We have tended to think of Hizbullah in terms of mobs of men marching around Beirut in odd looking uniforms carrying yellow flags. We are now learning that reality is more like this fellow on the left. The big war in the south of Lebanon is not over yet. We have yet to see a really serious Israeli ground effort there, but based on what has happened so far, I think we have to rate the Hizbullah army as a serious ground force. It is said that the Hizbullah army was trained by the Iranians but, I think that in a more profound sense they were trained by the Israel Defense Force. Clausewitz maintained that the best school of war is war itself. This is a variant of the old saw that claims that "whatever does not kill you makes you stronger." The Hizbullah army fought the IDF for many years. Throughout that time the Hizbullahis (or Hizbalians according to POTUS) observed the methods and "style" of the IDF. Israeli soldiers returned from Lebanon express surprise that the guerrillas look and dress like them. They should not be surprised. It is a kind of compliment.
On the other hand you have these guys, seen here observing a demonstration. The Lebanese Army is a force of "asphalt soldiers." They have never really fought anyone and their governments have carefully avoided putting them to that test. They are a mixed group in confessional terms, although the command of the force has always been entrusted to a Maronite Christian under the terms of the National Accord.
Israel has said that it is one of its war aims to have this force move to the south where it would occupy the border country and "control" the Hizbullah army after disarming it with the "assistance" of an international or possibly interplanetary force from outside Lebanon.
The Lebanese government has now offered to send 15,000 of these perhaps fierce, but certainly untested, tigers to accomplish this stated Israeli desideratum in return for Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. The Israelis no longer seem as charmed by the prospect.
1- The Hizbullah army command does not seem concerned at the prospect of 15,000 Lebanese Army troops in their area.
2- What will be the re-action of these 15,000 soldiers when confronted with the idea of actually fighting their own countrymen who are in arms against a common foe?
3- The most frequently heard suggestion for consolidating armed force under the Lebanese government has been the incorporation of the militias (read Hizbullah) into the Lebanese Army. The Lebanese Army has nicer uniforms, and the survivors of the fights in Bint J’bail and Aita al-Sha”b will look good in them.
That will take care of the Israelis’ problems?