Friday 6 March 2009

No tanks

Remember those M60 tanks the US promised the Lebanese army... well they don't work. And as for the Cobra helicopters... Isreal said "no".

Here's Haaretz:

According to American planning, Lebanon was supposed to receive M-60 tanks and 10 Cobra helicopters.

The tanks and the helicopters are parked for the moment in Jordan - part of old equipment that the Jordanian kingdom wants to replace.

Lebanese army experts who came to examine the equipment received the impression that the tanks are in need of comprehensive mechanical work and a large number of spare parts; in short, a substantial financial outlay.

They didn't even get to the Cobras, because Israel informed the Pentagon that it is vehemently opposed to letting the Lebanese army have such helicopters.

Israel's viewpoint when it comes to arming the Lebanese army is a decisive factor in the decisions of the U.S. administration.

"We don't have a conversation on these matters without considering the concerns of Israel and Israel's qualitative military edge. That's a U.S. commitment that we take very seriously," explained Chris Straub, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near East and South Asia.

Monday 2 March 2009