UN Security Council Resolution 1701 passed over the weekend calls for the Lebanese army to contribute to security in the south of the country. But this army is considered weak, and sceptics doubt the loyality of the force in the eventuality of conflict with Hezbollah.
The London-based Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) puts the total strength at 72,000, while other experts estimate only 40,000 soldiers. Lebanon spent the equivalent of 530 million dollars on its military in 2005.
That's $7360 - $13,250 per man. Pay (ha!), food, bullets, the light bill, etc. Not very much left over for emergencies, doesn't sound like. Gas and spare tires'd knock the defense budget into a cocked hat.
The army has 310 obsolete tanks of Russian and US make.
I suspect a possible parts interchangeability problem. Inventory, too.
There is scarcely any anti-aircraft capability, and there are only 540 artillery pieces.
I'll betcha if they looked around a little, they could augment their arsenal with a buncha Katyushas...nah, those are probably guarded by a coupla Hezbollah M.P.s who wouldn't let 'em have them.
The airforce is small, with total personnel amounting to just 1,000. It has six Hawker fighter-bombers and a couple of dozen helicopters.
Ohmigod, that's not even enough helos for one for each General! They don't stand a chance! On the bright side, however, Fixer'd be a whole squadron all by hisself!
Resolution 1559 of 2004 called for Lebanon to bring its entire territory, including the south, under the control of the central government and for the militias to be disarmed.
The government and the army failed to meet the demand, leaving the southern border region to Hezbollah.
Those resolutions are just silly. I hope it made the UN feel better.
There are also doubts regarding the army's composition. Western observers believe that half the soldiers are Shiites, the same community from which Hezbollah's fighters are drawn.
Arab experts also do not believe that the Lebanese forces would act against the highly rated Hezbollah forces, which the Israelis themselves have not defeated, in an emergency.
"Arab experts", huh? Hey, it ain't rocket science. Seems to me that possibly a good percentage of Lebanese forces are Hezbollah forces. I think it might be an eye-opener to see how many Lebanese soldiers failed to show up for work during the recent(and future) conflict.
The Lebanese Army is outnumbered, outgunned, and probably not too motivated. They don't want to confront Hezbollah, and a buncha Hadassah ladies could kick their ass.
I think Lebanon's screwed.
*When the U.S. Marines were in the 'Root in the early '80s, that's the jibe they'd sing as the Lebanese Army would go past their positions. Not very respectful, but tough young guys aren't when they don't feel any respect is called for.