Accession Number:

ADA496916

Title:

Hezbollah: Psychological Warfare Against Israel

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

97.0

Abstract:

Since the 34-day war in 2006 between Hezbollah and Israel, psychological warfare has re-emerged as a topic of interest. Many experts have asked the question how could a nonstate actor defeat Israel -- a regional superpower -- in such a short amount of time Hezbollah also defeated Israel in 2000 when it forced the state to unilaterally withdraw from southern Lebanon after an 18-year occupation. Although Hezbollahs psychological warfare strategy contributed greatly to these two successes, there also are other factors that contributed to Israels failures. First, Israel incorrectly assessed its enemy, which resulted in the development of overly ambitious objectives for Lebanon in addition to the application of inappropriate strategies. Israel underestimated the level of support Hezbollah enjoyed from the Lebanese population after years of political participation in the country and the provision of security, economic assistance, and social services to the people. Second, Israels aversion to casualties inhibited it from choosing more bold military strategies. Third, Hezbollah waged effective guerrilla warfare against Israels conventional military efforts. By embedding itself within the civilian population, Hezbollah became a difficult target to attack through conventional warfare. Hezbollahs psychological warfare strategy played a crucial role in exploiting Israels military mistakes and its aversion to casualties.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Psychology
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE