Group Profile of Hezbollah Organization

Home Case Brief Group Profile of Hezbollah Organization

Group Profile

Hezbollah is a Shia Islamist organization that is based in Lebanon. It is a major and influential force in the Middle East politics that commenced its existence from the struggle movement, and currently, it has the status of the political, social, and military organization. The symbol of Hezbollah is their flag, a green logo of the organization on the yellow background with a red text. The text says the following: “Then surely the party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant”. Another name of Hezbollah is the Party of God. It is a social, military, and political group that was run by Iran during the Israeli occupation. The main areas of operation of Hezbollah include politics, economy, and social life, and their major function is resistance. The most prominent leaders of this organization are Hassan Nasrallah, Naim Qassem, and Mustafa Badr Al Din. The political objectives of Hezbollah are (1) to drive the Middle East politics; (2) to influence the Arab context; (3) to present the objective principles of Islam; (4) to participate in Lebanese national politics and influence foreign and domestic policies. Hassan Nasrallah was a general secretary and led Hezbollah, promoting its ideology of Islam, and his Islamic call was al-Dawa al-Islamiya. The end goal of Hezbollah is to work for the economic and social development of Lebanon in the areas of agriculture, education, and health.

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General Information

Hezbollah is associated with such armed groups as the radical members of Amal, and such political forces as Shi’a Islamic political party. The organization structure of Hezbollah involves the division into a seven-member shura council and such sub-councils as judicial assembly, executive assembly, a parliamentary assembly, jihad assembly, and the political assembly. The armed wing of Hezbollah includes a medium-sized army that is considered a terrorist group, and it also has the name of Imam al-Mahdi Scouts. The functions of the armed wing of Hezbollah are to robust unconventional and conventional military capabilities and to use the quality and quantity of the rockets against their enemy Israel. Hezbollah has a rich history and intensive development driven by its ideology and conflict with Israel. The ideological roots of the organization can be traced in the 1960s and 70s, but it fully emerged in 1980. Thus, Lebanon’s fifteen-year-long civil war has resulted in the emergence of Hezbollah. Its activity was most evident in 2006, when its members fought against Israel as their power exceeded the power of the Lebanese army . The weakness of Hezbollah is its damaged reputation, which is associated with hatred to Westerners and accompanied by car bombing, kidnapping, and other terrorist attacks. It is obvious that this organization struggles for the prestige of being called a wholesome opposition, even though the members achieve it through many deaths. Such approach proves that Hezbollah is ready to do everything for the sake of personal benefits.

Financial Information

Donations belong to the source of supply of Hezbollah. Moreover, this organization receives political and financial assistance and weapons that its members require for training. Iran is the external supporter of Hezbollah as it provides it with $60-$100 million of financial assistance per year . Annually, this amount can reach approximately $200 million . The USA is convinced that Hezbollah also uses the illegal activities like money laundering, illegal banking, and drug trafficking as the ways of raising funds. Furthermore, Hezbollah generates its incomes through the heroin trade in Asia and the Middle East. However, the leaders of this organization object to this fact, stating that the money from Iran is used for the support of widows, health care, and education. Iran’s financial aid is a substantial investment that can be used for the development and growth of the state, but the government chooses to give it to Hezbollah and to increase the number of international sanctions because of the collaboration with this organization. In addition, Hezbollah can earn money from such illegal activities as owning marijuana plantations and producing hashish. The annual military budget of the organization constitutes one billion dollars. Thus, it is obvious that this organization acts illegally to raise its budget. Furthermore, it uses donations to reinforce the military actions, ignoring the fact that they are given for the improvement of education and health care.

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Operational Strategy

Hezbollah uses the asymmetric type of violence that is terrorism as it employs the military actions against a state with more military power, and Hezbollah’s operational strategy is characterized by rationalism. Hezbollah can conduct the following military operations: use rockets and missiles as offensive weaponry, participate in the direct firefights, use anti-armor and mechanized infantry, and involve special operations forces. The strengths of Hezbollah are based on its choice of tactics, ability to influence both internal and external environments, and the power to influence and control Lebanon and Iran. Recruitment practices of Hezbollah are based on the forced recruitment, the refusal from which might mean that the applicants will be subjected to torture. Hezbollah recruiters visit every village and neighborhood, looking for those who will follow their way of life. The organization uses the following tactics to target their enemies: cover and concealment, direct fire, and preparation of a fighting position. Weapons of Hezbollah are diverse as they have small arms, anti-tank, air defense, rockets, missiles, anti-ship, and unmanned aerial vehicles. The targets subjected to these forms of weapon are other countries — namely, Syria and Israel. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps provides training for the members of Hezbollah. As a result, training benefits the terrorist operations, which can be seen on the example of 1983 suicide attacks in Beirut, USA, of the hijacking in 1985, the car bombing of Israeli Embassy in 1992, the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996, the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister in 2005, and the bombing of the bus with Israeli tourists in 2012. However, despite this information, the Lebanese citizens fail to admit that Hezbollah promotes terrorism.

Political Vision

The political ideology of Hezbollah is Shite radicalism, as its initial goal was to boost Islamic revolution. Moreover, political ideology involves the fulfillment of the following objectives: ending inhumane practices of Israel in Palestine, Lebanon, and the rest of the Middle East, participating in Lebanese national politics, becoming a voice of innocent Lebanese citizens, and showing that Israel is not invincible. Moreover, using this ideology, Hezbollah intends to influence domestic and foreign policy for the improvement of their region, and prove that Islam is a logical and practical religion. Hezbollah collaborates with such political party as Amal Movement. Besides, it also works together with the party representing the Shia community. Amal Movement does its best to carry out all its activities by using political means, and it also aids and supports Hezbollah. The political ideology of Hezbollah is supported by Syria, Iran, and other Arab countries that have an anti-Israel position. For example, Syria allowed the building of a fortified base. Moreover, Hezbollah receives the support from the citizens of some Christian areas of Lebanon. The political vision of this organization and its focus on the social and economic development of Lebanon led to its victory in general elections. It is obvious that this organization knows the vulnerable places of the citizens and can manipulate them. The political strength of this organization began to grow after getting the veto power in the cabinet in 2008. Consequently, in 2008, the members received 8 seats, and in 2009, they acquired 10 seats. Hezbollah’s base is in the Bekka Valley in southern Lebanon, and parts of Beirut are Lebanon’s Shite-dominated areas — therefore, Hezbollah is extremely active there. Moreover, Hezbollah also plays the role in the Lebanese politics as it has the power to influence the design of the government.

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State Response

Lebanon’s response to Hezbollah’s activities is not commonly supported. There are Lebanese that see Hezbollah as a threat to the state’s stability, but in most cases, Hezbollah is popular in the Shia community. For example, in 1989, when Lebanon’s civil war ended, Hezbollah’s military wing received the name “Islamic Resistance” and was allowed to keep weapons. As to Lebanon’s Western-backed government, it does not support all activities of this organization; therefore, it has limited Hezbollah’s possibilities by shutting down their private telecommunications network and removing Beirut airport’s security chief, as he was related to Hezbollah. However, such restrictions resulted in the death of 81 people as Hezbollah began to fight the rival Sunny groups (Azani, 2011). It is obvious that Hezbollah did not want to lose their power and influence in the state. Thus, soon, Hezbollah received the support from the government, reaching a power-sharing agreement and obtaining the ability to influence cabinet decisions. It is obvious that Hezbollah does not only want to protect Lebanon from the invaders, but also to strengthen its ideology and power of control of all governmental activities. As to Western countries, they regard Hezbollah as a terrorist organization that has spread its brutal actions in many Arab countries. Consequently, most citizens of Lebanon see Hezbollah as a driving force of their life and governmental affairs, and they fail to notice terrorism and violence of this organization. It means that the state’s response to Hezbollah is not rational and objective as it also coincides with organizational objectives.

Assessment

The significant events related to Hezbollah include Lebanese Civil War, Syrian Civil War, Iran-Saudi Arabian conflict, South Lebanon conflict, Lebanon War, and modern Lebanese conflict. It is necessary to say that Hezbollah’s violence has brought the desired outcome for the organization, letting its members spread their influence and power in the Middle East. However, it did not bring the desired result for the states as military interventions, war, and post-war destructions do not improve the life of people. Thus, it is obvious that Hezbollah’s objective is to raise funds with the help of violence and terrorist attacks. Moreover, the aforementioned significant events demonstrate that Hezbollah’s members believe they can achieve all the objectives through cruelty. The recent activities of Hezbollah are related to the relationships between Syria and Lebanon, which have become even tenser recently. Hezbollah’s members are convinced that their presence in Syria will protect Shite shrines, but in fact, they only drive military conflicts that eventually lead to the war. The projected objectives of Hezbollah are the economic and social development of Lebanon, charitable services, and the development of agriculture, education, and health. However, instead of this, Hezbollah empowers terrorism, military conflicts, and wars.

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In conclusion, it is evident from the profile that Hezbollah follows geopolitical, ideological, and financial interests in order to spread power, influence, and control in both national and global environments. The general information reveals that Hezbollah strives for the military capabilities and political influence instead of taking care of education, health, and agriculture of their state. The financial data demonstrate that Hezbollah organization is based on the illegal activities and pays excessive attention to fundraising. Operational strategy of Hezbollah is characterized by radicalism and rationalism, evident from their statements that they fight for their ideology and state and their actions that show that power and finances are in fact more important to them. Political vision of this organization proves that it looks for the partnership and power-sharing agreements and fails to fulfill its political and ideological objectives. Consequently, the significant, recent, and projected events do not coincide with the initial goal of this organization.

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