WASHINGTON – The Bush administration says it is trying to speed up U.S. aid for Lebanon's Army because of the recent wave of sectarian fighting.
State Department spokesman Tom Casey says the administration plans to ask for an emergency aid request for Lebanon, but he would not say how much money the administration is seeking. He also would not say what the money would buy, but previous military grants have gone to buy ammunition and small arms.
President Bush telegraphed the request in interviews ahead of his current Mideast trip. He said he wants to beef up the Lebanese Army, but he also expressed disappointment in the Army's recent performance.
The U.S. backs Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora in a political and constitutional struggle with Hezbollah militants. Months of deadlock turned into street fighting last week.