About the situation between Israel and Lebanon/Hizbullah

November 13, 2006 at 11:34 pm (Blogs, International community, Iran, Islamism, Israel, Lebanon, Military, The Rest, War)

In “So, how’s that peacekeeping thing going?”, HayZeus of HayZeus, Inc., links to a post, “The Gathering Storm, Redux” by Spook86 of In From the Cold, which discusses the situation between Israel and Lebanon. It is a good (though not very optimistic) read.

I asked Spook86:

Two questions, if I may:
1. Would Hizbullah still be interested in taking on Israel considering Hizbullah’s claims that it suffered more than they expected in the last encounter? Or are such claims (as I suspect) simply propaganda to lull their opponents into a false sense of security?

2. How would a new Israel-Lebanon war benefit Syria and/or Iran? (I ask so as to figure out Syria and Iran’s intentions.)

To which Spook 86 answered:

Mushiloon:

I believe Hizballah was emblodened by what happened last summer, despite the losses it suffered at the hands of the IDF. Their rapid resupply strikes me as someone getting ready for an inevitable rematch, vice an organization looking for some sort of diplomatic settlement.

The potential benefits to Iran and Syria are enormous. By backing Hizballah, they get an eager proxy who can fight their common enemy, with little danger to themselves. Supporting terror groups in the Levant has always been Damascus’s favorite tool for putting pressure on Israel, and potentially forcing some sort of favorable settlement over the Golan. Creating a short-range problem also forces the Israelis to spend defense dollars on that problem, versus concentrating their resources on traditional enemies, i.e. Iran and Syria.

If there is a second Lebanese War, I don’t expect the Israelis to confine their operations to Lebanon. It makes no sense to allow Iranian transports to land in Damascus, offload military hardware and return to Tehran for another load. Israel must devise a military strategy for crushing Hizballah, and neutralizing Syria as well–no small feat. Once those issues are resolved, they can focus on Iran. Meanwhile, Tehran has to decide how far they want to go in supporting both Hizballah and Syria. Currently, the Israeli nuclear deterrent, coupled with weaknesses in Iran’s conventional forces, limits what they can do.

(With thanks to HayZeus for bringing this to my attention, and to Spook86 for such a great post and for answering my questions so well.)

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