Brother, Can You Spare a Multinational Force?

When discussing the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the administration likes to talk about finding a resolution that does not lead to a return of the "status quo ante."  Fantastic use of Latin aside, I'm not sure that Secretary Rice's two weeks of diplomatic efforts have overcome the main obstacle to reaching a lasting cease fire.  Put simply, Israel will not leave Southern Lebanon until an international force has secured the region, preventing Hezbollah from moving back in. 

In unsurprising news, there are not a lot countries volunteering to send troops to stand between Hezbollah and Israel.  An anonymous senior European official in the must-read New York Times article on the topic was quoted saying “All the politicians are saying, ‘Great, great’ to the idea of a force, but no one is saying whose soldiers will be on the ground...Everyone will volunteer to be in charge of the logistics in Cyprus.” 

People like Republican Senator Chuck Hagel are seeing the bottleneck of volunteers for logistical duty in Cyprus and the complete lack of combat forces available and are calling for an immediate cease fire, even without an international force. 

Lest we forget why there are no American or British troops available to police South Lebanon, there is this article from the LA Times.  The deteriorating situation in Baghdad is a reminder that after almost three and a half years it is unclear when the situation in Iraq is going to improve.