Procurement: American Tanks For Lebanon



December 22, 2008: The U.S. is continuing its effort to rebuild the Lebanese armed forces. While Russia has recently contributed ten MiG-29 fighters, the U.S. contribution has been a lot more practical. Like over 600 hummers (about half are already there, the rest will arrive over the next four months). That's just the beginning, with 200 larger trucks and 41 155mm howitzers on the way. Recently it was announced that several dozen M-60A3 tanks would be sent as well.

Some Lebanese pundits pointed out that these tanks, which were retired by the United States in the 1990s, are no good against the new Israeli Merkava 4 (similar to the latest models of the U.S. M-1.) What these pundits didn't point out was that M-60A3s were easily able to defeat Iraqi T-72s in 1991, and are widely used in the Middle East (Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan). The Lebanese generals know this, and are glad to have the M-60A3s, which are more likely to be used against Syrian T-72s, than Israeli Merkavas.

The U.S. is also supplying the Lebanese with communications gear, radars, sensors, technical assistance and all manner of training.