A type of international and Arab “security blanket” has returned to Lebanon following a period when it has been exposed to uncertainty and instability, according to sources.
They said that a period of “dividing up influence” on regional issues had begun, with Lebanon under an American security umbrella that will emerge in the form of security and military assistance, particularly to the Army.
This comes after affirmations by the new American Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale, according to sources, that his administration is preparing a comprehensive program of military, developmental and economic support that will be announced and implemented following a conference in New York on Sept. 25 to support Lebanon.
The sources said that top officials dealing with Lebanon in the American administration have informed local leaders and officials, particularly the Army and security agencies, that they would pass on intelligence and security information related to Lebanon.
This move comes in the wake of a postponement of a U.S.-led military strike on Syria, and it will in effect return the situation to what it was prior to the formation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, which the U.S. considered “the government of Hezbollah.”
The sources revealed that intelligence agencies from Western states and friendly Arab countries were told of the need to inform Lebanese intelligence and security agencies of any details that could help confront any parties wishing to destabilize the situation in the country. This information is an essential part of carrying out moves to secure stability in the country, such as recent actions by the Army, which were praised by the public.
The sources linked the return of the Western “security blanket” to Lebanon with France’s providing the Lebanese Army with special weapons that can be used to put down civil unrest.
The sources expected more American, British and French military assistance to Lebanon after the creation of a new Cabinet.
As a sign of partial reassurance, some Western embassies in Lebanon, including the U.S. Embassy in Awkar, asked their employees who left the country for security reasons to return and continue their work normally.
The United Kingdom this week relaxed its recently tightened travel advice to Lebanon and is now only advising against visiting some areas in the country.
Despite these improvements, officials are required to remain cautious at this stage, particularly given reports that some regional powers will be negatively affected by an international settlement springing from the Syria crisis.