Historically, the Lebanese military is seen as extremely inconsequential. Even during the 2006 Israeli invasion, the Lebanese Army stayed on its bases and just waited for it to be over.
But with sectarian tensions on the rise as spillover from the Syrian Civil War, there is growing resentment among Sunnis toward the military, with a sense that they are biased in favor of Hezbollah and the nation’s Shi’ites.
Faced with growing spillover violence, the Lebanese Army has tried to impose neutrality inside the nation by attempting to stop weapons smuggling to Syria’s rebels. But with Hezbollah also directly involved in the Syrian war, that’s raised complaints of a double-standard.
As a practical matter, the military’s role is still extremely limited, and with Hezbollah’s militia quite a bit stronger than they are it would likely be impractical for the military to try to “confront” them over spillover violence the way they have targeted smaller Sunni Islamist groups. Either way, this is putting them into a position of perceived bias that is going to be difficult to shake, and will just add to the problems of sectarianism in Lebanon.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Trump to Boost Exports of Lethal US Drones - March 20th, 2018
- Tests of Substance in Britain Poisoning Will Take Three Weeks - March 20th, 2018
- Iraq Approves Turkish Military Operations Against Border Kurds - March 20th, 2018
- Trump Praises Visiting Saudi Crown Prince, Focusing on Arms Sales - March 20th, 2018
- Cordial Talks Between Trump and Putin; Two Will Meet Soon - March 20th, 2018