On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah operatives crossed into Israel and attacked a military patrol, killing three soldiers and kidnapping two more. In retaliation to this incident Israel launched a military operation that resulted in 34 days of fighting between Hezbollah and Israel. The Israeli retaliation has been deemed to be severe and surprising. Furthermore, a public investigation commission established by the Israeli government implicated key decision-makers, and especially Prime Minister Olmert, as guilty of hasty and irresponsible decision-making. This article views this case through the lens of prospect theory, showing how the decision was made at the framing stage, and suggesting that this decision was not hasty but, rather, was consistent with the logic of loss-aversion.
Marcus, Raphael D. “Military Innovation and Tactical Adaptation in the Israel–Hizballah Conflict: The Institutionalization of Lesson-Learning in the IDF.” Journal of Strategic Studies 38.4 (2015): 500-28.
This article highlights a pattern of military adaptation and tactical problem-solving utilized by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while engaged in protracted conflict with the Lebanese militant group Hizballah. It discusses the IDF’s recent attempts to institutionalize their historically intuitive process of ad-hoc learning by developing a formal tactical-level mechanism for ‘knowledge management’. The diffusion of this battlefield lesson-learning system that originated at lower-levels of the organization is examined, as well as its implementation and effectiveness during the 2006 Lebanon War. A nuanced analysis of IDF adaptation illustrates the dynamic interplay between both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ processes of military innovation.
In this article, I report the results of a survey of 176 Lebanese Shiis living in metropolitan Beirut administered during the months of December 2010 and January 2011. The data reveal that adherence to Hizballah is associated with personal piety, political alienation, and the frequency of service provision by the party. These findings suggest that those Shii respondents endorse the organization not only for its military capabilities but also as a political party largely for its social services or religious piety, or as a vehicle for change, or for some combination of these and other factors. Therefore, the legitimacy that this popular support provides compounds the challenges of limiting Hizballah’s influence by consensus. Accordingly, removing Hizballah from Lebanon would require the removal of its civilian constituency.