Monday, August 14, 2006

Cease-fire Holding, Barely

It is too early to say who "won" the war over southern Lebanon because, despite a ceasefire, the fighting might not be over. Beyond that, the political and military structures that might prevent a future conflict have yet to be put in place. For if such structures—removal of Hezbollah from south of the Litani River and removal of Israeli forces altogether, extension of Lebanese government authority and army in the south, insertion of major international force—are successful, then Israel would be able to claim a victory of sorts. Hezbollah would not have been crushed but it might have been contained.

However, the potential for a prolonged and messy guerrilla war looms large, especially with the current ceasefire just barely holding. If the ceasefire breaks down and a guerrilla war happens, Israel will have lost. There is still hope for the ceasefire holding and hope for peace. It is interesting though that the Israeli soldiers kidnapped have largely been forgotten in the violence and Hamas has become nonexistent.

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