"In that sense, Hezbollah may have found the sweet spot in Fourth Generation War: It isn't a state and doesn't carry the political or defensive burdens of one, but it controls enough territory, commands enough popular loyalty and has enough allies to mount some fairly sophisticated military operations, using both conventional and nonconventional weapons. It's powerful enough to be successful -- and be seen as successful -- but not so powerful that state actors like Israel can fight it on equal terms. We may be looking at the New Model Army of the 21st century."* billmon:
"What’s the “exit strategy”?
There isn’t one, can't be one, which seems to be why Israel has fully embraced the logic of collective punishment. The Palestinians and the Lebanese are to be battered and harassed until they turn on the fighters in their midst. I don’t know why the Israelis think this strategy will work for them when it has failed virtually every other place it has been tried. If the French, the Poles, the Norwegians and the Serbs could take the worse the Nazis could do, and still support their resistance movements, I don’t think the Palestinians and the Lebanese are going to throw in the towel just because their airport runways have been put out of commission or their electricity service has been cut to 10 hours a day. Beating them into submission would require far more force than I think the Israelis are willing or able to apply, if only for the reason already stated: too many eyes are watching.
In the past, no matter how bad things got in territories, Israeli governments always have had the option of backing off and leaving bad enough alone – relying on the Army or, post-Oslo, the PA to keep a lid on the situation. That was fine as long as the objective was to grow the settlements and quietly tighten Israel’s control over the land and all its resources. But now that the goal is essentially a second partition, Israeli politicians are finding out the hard way that they no longer have the luxury of malign neglect. After six years of pretending they don’t need a Palestinian negotiating partner, they’ve suddenly discovered, much to their horror, that they need one desperately – but have managed to eliminate all the possible candidates."