Tuesday, June 26, 2007

UN, meet the UN

Gen. Graziano, commander of UNIFIL forces in Southern Lebanon, gave the Jerusalem Post a robust assessment of security in his sphere of operations -- just a few days before six of his troops were blown to smithereens by a roadside bomb.

'In my area of operations there is no open hostile activity, and we also do not see a rearmament happening,' he said. 'We are physically patrolling every corner of southern Lebanon, and if there were a bunker [system], we would have found it.'

Someone at the UN should talk to someone at the UN:

Security along the Lebanon-Syria border is insufficient to prevent arms smuggling and Lebanon should quickly establish a mobile force to intercept any flow of weapons, a UN-appointed team said in a report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The 46-page "Report of the Lebanon Independent Border Assessment Team" said management of the border is currently shared by four different Lebanese security agencies that do not coordinate operations or planning, and do not share intelligence.

In addition, it said, most of Lebanon's border posts are far from the border, are not fenced or secured by gates, and operate with no obvious procedures to determine which goods to inspect - and which people to question.

"Therefore, the ingenious smuggler may find it quite easy to conceal not only explosives, light weapons and ammunition, but also assembled and unassembled heavy weaponry, such as missiles and rockets into the country concealed in compartments and panels of cargo trucks and passenger vehicles," the team said.

Unless and until Gen. Graziano fulfills his mandate to stop weapons from flowing into Southern Lebanon, he's going to preside over quite a few more funeral ceremonies for his men.

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