Hezbollah brief

Hezbollah brief - 1 Trenton J. Morrow 2/15/08 PS 283...

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1 Trenton J. Morrow 2/15/08 PS 283 – International Security Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East The Middle East is home to perhaps the most dynamic and complicated regional security complex today. As throughout much of its history, the Middle East is embroiled in ethnically and religiously charged conflicts that define many of the region's ongoing security issues. The rise of militant, political Islam has added a new security dynamic in recent decades. As security becomes scarce in regions such as Gaza, the West Bank, or Iraq, populations turn to Islamist militias to provide for their protection and welfare where states fail to provide it. The modern definition of this region includes a swath of land from Morocco in North Africa to Iran in the Middle East. To wit: Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen (Buzan 2003). These states are heirs to a variety of national circumstances – Turkey, for example, was historically a colonial power under the Ottomans, while other states such as Algeria, Iraq, and Oman were historically colonized. If there is a predominant type of state in the Middle Eastern RSC, it is the post-colonial modern state. Most states incorporate some form of democracy; Turkey and Israel are arguably the most advanced in this respect, exercising vigorous parliamentary electoral politics. Boundaries in the Middle East are the subject of a great deal of dispute. While the cultural and historical traditions of many countries in the region are long established, many of the borders are the products of armed conflict and colonial influence. The British Mandate of Mesopotamia, for instance, gave rise to the seemingly arbitrary borders that constitute modern-day Iraq. Boundary disputes highlight one facet of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict; the establishment of Israel is seen as an
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2 invasion that forcibly removed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes. Many Arab states want to see the return of the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms to Syria, and groups exist that call for the dissolution of Israel entirely. Borders are constantly under heated dispute. The problem for many in the Middle East today, particularly in Iraq and the Levant is widespread insecurity and the proliferation of a number of organized militias. Several states in the region that are on the weaker end of the spectrum in terms of social cohesion, especially Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, leaving a power vacuum to be filled by militant organizations. Hezbollah (literally “Party of God”), a Shia Islamic paramilitary and political organization based in Lebanon,
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Hezbollah brief - 1 Trenton J. Morrow 2/15/08 PS 283...

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