Sunday, August 13, 2006

UN Security Council Agrees to Ceasefire in Lebanon

The UN Security Councils P5 and Israel, finally agree to a ceasefire deal in Lebanon.

However, the deal is very shaky in my opinion. Too many questions left open or unanswered.
One thing to remember is how volatile of a region this really is. In the 50+ years of war in that part of the world, the UN Security council has always resisted sending peacekeepers to the area to keep fighting parties apart. Why? Most experts agree that any robust Army of peacekeepers (especially U.S. troops), would get sucked into a conflict there. This is because truces and agreements are always shaky in the region, and often collapse into more fighting.

UN Peacekeepers are risking being the targets of an insurgency, much like the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question is, will they be allowed to fight back, and if so, to what extent? Another question will be.... how long are they willing to hold out against such attacks before they pull out? Most experts have stated in the past that a Guerilla type war is likely if foreign troops are introduced into the region in or around Israel. This would be a disaster for that part of the Middle East.

U.S. troops understand this very well. In the early 1980's the U.S. marines experienced a devastating attack in Beruit. The U.S. hasn't been back since. Israel itself invaded Southern Lebanon 2 decades ago and stayed for many years, but they paid a heavy cost. The Israeli occupation of Lebanon is known in Israel as the Israeli version of the Vietnam War. The only UN troops that have been there have been a small contingent of observer troops (about 2000) with no firepower. International troops have been in the Sinai region for many years (Egypts border with Israel), but these are not heavily populated areas, so an insurgency never took root there.

So the idea of foreign troops in that region has been a no no.

But I agree that something had to be done. We shall see what happens. Hopefully this will ease the suffering of the civilian population in Israel and Lebanon.


Article from the Guardian

Annan sets 5am Lebanon ceasefire
Sunday August 13, 2006

United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan announced today that the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel would end at 5am tomorrow (6am BST).

Mr Annan said he had been in touch with prime ministers Fuad Saniora of Lebanon and Ehud Olmert of Israel to discuss the exact time and date when the cessation of hostilities called for by a UN Security Council resolution would enter into force.

He said: "I am happy to announce that the two leaders have agreed that the cessation of hostilities and the end of the fighting will enter into force on 14 August, at 0500 hours GMT.
"Preferably the fighting should stop now to respect the spirit and intent of the Gaza decision, the object of which was to save civilians' lives, to spare the pain, the suffering that the civilians on both sides are living through.

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