Changes in Hezbollah's image and role : driving factors and security implications
Childs, Nathan West.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis examines two questions regarding Hezbollah. Has Hezbollah's role in Lebanon changed since it emerged as a secret Shiite-terrorist organization nearly three decades ago? And is Hezbollah still committed to its core beliefs and original political goals? An analysis of five important actions or decisions taken by Hezbollah since 1985 indicate its role in Lebanon has changed. Hezbollah is now a viable political party and provider of critical social services that also maintains an effective resistance wing. Concerning the second question, my research indicates Hezbollah remains committed to resisting occupation, non-recognition of the State of Israel, and the liberation of Jerusalem. However, Hezbollah's leadership is not committed to forcibly making Lebanon an Islamic state and appears to be less directed from and dependent on direction from Iran than during the 1980s. To improve security in the region, Hezbollah needs to be disarmed and the Lebanese central government made stronger and more credible. The United States can improve security in the region by pulling Syria away from its alliance with Iran, which would reduce outside support to Hezbollah, and by encouraging Hezbollah to disarm.
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