A senior American official informed US senators on Thursday that Lebanon is out of gas, and Hezbollah backed by Iran exploits the dysfunctional form of government in the country to its favor.
Indeed, David Hale, the number three official at the State Department declared that Hezbollah is in that position largely because of their monopoly of arms; this is why the US remains supporting the Lebanese army as a counterforce to that.
Hale, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, also informed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Hezbollah can also appeal upon non-Shia allies in the government to obtain a parliamentary majority, in a reference to the Free Patriotic Movement, which was established by current Lebanese President Michel Aoun.
Hale indicated that early parliamentary elections could potentially result in a different group of lawmakers that would shift toward more reform-minded and moderate forces in Lebanon.
He answered on a question about what the US could do to help Lebanon from complete collapse and becoming a failed state, the next Lebanese government would need to prove that it is transparent, for example by the rebuilding the Port of Beirut, which was destroyed after the Aug. 4 explosions.
Hale also asked: Are they going to make sure that it is transparent and Hezbollah and other factions do not have unfettered access to do whatever they want?. But the US diplomat reported that the core problem in Lebanon is Hezbollah distortion of the country, and he added that boosting US allies in Beirut was one of the strategies to countering the Iran-backed group, saying: The country’s basically out of gas.