Tom Friedman, walled up like a Poe character behind the NYT’s Internet subscription jealousies, has thoughts on what Lebanon needs:
Even though it had members in the national cabinet, Hezbollah built up a state-within-a state in Lebanon, and then insisted on the right to launch its own attack on Israel that exposed the entire Lebanese nation to retaliation. Moreover, unprovoked, it violated an international border with Israel that was sanctified by the United Nations.
So this is not just another Arab-Israeli war. It is about some of the most basic foundations of the international order — borders and sovereignty — and the erosion of those foundations would spell disaster for the quality of life all across the globe.
Lebanon, alas, has not been able to produce the internal coherence to control Hezbollah, and is not likely to soon. The only way this war is going to come to some stable conclusion anytime soon is if The World of Order — and I don’t just mean “the West,” but countries like Russia, China, India, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia too — puts together an international force that can escort the Lebanese army to the Israeli border and remain on hand to protect it against Hezbollah.
I am not talking about a U.N. peacekeeping force. I am talking about an international force, like the one that liberated Kosovo, with robust rules of engagement, heavy weapons and troops from countries like France, Russia, India and China that Iran and its proxies will not want to fight.
Israel does not like international forces on its borders and worries they will not be effective. But it will be better than a war of attrition, and nothing would set back the forces of disorder in Lebanon more than The World of Order helping to extend the power of the democratically elected Lebanese government to its border with Israel.