A new director of Lebanese Army Intelligence

Nazir Reda wrote in Asharq Al-Awsat that the Military Council of the Lebanese Army Command yesterday named Brigadier General Tony Kahwagi as Director of Intelligence. To succeed Brigadier General Tony Mansour, who is referred to retirement next month, and sent his decision to the Minister of Defense in the caretaker government, Zeina Aker, for his signature.

Brigadier General Mansour will be referred to retirement on December 8. Before the end of his term, a media controversy arose about the extension for him, and that the extension collided with political obstacles, including Hezbollah. This was denied by relevant sources who told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the decision is a military, technical, and non-political,” setting the news about the controversy that arose within the framework of Attempts to exploit the issue politically. “
The sources pointed out that “the extension or appointment of a new director for the Intelligence Directorate in the Lebanese Army were two options on the table,” explaining that “the view that supported the extension of Brigadier General Mansour stems from the fact that the current situation and the existing crisis do not allow changes, while the view that the need to appoint a director New for the intelligence services is based on the principle that the military institution is continuity, and that Brigadier General Kahwaji has competence and morality. ” In response, the commander of the Lebanese army, General Joseph Aoun, solicited the opinion of the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun (who is considered by law to be the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces), and agreed to appoint Brigadier General Kahwagi at the site. The sources stressed that «there was no disagreement, nor divergence of views. What was circulated was premature speculation and analysis. “

According to the constitution, this military decision does not need the approval of the Council of Ministers. Rather, the five-member military council takes it and refers it to the Minister of Defense for signature, and it becomes effective.
Sources accompanying the process of naming Brigadier General Kahwaji said that it is “the choice of the army commander strongly to be in this position,” noting that there is “complete harmony between the army leadership and the Intelligence Directorate, and this matter will certainly continue.” Brigadier General Kahwagi is a graduate of the 1994 class, and has held the presidency of the “technical branch” in the Intelligence Directorate since 2005, and is the branch responsible for wiretapping and technical tracking, and is considered one of the most important branches in the directorate. Arefouh says that he is “a son of the military establishment, and enjoys an institutional and non-political personality.” The military law requires amendments to be made in some locations in the Intelligence Directorate, consistent with the military hierarchy, given that there are officers and deans who enjoy military seniority, which forces the leadership to put them at its disposal until new sites are found to be received by them. In the Intelligence Directorate, officers are appointed lower in rank and seniority than Brigadier General Kahwagi.

Source: Middle East

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