The United States recognizes the important role the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) play as Lebanon’s sole legitimate defense force. We value our on-going cooperation with Lebanon to strengthen the capacity of the LAF to enable it to secure Lebanon’s borders and defend its sovereignty and independence. U.S. security assistance also supports the LAF’s mission to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1701. U.S. support comprises approximately 75% of all international security assistance to Lebanon.
Section 1206 Military Assistance: The United States has approved $8.7M in new FY 2013 assistance focused on increasing the LAF’s ability to monitor, secure, and protect Lebanon’s borders against terrorist threats and the illicit transfer of goods. Since 2006, the United States has provided over $100M in Section 1206 funding (in addition to Foreign Military Financing, described below) to assist the LAF in building its counterterrorism capabilities.
International Military Education and Training (IMET): Lebanon’s IMET program is the fourth largest in the world. IMET builds strong ties between the United States and Lebanon by bringing Lebanese officers and officials to the United States to study and train alongside U.S. troops. In FY 2013, Lebanon has received $2.2M under the IMET program, funding that allowed more than 65 Lebanese military students to attend education and training in the United States. The majority of IMET is focused on Professional Military Education. Since 1985, the IMET program has brought more than 1,000 Lebanese military students to the United States for education and training.
Foreign Military Financing (FMF): Lebanon has received $71.2M in FY 2013, which provides equipment and training that support internal security, border protection, and counterterrorism missions. The United States works closely with the LAF on multi-year capability development plans laying out the priorities for both Lebanese and U.S. funding. Since 2005, the United States has provided more than $700 million in FMF.
Examples of recent U.S. assistance include:
Air Force: Spare parts for the existing Huey I fleet in order to improve the readiness of the Huey fleet to over 70%, an additional six Huey II helicopters (including spare parts and logistics support), and two Cessna caravans.
Navy: A state-of-the-art forty-two meter coastal security craft and eight rigid hull inflatable boats, with eight more shipping this fall.
Training: The United States manages a comprehensive training program inside Lebanon tailored specifically to the LAF's operational and technical needs. The U.S. Government also hosts an annual naval exercise in Lebanon and facilitates LAF participation in regional multilateral military exercises such as EAGER LION.