The cease-fire in Lebanon will be a uncertain peace until Hezbollah is disarmed.

Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah declared the recent fighting “a strategic, historic victory.” But with 900 people dead and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage to Lebanon’s infrastructure and homes, no one has won much in the 34-day battle.

The international peacekeeping force needs to be deployed as quickly as possible to prevent hostilities from erupting again. Lebanon also must have the resources to maintain its security and prevent guerrillas from firing rockets at Israel from inside Lebanon.

The United States and other western nations were proud of Lebanon’s recent break with Syria, but economically and politically, Lebanon is weak, subject to internal discord and external pressures.

In trying to stabilize and strengthen Lebanon, we don’t want to silence or disenfranchise its Muslim population. But we do need to do all we can to disarm Hezbollah. No country should allow an armed guerrilla group to freely operate within its borders.

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