Paul Pillar

Hezbollah and the Simplistic School of Counterterrorism

Not seeing Lebanon fall into renewed civil war is in U.S. interests, so the arrangement Hariri describes is probably in U.S. interests as well.  Many who find Hezbollah reprehensible are not aware that the United States provides financial assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces, which in turn has operational coordination with Hezbollah on some armed operations.  Even some informed observers in quarters whose opposition to Hezbollah is unquestioned and usually don’t want to have anything to do with any ally of Iran see benefit in continuing that assistance.

These complexities are beyond the comprehension of Donald Trump. But what is at stake is not just the avoidance of gauche presidential statements but also the designing of prudent policy toward troublesome groups in troublesome regions, without making the mistake of treating all such groups as the same.

Image: Reuters

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