U.S. Aid to Lebanon Continues in Wake of Power-Sharing Agreement

U.S. Aid to Lebanon Continues in Wake of Power-Sharing Agreement

When Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman visited with top officials in Lebanon May 31, he brought more than just words of encouragement. Timed with his visit, a shipment of body armor, helmets and more than 1.3 million rounds of ammunition was delivered to the Lebanese Armed Forces -- the latest installment in an ongoing program of military and economic aid that has made Lebanon, on a per capita basis, the second-highest recipient of U.S. assistance. On the heels of sectarian clashes in May, in which Hezbollah-allied forces largely routed pro-government Sunni fighters, the move is an indication that the United States is not ready to abandon the pro-Western government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora ahead of next year's critical parliamentary elections.

"Since 2006, the United States has committed over $371 million in security assistance," said a statement from the U.S. embassy, which promised "the United States will continue to provide equipment and training to the LAF."

So far, that assistance includes 285 Humvees, 200 cargo trucks, helicopter repair parts, assault rifles, grenade launchers, anti-tank weapons and urban warfare bunker weapons, with another 300 Humvees, mobile communications systems, and coastal patrol craft to come.

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