Looks like Round Three with Hezbollah is just around the corner. Intelligence has it that 40,000 rockets are now stockpiled near the Lebanese/Israeli border, with Hezbollah training its men to use missiles that will reach Tel Aviv. Added to the mix are ground-to-ground and anti aircraft missiles, which could be a bit of a game changer if the IAF is actually in danger from them. I shudder to think what will happen the day Hezbollah succeeds in downing an IAF aircraft.
The consensus is that Hezbollah is indeed stronger that it was before Round Two in 2006, which was cut short by UN Resolution 1701 designed to keep Hezbollah from rearming and preventing a Round Three from happening. Ever so surprisingly, it didn’t work, and UNIFIL inspectors didn’t seem to be able or willing to do much of anything to stop Hassan Nasrallah from rearming his gang.
As for his bragging to the media, Nasrallah threatened to attack Tel Aviv in Round Three should the IDF bomb the southern suburbs of Beirut, as it did in Round Two. However, if we consider the fact that Nasrallah still hasn’t been able to do anything in response to the brutal explosive slaying of his own number two, Imad Mughniyeh in February of last year (probably executed by Mossad agents, though this is unconfirmed), we can come to one of two possible conclusions. One, that he’s impotent, scared, and unable to do anything serious, which is why he has such a big mouth. Two, he’s really angry and coordinating his strategy with Iran, waiting for an Israeli attack and then letting loose with his 40,000 rockets and having a free for all.
I’d bet on option 2.
Meanwhile, last month one of Hezbollah’s storehouses blew up in southern Lebanon, which happens when you’re an army of mostly untrained thugs who don’t know how to safely store explosives and pack them in a room, only to have some idiot come in there and light a cigarette or something, and BOOM.
The explosion revealed that Hezbollah was still stockpiling rockets south of the Litani River, violating Resolution 1701. Here’s the thing about 1701. Did anyone think it would actually work? Why would Hezbollah commit to not rearming itself? What’s the point of a war if you’re not going to finish the job and make the other side surrender unconditionally? What you get if you do that is another Round.
And Round Three ain’t gonna be pretty. And if Israel doesn’t finish the job this times and we see another UN Resolution about how Hezbollah isn’t allowed to rearm wink wink, we will definitely be seeing a Round Four.
Round Three probably cannot be prevented now. But Round Four still can, and probably not by trying the same thing as last time. Let’s see what happens.