Monday, July 26, 2010

... Use force against Lebanon, but not excessively ...

"... The United States’ past experiences and setbacks in Lebanon furnish a number of useful lessons that should guide the formulation of a new U.S. strategy toward Lebanon:
• The United States should strike the right balance between immediate needs and longterm interests.
• Washington should take concrete diplomatic action to prevent Israel from using excessive force against Lebanon during times of military confrontation with Hizballah, as largescale punitive operations by Israel against Lebanon are counterproductive and undermine American interests in Lebanon.
• The United States should not intervene militarily to support one Lebanese camp over another. Doing so would deepen Lebanese political polarization, exacerbate existing communal cleavages, and jeopardize the entire U.S. approach.
• The United States should not use Lebanon as a battlefield against regional adversaries or as a bargaining chip in regional diplomacy. Doing so would further destabilize the country.
• Washington should implement a policy that contains Hizballah. No U.S. policy in Lebanon can succeed without an effective containment strategy for Hizballah, the single most powerful political and military actor in the country..."

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