Disarming Hezbollah

Advancing Regional Stability

Courtesy Reuters

On November 9, some five months after Lebanon's parliamentary elections, the country's two main political blocs finally formed a governing cabinet. Until then, negotiations between the two -- Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Western-backed coalition and the powerful opposition led by Hezbollah -- had been deadlocked over several issues, including Hezbollah's disarmament. One month after reaching the deal, the government adopted a bill allowing Hezbollah to keep its weapons. The Hezbollah bloc controls 10 out of 30 cabinet seats in the new government, which means that many are pessimistic about Lebanon's future prospects.

Hezbollah is one of the best equipped and most capable militant groups in the world. Its decades-long resistance against Israel served it well, winning it favor among Lebanon's Shia Muslims, who constitute about 40 percent of the population. Although Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon in 2000 and Hezbollah has partially transitioned to a political party, Hezbollah leaders remain resolutely anti-Israel for reasons of

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