There have been two broad interpretations of how the Lebanese armed forces have behaved in the ongoing protests in Lebanon. Both are inaccurate and both fail to understand what really drives the country’s military.

One interpretation – that held by many protesters – is that the army has protected demonstrators and, within the limits imposed by the sectarian political system, has supported their demands. The second, advanced by politicians and pundits on the political right in the US who support Israel, is that the armed forces are a facade for Hezbollah. Even a cursory look at what has taken place in Lebanon in the past six weeks disproves both narratives.

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This article was originally published in The National.