EDGING TOWARD COMPROMISE....

EDGING TOWARD COMPROMISE. Via Rich Lowry, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni seems to be looking to back away from Israel's previous hostility to a multilateral solution to the border problem:

Speaking after a meeting with a United Nations delegation headed by special envoy Vijay Nambiar, Livni said that while Israel would prefer the deployment of the Lebanese army in the south of the country, "we will consider other solutions put forward." "If there is a need to strengthen the Lebanese army somehow, so that the military in south Lebanon is effective, and prevents Hezbollah from returning, we will consider ways to do achieve this," Livni said.

Again, it would be good to see some American leadership here. If this idea -- which has been on the table for days -- is going to be the ultimate resolution of the crisis, it would be nice to see it implemented sooner rather than later so people don't die needlessly. That means the United States would need to do a combination of leaning on Israel to take the deal and leaning on the countries that would be supplying the troops, presumably mostly Europeans, to start making firm and specific commitments regarding the troop numbers, equipment, and mandate necessary to get the job done. Mandates, in particular, are very important in these peacekeeping situations. The tendency of the troop-contributing nations is to push for a mandate that minimizes the chances of any of their soldiers getting hurt rather than one that maximizes the chances of accomplishing the mission.

--Matthew Yglesias

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