Professor Krauss on UN Ceasefire in Mideast Hostilities

This week's cessation of hostilities between Israel and Lebanon is simply the close of an act and a temporary respite in an ongoing struggle between those nations, says Professor Michael Krauss, calling it "the intermission after the first act of an ongoing drama."

Terrorists Win-What Next?, TCS Daily, August 15, 2006. By J. Peter Pham and Michael I. Krauss.

"When the hostilities resume this time 'round, assuming that the Israelis have in the interim assessed their conduct during Litani II and adapted accordingly, there will be some notable differences to the status ante bellum of July 12, 2006.

"First, Hezbollah will no longer have the strategic advantage of surprise. The terrorist group's choice of weaponry in the current conflict has betrayed its Iranian and Syrian quartermasters and exposed its infrastructure within Lebanon. Absent some deadly escalation, which, of course, cannot be ruled out, the professional officer corps of the IDF will be better prepared to quickly deal with the Lebanese militants and their backers on the battlefield.

"Second, while Nasrallah has succeeded in asserting his domination of the weak Lebanese government, he has also shown it for what it is. Next time 'round, neither Lebanon's Syrian lackey of a president, Emile Lahoud, nor its terrified prime minister, Fouad Siniora, will be able to hide behind the pretence of a distinction between themselves and the terrorist group they have coddled. Everyone now knows that both men answer to the Hezbollah leader and that the "Cedar Revolution" met its match in the conjuncture of the political cynicism of Lebanon's ruling elites and the power of the Shi'a militants.

"Third, while no one seriously expects the "new and improved" UNIFIL to actually disarm Hezbollah -- a step that was already mandated by Resolution 1559 two years ago -- the presence of the international peacekeepers will nonetheless complicate the terrorist group's efforts to rebuild forces that have been seriously degraded by the IDF in recent days. The Hezbollah that next faces off with Israel will do so absent senior commanders whose deaths the group has thus far concealed as well as those who, no doubt, the long arm of Israeli justice will reach over the coming weeks and months."

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