David Schenker. (The Washington Institute)
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The U.S. President Donald Trump appears poised to appoint former Pentagon official David Schenker as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, in a move that could safeguard support for Lebanon and its Army.Before becoming the director of the program on Arab politics at The Washington Institute, Schenker worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Levant country director, "the Pentagon's top policy aide on the Arab countries of the Levant," according to his biography on his institute's website.As for Lebanon, Katulis believes Schenker's appointment would bring only good things for Lebanon.Whether or not Schenker is appointed to this new position remains to be seen; however, his comments supporting the Army last summer seem reassuring if he takes up the helm.After reports surfaced of sides in the U.S. administration and outside it lobbying for a cut in military aid to the Lebanese Army, Schenker was more pragmatic and argued for continued engagement.
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