No US assistance to Lebanon has been withheld. Rather, it has been subject to “a budget process” that consists of “a continual review of all assistance programs to ensure we are meeting US foreign-policy objectives and optimizing the value for the American taxpayer.”
The State Department referred JNS to the White House Office of Management and Budget, which declined to comment on the record.
Israel has expressed concern that funding that goes to the Lebanese Armed Forces has supported Hezbollah, a known terror organization. The LAF, which received $100 million last year from the United States, and Hezbollah are known to have cooperated together.
Jewish Policy Center senior director Shoshana Bryen said, “it is important for the State Department to take military aid to Lebanon under review—not least because the government under which the Lebanese Armed Forces operates is dominated by Hezbollah, a US-designated terror organization allied with Iran and pledged to Israel’s destruction.”
Furthermore, she continued, “as the people of Lebanon demand a government that is not dominated by sectarian interests or by Iran, the LAF has been defending the government from its people, killing at least one demonstrator this week. It is entirely unclear how American arms and training for the LAF furthers stability or peace in the region.”
Reportedly, the US State and US Defense Departments have been for continuing the aid, while many in the White House advocate halting it.
Israel has called for Lebanon to shut down Hezbollah’s precision-missile manufacturing, in addition to cutting ties with the group.