The Multinational Force / Is Resolution 1701 unraveling?

(Haaretz) The effort to cobble together a multinational force for Lebanon is beginning to show signs of fatigue, if not outright collapse.

The consolidation of an international force for Lebanon is evidently becoming an almost "mission impossible". This force, which is supposed to include 15,000 soldiers, is "still only on paper" due to the reluctance of many states to take part in it.

Apart from defining its composition, there are also disagreements regarding the definition of its mandate. According to resolution 1701, the force is not supposed to disarm Hizbullah, but to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces to do so. In face of the Lebanese Government's intention not to confront Hizbullah on this matter, it is most probable that the international force won't volunteer to undertake this role.

The Reut Institute cautioned that there may be a substantial time gap between the declaration of a ceasefire until the withdrawal of IDF forces and deployment of an international force. This time gap may undermine the deployment of the international force and prevent Israel from withdrawing to its border.


Zvi Bar'el, Haaretz, 8/21/06, to the full article