Could U.S. Troops End Up in Lebanon?
Posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2006. By Ken Silverstein.
There's much discussion of putting a multinational, NATO-led force in southern Lebanon as part of a ceasefire agreement in the Israel–Lebanon conflict, but Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to a story in the Washington Post, has said that she does “not think that it is anticipated that U.S. ground forces . . . are expected for that force.” However,
The officer, who had broad experience in the Middle East while at the CIA, noted that Given other nations' lack of commitment, any “robust” force—between 10,000 and 30,000 troops, according to estimates being discussed in the media—would by definition require major U.S. participation. According to the former official,
The , according to my source. “They are saying 'What the fuck?'” he told me. “Most of our combat-ready divisions are in Iraq or Afghanistan, or on their way, or coming back. The generals don't like it because we're .”
Sending American soldiers is at this point simply an option and by is no means a certainty, but if the administration decides to move forward, my source said, And as Mahan Abedin, Director of Research at the Centre for the Study Of Terrorism in London, noted in an email he sent me yesterday,
The former CIA officer said that the , the country's largest single ethnic bloc. “A U.S. force is going to end up making, not keeping, peace with Hezbollah. Once you start fighting in a place like that you’re basically at war with the Shiite population. That means that our soldiers are going to be getting shot at by Hezbollah. This would be a sheer disaster for us.”
The scenario of an American deployment send U.S. forces into the Middle East, regardless of what our own military leaders suggest, in order to “stabilize” the region. The chances of success, as we have seen in Iraq, are remote. So what should be done? My source said the situation is so volatile at the moment that the only smart policy is to get an immediate ceasefire and worry about the terms of a lasting truce afterwards.