Russia and the Next Lebanon War

How Moscow Could Benefit From A Conflict Between Israel and Hezbollah

Israeli soldiers, one wearing a mock Hezbollah flag headband, durimg an urban warfare drill at an army base near Arad, Israel, February 2017. Amir Cohen / reuters

As pro-government forces have retaken control of significant portions of Syria, Israeli planners have begun to focus anew on the prospect of another war with Hezbollah, a Shiite militant group and a major ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The last war between Israel and Hezbollah, in 2006, brought more than a decade of calm along Israel’s northern border. But over the ten years since then, Hezbollah has significantly increased the size and sophistication of its arsenal and has improved its political position within Lebanon. Another war could break out for a number of reasons: if a misperception on the part of Hezbollah or Israel produces an unintended escalation; if one of the two decides to exploit a perceived moment of weakness on the part of the other to attack; or if the behavior of either side crosses the redlines of the other.

Israeli strategists do not question the likelihood

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