Hezbollah psychological warfare against Israel
Brennen, Lisa M.
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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Since the 34-day war in 2006 between Hezbollah and Israel, psychological warfare has re-emerged as a topic of interest. Many experts have asked the question: how could a non-state actor defeat Israel-a regional superpower-in such a short amount of time? Hezbollah also defeated Israel in 2000 when it forced the state to unilaterally withdraw from southern Lebanon after an 18-year occupation. Although Hezbollah's psychological warfare strategy contributed greatly to these two successes, there also are other factors that contributed to Israel's failures. First, Israel incorrectly assessed its enemy which resulted in the development of overly ambitious objectives for Lebanon in addition to the application of inappropriate strategies. Israel underestimated the level of support Hezbollah enjoyed from the Lebanese population through years of political participation and providing security, economic, and social services. Second, Israel's aversion to casualties inhibited it from choosing more bold military strategies. Third, Hezbollah waged effective guerrilla warfare against Israel's conventional military efforts. By embedding itself within the civilian population, the group became a difficult target to attack through conventional warfare. Hezbollah's psychological warfare strategy played a crucial role in exploiting Israel's military mistakes and its aversion to casualties.
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