The 2006 Lebanon Campaign and the Future of Warfare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy

Author: Dr Stephen D Biddle, Mr Jeffrey A Friedman

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Many now see future warfare as a matter of nonstate actors employing irregular methods against Western states. This expectation has given rise to a range of sweeping proposals for transforming the U.S. military to meet such threats. In this context, Hezbollah’s 2006 campaign in southern Lebanon has been receiving increasing attention as a prominent recent example of a nonstate actor fighting a Westernized state. In particular, critics of irregular-warfare transformation often cite the 2006 case as evidence that non-state actors can nevertheless wage conventional warfare in state-like ways. This monograph assesses this claim via a detailed analysis of Hezbollah’s military behavior, coupled with deductive inference from observable Hezbollah behavior in the field to findings for their larger strategic intent for the campaign.