Thursday, October 15, 2009

LAF Increases Their Strategic Capacity with U.S. Training

October 14, 2009 Lebanese graduates of the U.S. government-funded strategic studies programs were honored on October 8, 2009 by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Michele J. Sison at the conclusion of a five day program with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Over 150 Lebanese officials and officers have graduated from the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies, some of whom gathered at the ceremony to honor the new graduates' commitment to enhancing the relationship between the U.S. and Lebanese armed forces.
The NESA program, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, included a bilateral discussion of strategic military education concepts and a seminar to discuss U.S. military strategy in the Middle East. The week-long course is a part of a three-year program designed to assist the LAF increase their strategic capacity. The NESA program is a part of the U.S. government’s direct support for developing Lebanon’s military and security forces.
Speaking at the reception, NESA Center Dean of Academic Affairs John R. Ballard told the graduates that, “the NESA Center remains committed to assisting the LAF increase their strategic capacity through sustained dialogue and exchanges. The professional military education aspect of USG interaction with the LAF is as important as the military hardware aspect, and in some ways, it is even more important.”
The mission of the NESA Center is to enhance security in the region by building sustained, mutually beneficial relationships, fostering regional cooperation, and promoting effective communications and strategic capacity through free and candid interaction in an academic environment.
Since 2006, the United States has provided over $410 million in assistance to the LAF. The U.S. is committed to strengthening the capacity of the LAF as they defend Lebanon’s borders and safeguard the peace, unity and sovereignty of Lebanon.

Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release