Washington (AFP) April 4, 2011
The United States has quietly frozen weapons shipments to Lebanon's armed forces following the collapse of the country's pro-Western government, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The newspaper said the suspension was part of a broader review of US security assistance to Lebanon after the radical group Hezbollah emerged as a key player in the government.
Washington is above all concerned whether the Lebanese army will be able to control Hezbollah, which has backed billionaire businessman Najib Mikati as prime minister and was appointed on January 25 to form a new government.
The Shiite party, which is supported by Iran and Syria, toppled the Western-backed government of Saad Hariri in January after he refused to cut ties with a UN tribunal investigating his father's 2005 murder.
The arms freeze was recently approved by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but the decision has not been publicly announced because of concerns the disclosure could interfere with delicate internal negotiations in Lebanon, the paper said.
Defense officials said the United States was continuing to provide training and non-lethal assistance to the Lebanese military, describing the ties that are active as "robust," the Journal noted.
Washington has given Lebanon more than $700 million in aid to help train and equip the army since a war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.
"Our assistance programs continue. No decision regarding any kind of freeze has been made," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in response to the article.
Toner, when asked by a journalist if all aspects of the program remain active, responded: "As far as I'm aware of, yes."
earlier related report
Hong Wei Xian, 32, and Li Li, 33, were charged in a two-count indictment of conspiring to violate the US Arms Export Control Act.
The men are alleged to have tried to secretly ship thousands of radiation-hardened microchips to China between April 2009 and September 1, 2010.
Hong and Li allegedly divided their illegal shipments into small parcels mailed via third-party countries to avoid drawing attention to the orders.
The pair were arrested in Hungary last September and arrived back in the United States last week following extradition.
If convicted, they face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge and 20 years in prison on the export violation charge.
According to the indictment, Xian is the president of Beijing Starcreates Space Science and Technology Development Company Limited, and Li is the company's vice president, a Justice Department statement said.
Beijing Starcreates imports and sells programmable read-only memory microchips to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which is controlled by the Beijing government and plays a major role in the research and production of strategic and tactical missile systems and launch vehicles.
The US government since 1990 has enforced an arms embargo prohibiting the export or transfer of any defense article to China, including spacecraft systems and related equipment.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
The Military Industrial Complex at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Elbit And IAI Establish Joint Company
Haifa, Israel (SPX) Mar 21, 2011
Elbit Systems has announced the signing of a founder's agreement (the "Agreement") with Israel Aerospace Industries ("IAI") to establish a joint company and a limited partnership (collectively the "Joint Entity") to perform a potential project of purchasing and maintenance of advanced training aircraft, as well as additional services (the "Project"), for the Israeli Ministry of Defense (the "MoD ... read more
Israel to deploy four more 'Iron Dome' anti-rocket defences|
Israeli port city gets Iron Dome anti-rocket system
LockMart Awarded THAAD Production Contract
LockMart Huntsville Integrated Test Center To Support For Missile Defense
US Navy Accomplishes Several Firsts During Operation Odyssey Dawn
Boeing Supports First Hellfire Test Launch From Avenger System
Britain orders 1,000 Thales LMM missiles
MDA Awards Raytheon Contract For New SM-3 Block IB
Micro Aircraft IMPULLS Improves Avionic Systems And Sensors
Northrop Grumman Ships First Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Fuselage
AeroVironment Global Observer Experiences Mishap During Extended Duration Flight Testing
Euro Hawk Undergoes Testing At Edwards AFB
Preparations Underway As US Army Gears Up For Large-Scale Network Evaluations
Global Military Communications Market In 2010
Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad
Gilat Announces New Military Modem For Robust Tactical Satcom-On-The-Move
US Army Selects AAI's Man-Portable Aircraft Survivability Trainer
Argon ST Awarded Joint Precision Air Drop System Ultra Light Weight Contract
F-35C CF-1 Catapult Hookup
Small Diameter Bomb II Program Completes CDR
Budget impasse means no pay for US troops:officials
US freezes arms shipments to Lebanon: report
Armoured Vehicle Worth Over 10 Billion Dollars
Arms sales to Libya haunt Europeans
Commentary: Celebrity diplomacy
China: Peaceful military development
Outside View: Chaotic world consequences
Tsunami washes away hopes for Japan's young
Scientists Build World's First Anti-Laser
Yale scientists build 'anti-laser'
'Air laser' could find bombs at a distance
ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|