Hezbollah on Friday denounced a senior Pentagon official’s call for a U.S. strategic partnership with Lebanon’s army, saying American attempts to boost military ties were a ploy for domination and could turn the country into another Iraq.
Washington has dramatically increased military aid to Lebanon’s pro-Western government over the past year. On Thursday, Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, said the U.S. wants to make military ties even closer, with a strategic partnership to strengthen the country’s forces.
Edelman said in an interview with Lebanese Broadcasting Corp. television that the building up of the military would mean the Shiite Muslim guerrilla group Hezbollah would have no excuse to bear arm. His comments came on the same day that a Lebanese newspaper reported that Washington is proposing a treaty with Lebanon that would make it a strategic partner and lead to the creation of American bases. [complete article]