Using the State Department’s “Lessons Learned” to Rebuild Lebanon

CALME Luminary Martin Indyk (Former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs) and Former State Department Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization Carlos Pascual Lay Out Principles for Necessary Aid Assistance

In the aftermath of the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, the challenge the world now faces is that, “Victory in the latest war in Lebanon will not be won on the battlefield, but in the race between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government to rebuild homes and lives.”  Taking stock of recent and ongoing conflicts, the U.S. and the world must help by following several clear principles, Indyk and Pascual say in today’s New York Times.  

Among them, they say the United States has a particular role to play in applying the following:

Lesson to Follow:  “Recall that tiny Kosovo, with half the population of Lebanon, absorbed more than $2 billion after the 1999 conflict. Congress should make an emergency appropriation of an additional $500 million. And Israel, although it has its own reconstruction needs, should request that Washington temporarily reallocate some of its annual $2.3 billion in American military assistance to help the Lebanese government.”

Lesson to Avoid:  “Iraq taught us how not to rebuild: using international contractors that take months to get in place and spend perhaps a third of their budgets protecting themselves. Lebanon has world-class engineers and experience from rebuilding the country after its civil war. Lebanese and Arab contractors who employ local workers should be given priority. Of course, international donors will need to help the Lebanese government design streamlined procurement rules with external auditors. Again, let’s learn from Iraq: payments should be based on results, not on level of effort.”

To read the full article, please click here:

Explore posts in the same categories: Aid, CALME Luminaries, Lebanon, Press

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