Strategic Dilemmas: The Complex Dynamics Surrounding the Army Leadership's Extension and Regional Implications

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2023-12-03 | 01:02
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Strategic Dilemmas: The Complex Dynamics Surrounding the Army Leadership's Extension and Regional Implications
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4min
Strategic Dilemmas: The Complex Dynamics Surrounding the Army Leadership's Extension and Regional Implications

The performance of both internal and external management of the army leadership file, and the extension for its commander, Joseph Aoun, raises many concerns about the situation in the upcoming phase, especially if it is linked to developments in southern Lebanon.

External forces supporting the extension of the army commander emphasize the importance of maintaining the position amid border confrontations between Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

The internal pressure, before international intervention in the extension, had various internal supporters seeking to achieve it.

This article was originally published in, translated from Lebanese newspaper Nidaa al-Watan.

This external pressure was not justified, especially since if the efforts failed, the opponents would declare a double victory over both internal forces and external will, in addition to the negative moral, political, and security repercussions.

The conflicting explanations given for the extension or opposition to it are intertwined with various issues, including the presidency file, the military institution's status, and restoring stability to southern Lebanon. All of this falls within the context of regional and international negotiations to reach comprehensive or partial solutions to these pending issues.


The main premise guiding countries in their proposals is the importance of avoiding war or military escalation. Therefore, there is a necessity to search for a political solution that ensures stability, theoretically applies Resolution 1701, and reshapes authority in Lebanon.


Two options are presented: settlement or turmoil. These options pose a choice—the first, simple and easy, involves achieving a comprehensive political settlement. The foundation of this settlement would be Hezbollah's willingness, along with external proposals to refrain from engaging in a widespread war. However, this option may come with political and perhaps presidential costs.

The second option would come into play if a major settlement is not reached, and hostilities in the south, particularly in Gaza, continue unabated without the West being able to deter Hezbollah from carrying out military operations against Israeli military sites.



In this case, it is necessary to return to declared positions by the Israelis and Americans, stating that they do not want to go to war with Hezbollah and expand it into Lebanon.



After the Americans and Israelis demand that Hezbollah cease its operations and its refusal to do so, these forces must look for an alternative option to distract the party. This could involve fabricating more political and possibly security problems in the near future internally, based on fueling discord and engaging the party in internal battles to pressure it and make its "back" insecure domestically, based on divisions and rejection of any activity it undertakes.



The threat of the "third option" is clear in this scenario. If added to the already flawed mechanism of managing the "battle" to maintain the army leadership's position and protect the military institution, it will lead to counterproductive results.



This is especially true when considering that if the government resorts to extending the army commander's term without the defense minister's approval, the minister may independently decide to appoint the highest-ranking officer with seniority to lead the army.



This would create duplicity and contribute to numerous fractures within the military institution. The outcome will certainly result in many internal problems, both in terms of security and politics. This will push Hezbollah to become more rigid, once again eliminating the opportunity for the "third option" internationally. Instead, they will stick to their candidate in search of "backing" and avoid criticism, following the equation previously raised by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.







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