December 22, 2022 | The Dispatch

The U.N.’s Failure in Lebanon

The murder of an Irish soldier is just the latest blow to its peacekeeping mission.
December 22, 2022 | The Dispatch

The U.N.’s Failure in Lebanon

The murder of an Irish soldier is just the latest blow to its peacekeeping mission.

Excerpt

An Irish soldier with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) was killed last week while on a peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon. After taking a wrong turn, a “hostile crowd” reportedly swarmed his armored vehicle and shots rang out, killing the Irishman and wounding several other peacekeepers.

UNIFIL has maintained a presence in Lebanon since 1978, when skirmishes broke out between militants and the Israeli Defense Forces, and its size and mandate were expanded after Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006. Among the force’s new tasks was enhanced coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). But the murder of the Irish soldier is just one indication that the UNIFIL-LAF security arrangement has failed. And much of the blame lies with Hezbollah and its influence over the Lebanese military and government.

Natalie Ecanow is a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a non-partisan research institute in Washington, D.C., focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Issues:

Hezbollah International Organizations Lebanon