Lebanese soldiers check artillery that were unloaded from a ship at the port in Beirut, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Despite chronic gridlock throughout government institutions, experts, diplomats and former officers say that the Lebanese Army remains an effective fighting force – due largely to foreign military funding. U.S. Embassy officials in particular said that the Army's status as a respected and professional national institution – which they said draws its members from across confessions and geographic communities – was a primary driver of military aid.Over the past decade, the U.S. alone has provided over $1.5 billion in aid to the Army – including funding for weapons acquisition, counterterrorism, border security and training for soldiers and officers.With the Army engaged in active fighting on the country's northeastern borders against militants, U.S. military aid increased rapidly.The Army recently received a Cessna AC-208B Combat Caravan fixed-wing attack aircraft equipped with hellfire missiles.At first however, much of the equipment that the Army receives in foreign aid appears relatively out of date.According to Nerguizian, however, all of this is part of a distinct acquisition strategy on the part of the Army to maximize resources. Nerguizian explained that the Army is searching for weapons platforms that effectively serve a broad set of purposes while simultaneously placing the smallest logistical and financial burden on the force.However, some problems in the Army's procurement and acquisition systems go beyond the force itself.
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