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Tobin Harshaw

U.S. Arms Wielded by Terrorists: The Lebanon Crisis Awaiting Trump

Israel says Hezbollah is using a shipment of armored personnel carriers the U.S. sent to the Lebanese army.
Can this cedar stand on is own?
Photographer: Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

Early next year, a group of Lebanese Air Force pilots and support crew will arrive at a U.S. base in Georgia to receive training on the A-29 Super Tucano, a Brazilian-made turboprop that uses aerial firepower to support ground missions. This seems like good news: Lebanon is a plucky little democracy only about a decade removed from a 29-year Syrian occupation and still surrounded by Middle Eastern mayhem.

Responding to the Lebanese government’s pleas for aid in combating Islamic State and other Syrian terrorist groups, the U.S. has this year alone provided it with $220 million in military aid -- including 50 armored personnel carriers and 40 artillery pieces -- and facilitated its purchase of six Super Tucanos. Congress is also giving Beirut $150 million to improve border security. This puts Lebanon on the same tier of aid recipients as Jordan, which has been a stable and loyal ally to the U.S. for years.