Country Listing

Lebanon Table of Contents


The Supreme Defense Council

According to Articles 3, 5, and 6 of the New Defense Law, the Council of Ministers and the Supreme Defense Council were authorized to decide the nation's defense policies and to define their aims. Although the law reiterated the president's constitutional authority as supreme commander in chief of the armed forces, it also stipulated that he exercise this power through the Supreme Defense Council. Therefore, the law circumscribed the president's power over the armed forces and distributed some decision-making power to ministers. Article 17 of the New Defense Law placed the Ministry of Defense and all its attached organizations-- such as the Military Bureau, the Lebanese Army, the General Administration Department, the Inspectorate General, and the Military Council--under the exclusive control of the minister of defense.

The New Defense Law also stipulated that the commander of the armed forces be appointed by the Council of Ministers from among staff officers nominated by the minister of defense, who supervised him in his duties, except for military and security operations, for which the commander of the armed forces had sole responsibility. The law designated the chief of staff as the second in command. The New Defense Law strengthened the position of the chief of staff by delegating to him some responsibilities previously belonging to the commander of the armed forces--including training and legal affairs. The New Defense Law also created slots for two deputy chiefs of staff.

Data as of December 1987