February 27, 2008

Can you guys hold off on this until Abu Muqawama's done with his research in the archives? Thanks.

Michael Young doesn't think another war between Israel and Hizbollah is going to break out anytime soon. Abu Muqawama agrees, but Michael argues his case prettier than we could.

Still, the most likely cause of war remains miscalculation. Here the risks are higher. Too devastating a Hezbollah response to the Mughniyah killing might provoke a fierce response from Israel. Conversely, another assassination of a Hezbollah official could prompt Hezbollah to react in increasingly less calculating ways, making a clash more probable. Even an Israeli offensive against Gaza may force Hezbollah to take steps in southern Lebanon to back its brethren in Hamas, and this may widen the conflict with Israel.

Then again, Hezbollah would have to calculate whether this might lead to a repeat of 2006, which also followed a Hamas raid in Gaza, the net result of which was to Hezbollah’s considerable disadvantage—all claims to a “divine victory” notwithstanding.