Last May, the Iran-backed Shiite organization Hezbollah won a majority in the Lebanese Parliament.
Following their victory, Hezbollah demanded that Lebanese Prime Minster Saad Hariri give them control over the Health Ministry and turn over the Defense Ministry to Hezbollah allies.
Despite Hariri’s initial refusal, the Lebanese leader has now acquiesced to Hezbollah’s demands. Jamil Jabak, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s former physician, is now in control of Health Ministry. Hezbollah ally, Elias Bou Saab now heads the Defense Ministry as well.
Although Hairi is still the Head of State in Lebanon, he is virtually powerless as Hezbollah and its allies are in firm control of most of the Lebanese government.
With an organization like Hezbollah, who has an openly anti-American agenda, now gaining control of the Lebanese government, it’s time to reconsider the U.S’s foreign policy in the Middle East.
It can start by cutting off aid to Lebanon. According to Caroline Glick, the U.S. already drops a generous amount of foreign aid into Lebanon:
“The U.S. is a major supporter of the government of Lebanon. U.S. aid to Lebanon in 2018 totaled $236 million, $90 million of which came in the form of military aid.”
In light of the recent Lebanese election results, the Trump administration should entertain the idea of completely cutting off foreign aid in Lebanon.
This would be a good first step in phasing out aid foreign altogether, which has proven to be ineffective and only benefits corrupt political elites in the recipient countries. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), America doled out $49 billion in foreign aid during 2016. The next step would be to withdraw from Middle Eastern affairs altogether.
The Middle East is a violence-ridden region that has been dotted with political conflict for over a millennia. No amount of U.S. foreign aid or intervention will change that.
For that reason, Senators like Rand Paul have stepped up and advised President Trump to follow through with his America First agenda by withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Syria. Unfortunately, the DC political class would rather maintain the endless war status quo, as witnessed by their 68-23 vote opposing President Trump’s decision to withdraw troops.
Although Afghanistan and Syria policies are up in the air, Trump can still score a quick foreign policy win by discontinuing foreign aid to Lebanon.
Ending foreign aid is as America First as it gets.
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