BEIRUT — U.S. President Joe Biden has cleared $47 million in military aid to Lebanon, but as an expert explained to Defense News, this doesn’t mean the Lebanese Armed Forces will receive that amount.
Under sections 552(c)(2) and 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, Biden authorized the secretary of state to “direct the drawdown of up to $25 million in commodities and services from the inventory and resources of any agency” and “direct the drawdown of up to $22 million in defense articles and services from the Department of Defense” to support Lebanon’s military, per a Sept. 7 statement from the White House.
However, “the drawdown authority does not constitute aid in and off itself, and the LAF has not been allocated $50 million in aid,” said Aram Nerguizian, senior associate with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, rounding up.
“What it does mean is that the president has instructed the U.S. government interagency to make excess defense items available to the LAF,” he added. “This is not aid in an account like [Foreign Military Financing]. Sections 552(c)(2) and 506(a)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act just instructs the U.S. interagency to assess what excess items are available, to make such items available for transfer to the LAF, and only if the items are releasable and line with the requirements of the LAF and U.S. interests more broadly.
Continue reading at Defense News