From Mujahideen to mainstream: The evolution of Hezbollah
Given its current political, humanitarian, and military activities, would an analysis of Hezbollah's operations indicate that it has evolved as an organization and political party? Further, if this analysis does in fact reflect Hezbollah's positive progression, should the group then be removed from the U.S. Government's designated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) and declassified as a terrorist group? If so, what potential ramifications would its declassification have on the U.S. Government's Global War on Terror?
During this analysis of Hezbollah, its origins and objectives, its activities and operations, and its progression as an organization, the argument has been made in favor of Hezbollah's removal from the State Department's designated list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Through a review of Hezbollah's recent actions and by examining the definitions of terrorism and criteria for designation, it has been concluded that Hezbollah no longer meets the threshold for designation and should therefore be removed from the FTO list. While Hezbollah's removal from the FTO list will undoubtedly damage U.S. relations with Israel, an assessment of Israel's participation in U.S. counterterrorism efforts and its value-added in terms of supporting U.S. foreign policy has concluded that a lesser relationship with Israel would in fact be beneficial to both U.S. counterterrorism initiatives and the advancement of U.S. foreign policy. By removing Hezbollah from the FTO list and establishing a relationship with the organization, the U.S. Government would be taking steps toward its own positive evolution in showing the world that it is willing to reevaluate its policies and reward progressive action. In turn, the U.S. Government itself may be rewarded with a revitalized image among the Arab and Muslim populations, a potential conduit for future diplomatic relations with estranged nations such as Iran and Syria, and a new partner in the Global War on Terror.
Middle Eastern Studies;
0555: Middle Eastern Studies
0601: International Relations
0630: Public policy