CENTCOM commander Kenneth McKenzie indicated that “we worry about their [ie, Hizbollah’s] relationship to Iran, although I do not think that the Lebanese Hizbollah necessarily answers immediately when Iran calls. I do think they have a strong and powerful relationship”. He further maintained that “the counterbalance for us is the LAF, the Lebanese Armed Forces. Not a perfect relationship and not a perfect organisation by any means, but one that we should view, aspirationally, is ultimately the expression of state security in Lebanon”. “I know that people occasionally get frustrated with the LAF and we talk about cutting on and off funding”, he added, “[but] I support continued funding to the LAF because… it's the best that we can do under very difficult circumstances”.
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