(The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Billingslea, a former Defense Department official in the George W. Bush administration, heaped similar praise on the Lebanese Army.While noting that any coordination between the Army and Hezbollah – such as that alleged during the Fajr al-Joroud offensive against Daesh (ISIS) last August – would be "highly problematic," Billingslea said the U.S. government views the Army as "the sole guarantor, the only guarantor of Lebanon's territorial integrity and security". Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office a year ago, calls have grown for Washington to end its support for the Army, calling it a failed strategy to counter Hezbollah.Billingslea was similarly firm on U.S. support for another pillar of the Lebanese system. The Treasury official also argued that the U.S. pursuit of Hezbollah financing made the country stronger and more stable.Hezbollah has two Cabinet ministers and its parliamentary bloc has 13 MPs.
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