Mounting concerns over Israeli pressure and focus on Hezbollah–prelude to a strike that might change the rules of the game?
An important piece below. We are all now hearing about increasing Israeli pressure on Washington and increasing concern over a possible Israeli pre emptive action that could radically upset the existing rules of the game with Hezbollah and Iran. This is very worrying. It comes I believe less because of possible weapons transfers that are mostly a secondary issue and likely somewhat exaggerated as per usual, but because Hezbollah after four years of mounting constraints is right now finally starting to shake some of those constraints. The aspects -all of which are likely troubling the Israelis -are:
1) the Iran deal and the effect on financing, positioning etc of the main enemy. Remember how the Israeli minister of defense recently came clean and said Isis isn’t that bad. Iran is the threat.
2) reported battlefield successes with the Russians in Syria
3) growing possibility of settlement in Syria that looks likely to tilt more towards Assad Iran and Hezbollah than before
4) a president in Lebanon that will either way be aligned with Hezbollah
5) structural shifts in lebanons Christian community towards the original aounist-Hezbollah position of an alliance of minorities in the region consolidated ten years ago this week in fact! Well almost.
6) a possible liquidation of rebel-nusra-Isis presence in southern Syria… The reports are slim but emerging. If the vacuum is filled by Hezbollah and Iran this is unacceptable to the Israelis in all liklihood because it would mean an area of operations and infrastructure stretching from the sea to Jordan.
The EU and the US need to take immediate steps to head this off and mitigate the prospect of a situation that can easily get wildly out of control…and which so many small irrational actors can also help accelerate at any moment.