In divided Lebanon, attempts to re-establish the authority of the central government are continuing.
GV 155 mm artillery and vehicle unloaded from ship
SV American Embassy official with Lebanese army colonel (2 shots)
SV PAN 155mm field gun with spare parts and ammunition (2 shots)
GV Military vehicles driving off PAN TO equipment
GV Crates loaded on to trucks
GV PAN Row of tanks (2 shots)
GV PAN Ship Charlotte Lykes and equipment unloaded
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Background: In divided Lebanon, attempts to re-establish the authority of the central government are continuing. The main requirement is to rebuild the army. Equipment is in short supply, and to cope with this the Lebanese government is spending more than 100 million dollars on American arms. The first consignment arrived in October last year. On Tuesday (23 March), a second shipment arrived at Beirut docks. It included four armoured personnel carriers, four tanks and four radar-equipped vehicles as well as 150 millimetre guns, spare parts and ammunition. Before the 1975-77 Lebanese civil war, Lebanon's army consisted of 18,000 troops. During the fighting it shrank to only 1500 as troops defected either to the Christian or Moslem militia. During the past two years attempts to rebuild the force have added 25,000 soldiers to the payroll. At least 10,000 of these are believed to have sectarian affiliations, but the government is pressing ahead anyway with its plans to establish a neutral force in the country.