Ever since the Syrian Army’s expulsion from Lebanese territories, our eyes have turned to Western nations to see what kind of assistance, and how much of it, they provide to Lebanon in this very delicate stage of its history. Politically there can be no doubt; had it not been for, primarily, French and American pressure, Lebanon would still be under the thumb of Syria's occupation forces. Technically and financially, though, assistance to Lebanon appears rather sparse.
From a security perspective though, assistance has been considerable. The FBI contributed by helping investigate several assassinations that occurred over the past year, and also donated a forensics laboratory to Lebanon’s security services. French and British advisors took up residence in several police headquarters, and introduced such novelties as using police vehicles to encourage citizen cooperation by advertising websites and phone numbers. And only last week, acting Interior Minister, Ahmad Fatfat, returned from the United States with a considerable pledge of assistance. The Daily Star reports that Fatfat returned with promises from the US Department of Defense for approximately $14 million - $10 of which would go to the Army and $4 to the Internal Security Forces.
The unexpected assistance referred to at the title of this section has, figuratively speaking, come from right under our noses – and, as far as I am aware, not been highlighted in Lebanon’s (or in fact, any major) media outlets. The United Arab Emirates recently committed funds to construct over 200 police stations across Lebanese territory. Unfortunately, I do not have more figures to share with you, and cannot even confirm this snippet of information. However, my source over here, informs me that at least some of the police stations slated for construction are already on the ground, so to speak.
If true (I have no reason to doubt the credibility of my source), I wonder how much of an impact new facilities would have on our police force. Of course, nothing supercedes training, and with that in mind, I am grateful to the French and British for sending their advisors over (and the FBI for the forensics lab - and required training). However, considering how much coverage international ususally receives from Lebanon's media outlets, I also wonder why this particular aid package does not even come up in a Google search.