Friday, August 11, 2006

UN Cease Fire Approved - Will It Work?

The UN Security Council has approved the Lebanese - Israeli cease fire draft resolution per Fox News:

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Friday that calls for an end to the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, and authorizes the deployment of 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers to help Lebanese troops take control of south Lebanon as Israel withdraws.

So, what exactly does the resolution call for? You can review the outline in complete (here) and form your own opinion. For me here are the main and critical points of the resolution:

PP2: Expressing its utmost concern at the continuing escalation of hostilities in Lebanon and in Israel since Hezbollah's attack on Israel on 12 July 2006, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and injuries on both sides, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons,

(I think the verbiage that accurately reflects that Hezbollah attacked Israel is important. Hezbollah was the aggressor and started this war and the resolution accurately reflects that.)

PP3: ..................the unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers,

(This resolution will not see light, will be DOA unless that occurs. It is square one for everything else within the resolution to become active.)

PP4: Mindful of the sensitivity of the issue of prisoners and encouraging the efforts aimed at urgently settling the issue of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel,

(encouraging is less-strong than urgently, so it is has a lower holding than the Israeli soldier release. It does however put it on the board and again "encourage" movement that way.............)

PP5. Welcoming the efforts of the Lebanese Prime Minister and the commitment of the government of Lebanon, in its seven-point plan, to extend its authority over its territory, through its own legitimate armed forces, such that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon, welcoming also its commitment to a UN force that is supplemented and enhanced in numbers, equipment, mandate and scope of operation, and bearing in mind its request in this plan for an immediate withdrawal of the Israeli forces from Southern Lebanon,

(This is the most important element in conjunction with PP8 (UN Forces) of the resolution I think. Lebanon extending it's authority over it's territory and disarming the "zone" is the right answer, but their inability to do exactly that after all is the whole reason this war occurred. It is the best and right solution, but only if the Lebanese's government and military is capable of performing the task. Most think they are not, so it is also the most likely factor for full-failure with this resolution as we move forward. I buy a Powerball ticket (1) every week and know the chances of winning are astronomically against it happening. I'm hopeful, but I'm also realistic that it's very highly unlikely to occur. That is my identical position on the Lebanese army being able to successfully fulfill their role and see this resolution to a successful end)

PP8: Welcoming the unanimous decision by the government of Lebanon on 7 August 2006 to deploy a Lebanese armed force of 15,000 troops in South Lebanon as the Israeli army withdraws behind the Blue Line and to request the assistance of additional forces from UNIFIL as needed, to facilitate the entry of the Lebanese armed forces into the region and to restate its intention to strengthen the Lebanese armed forces with material as needed to enable it to perform its duties,

(I have no faith that the Lebanese government or military has the will or the ability to defang Hezbollah. Adding a UN force to the mix only marginally increases my optimism that disarming Hezbollah will occur under the resolution. Without the UN forces the odds of it occurring are 1,000,000 to 1, and with the UN force it closes to 999,999 to 1..................)

OP3: Emphasizes the importance of the extension of the control of the government of Lebanon over all Lebanese territory in accordance with the provisions of resolution 1559 (2004) and resolution 1680 (2006), and of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, for it to exercise its full sovereignty, so that there will be no weapons without the consent of the government of Lebanon and no authority other than that of the government of Lebanon;

(Calls for 1559 to be enforced and again the failure of it being enforced is the reason for this latest war.)

OP14: Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to secure its borders and other entry points to prevent the entry in Lebanon without its consent of arms or related materiel and requests UNIFIL as authorized in paragraph 11 to assist the Government of Lebanon at its request;

(other entry points is Syria and closing the arms stream from Syria is the key from a logistical perspective.)

OP18. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

(Well, in the end regardless of everything else, that is the most important and critical need and I think all logical well minded people hope this is the ultimate outcome.)

Will it work? Doubtful unless Hezbollah is disarmed and prevented from re-entering the "southern blue zone". Based on the those playing the role of disarming Hezbollah I say this is only a pause before the next round and the all out offensive and war................How long? I say days rather than weeks based on the points highlighted above.............................

The disarming of Hezbollah would not be an active question had the Israeli government and military achieved it during the wide-window they were given by the Bush Adm. They didn't so we have all these factors in play and will in all probability have a new factors to consider in the coming days when the hostilities start anew...................


Other blogging on the UN Resolution:

Captain's Quarters