Partnerships

U.S., Lebanese Leaders Conduct Bilateral Meeting at Pentagon  

May 18, 2019 | BY Terri Moon Cronk

Lebanon is a critical partner for security in the Middle East, the acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs said.

Kathryn Wheelbarger, and Lebanese Chief of Defense Gen. Joseph Aoun led the May 16-17 meeting of the U.S.-Lebanon Joint Military Commission at the Pentagon.

Marines stand in formation.
Beirut Memorial Ceremony
Marines with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment stand in formation to pay respects to fallen service members during the 35th Annual Beirut Memorial Ceremony at Twentynine Palms, Calif., Oct. 23, 2018. The Marines maintained the observance of the Oct. 23, 1983 terrorist attack on the 1/8 Headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon during Integrated Training Exercise 1-19.
Photo By: Timothy J. Lutz, Marine Corps
VIRIN: 181023-M-LF768-1021

The commission is the premier bilateral forum for senior U.S. and Lebanese government and military officials to discuss ongoing security assistance and military cooperation, and to develop plans for a robust security partnership.

The delegations discussed a broad range of diplomatic and security challenges throughout the region, including the crisis in Syria and ways to continue combating violent extremism.

Troops take part in lifesaver training.
Battlefield Training
More than 25 Special Operations Forces personnel from Lebanon, Italy, Romania, Trinidad and Tobago participated in a two-week combat lifesaver course at Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss., March 8-21, 2019. The course is designed to provide personnel with specialized training that enables them to perform advanced lifesaving techniques to treat battlefield trauma.
Photo By: Michael Williams, Navy
VIRIN: 190319-N-ZM469-0018C

“These discussions have been productive and build on an already robust partnership,” Wheelbarger said.  

What You Need To Know:

  • The two-day discussion included civilian and military personnel from the Defense Department and the Lebanese armed forces.
  • Co-chaired by Wheelbarger and Aoun, the purpose of the meeting was to help set priorities for U.S.-Lebanon defense cooperation in the coming year.

International students work on a diesel engine.
Engine Repair
Students from Lebanon, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Costa Rica participated in diesel systems overhaul and maintenance training at the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School, John C. Stennis Space Center, Miss., April 9, 2019. The students learned how to maintain and repair the Detroit 6V92TA diesel engine.
Photo By: Michael Williams, Navy
VIRIN: 190409-N-ZM469-007C

  • The United States is Lebanon’s primary security partner. Since 2006, the United States has provided Lebanon more than $2 billion in security assistance.
  • U.S. assistance supports the Lebanese armed forces’ ability to secure Lebanon’s borders, counter terrorist threats and broaden institution building.
  • The two groups agreed to conduct the same forum in 2020 as an anchor for other continuous engagements and dialogue.