threats in the region that are emerging or appear to be winding down as Daesh is defeated in both Syria and Northern Iraq.

The greatest threat has to be the potential of the country becoming a conflict zone in the Saudi- Iranian proxy war. As there is no visible evidence to determine how this will play out inside Lebanon or which other regional actors will be drawn into any potential conflict it has been assessed that the situation in Lebanon is a concern.

(Image: Lebanese Army - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]

Comments

  1. Am I the only one to question the wisdom of transferring weapons to Lebanon?

    ReplyDelete

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