Thursday, August 24, 2006

UN Resolution 1701 Unsupportable

It was only a few days ago that the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1701. Now we see all the reasons why it might now work.

The CS Monitor leads with: Smugglers, armed clans, hidden weapons, interfering neighbors, and enemy combatants with their fingers on their triggers. That is the landscape in Lebanon, and those are some of the reasons why it is proving so difficult to get a beefed-up United Nations peacekeeping force on the ground in south Lebanon.

The International Harold Tribune reads: Efforts to raise a large United Nations peacekeeping force for Lebanon remained highly fragile , as Syria warned that any UN deployment near its border would be seen as a "hostile" act that could lead it to close the border, while Israel, which has demanded such a deployment, declared the situation "explosive."

The heated language came as Italy, now the likely leader of the force, promised at a meeting in Brussels to provide up to 3,000 troops. But other countries, fearful that vague rules of engagement could leave their troops vulnerable, have been slow to follow. This suggested that the force might ultimately be far smaller than the 15,000 troops envisioned.

Resolution 1701 clearly states that Lebanon is to secure its border and entry points to prevent the influx of illicit arms or related material. It authorizes the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) peacekeeping force to assist Lebanon in this task if requested.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that a deployment of international troops along Lebanon's border with Syria would be a hostile act.

This Resolution was doomed from day one. Bullets, bombs and missiles might not be flying, but the battle continue as they reload with bigger and better ammo.

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