Cloning Hizballah: Easier Said Than Done

Hizballah’s performance in the “Summer War” between Israel and Hizballah in July-August 2006 has been touted as an effective new model of war fighting that will likely be emulated throughout the Middle East and the Muslim world. Replicating Hizballah’s performance on the battlefield, however, is likely to be more difficult than many imagine. The Hizballah military model is a product of special circumstances that pertained in Lebanon in the 1980s and 1990s and may not be applicable to many other situations. As a result, attempts to copy Hizballah are likely to result in a profusion of different imitations exhibiting varying degrees of military effectiveness each of which would have to be addressed on a case by case basis.