A few days ago, there was a surprise came from Russia as it decided to give Lebanon 10 Meg-29 warplanes, which are considered a developed warplanes at the world level and used by the Russian army itself, presented as a military aid to the Lebanese army. It was really an unexpected action by Russia.
This Russian big assistance came after a recent significant and important U.S. military aid provided to Lebanon by giving the Lebanese army about 60 reasonably developed U.S. tanks, which are considered as a strong ground attacking force would be added to the Lebanese army strength. This ground force would be complemented now with an air significant force by the Russian aid.
Those U.S. and Russian military aids are coming along with other European significant military aids by France and Belgium and others, and there might be a German military aid as well. However, Russia by its latest big aid to Lebanon has strongly lifted the level of the military assistance for Lebanon to a very significant point, after it was also thought so as regards the U.S. military assistance through the U.S. big tanks deal and, in general, through the very ambitious and broad U.S. military aid program for Lebanon, which, as planned, would soon approach one billion dollars of U.S. military aids delivered to Lebanon, and especially through setting up the U.S.-Lebanon Joint Military Commission (JMC).
The JMC will bolster military cooperation and “will provide an annual opportunity for the United States and Lebanon to commit to military cooperation goals for the coming years and to review commitments made in the past year” according to a joint U.S.-Lebanese statement in this regard.
This various and important international military assistance and aids for Lebanon reveal the existence of something like international competition in this regard, especially through the latest big U.S. tanks aid and the later also big Russian warplanes aid, nevertheless the recent U.S. welcome of the Russian surprising aid. On the Lebanese side, this international competition, if existed, is so welcome.
In fact, it is not exactly a competition between the international powers. It is a policy and a course of action motivated by each country’s interests and view of this region, associated with an aspiration by each of those countries to make its way to this important and strategic region to have a place there.
But above all, there is definitely a Lebanese foundation for this international course of action that clearly shows, at first, the international unequivocal trust in Lebanon after the liberation in 2005, as Lebanon resisted all challenges, intimidation, terror and attacks by the Middle East extremist campaign, and won the battle with these extremist regional forces achieving its sovereignty, democracy and independence.
In addition, this international course of action reflects in a practical way the extraordinary success of the Lebanese diplomacy by the Independence Government of Prime Minister al-Saniora in assuring Lebanon’s place and importance in the region, and Lebanon’s interests at the international level.