Hezbollah and Iran: The new resistance model and why it will fail

By Omid Townsend
Georgetown University

Hezbollah has developed from an underground militia in Lebanon to an internationally recognized resistance force. It has used the full spectrum of tools to accomplish its objectives. Suicide bombers, assassinations, schools and health clinics put Hezbollah into a unique category among terrorist organizations. Hezbollah's profile and capabilities have been helped by its underwriter, the Islamic Republic of Iran. This close relationship has regional and international implications. Iran and Hezbollah have used their rhetoric and strategy in the Middle East to appeal to a broader group of potential partners. Resistance to Israel and just for the Palestinians has now also grown to resistance to all things Western and justice for all of the "oppressed." Graduating to this level requires a dramatically different approach if they are to successful. Hezbollah must use its profile to become a partner in peace. Secondly, tactics and language must conform to an internationally recognized standard of diplomacy. Not until these basic requirements are met can Hezbollah hope to realize even its most fundamental goals.

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