"Since 2005, the United States has provided nearly $500 million in security assistance to the government of Lebanon to increase the capacity of its various security forces to combat terrorism and secure Lebanon's borders against weapons smuggling to Hezbollah and other armed groups. The recent increase in U.S. security assistance to Lebanon is an extension of a long-standing commitment on the part of the United States to foster a friendly and independent Lebanese government. The Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) was punctuated by targeted bombings against U.S. and Western interests and kidnappings of U.S. and Western civilians in Lebanon. At times, the violence threatened to spill over into adjacent areas of the Middle East, demonstrating the dangers to U.S. interests posed by instability in this small country. [...] As Lebanon approaches parliamentary elections, scheduled for June 7, 2009, attention has focused on the future of U.S. policy toward Lebanon and, in particular, the viability of U.S. security assistance as a tool of that policy. This report discusses the variety of current U.S. security assistance programs to Lebanon including objectives, vetting processes, end-use monitoring, and issues for Congress. The last section of this report discusses the upcoming elections and the future of U.S. security assistance to Lebanon. See also CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R40054, 'Lebanon: Background and U.S. Relations', by Casey L. Addis."
CRS Report for Congress, R40485
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