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Deterring Nonstate Terrorist Groups: The Case of Hizballah

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In the months before the "Second Lebanon War" of 2006, Israeli policy did not prevent Hizbullah from taking actions that Israel considered highly unacceptable and ultimately resulted in the Israeli decision to conduct military operations against Hizbullah's power base in Lebanon. However, this does not vindicate the conventional wisdom that Israeli deterrence of Hizbullah failed in a simple, unambiguous fashion. Rather, Israeli deterrence signals were not clear and Hizbullah did not understand that it was crossing "red lines" that would result in Israel undertaking high-intensity military operations in Lebanon. This paper explores the deterrence relationship between Israel and Hizbullah, with particular reference to the 2006 conflict and its impact on that relationship.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, The Interdisciplinary Center, Institute for Policy and Strategy, Herzliya, Israel

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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