West Fears Hizballah's Fighting Style

[Washington Times] Rowan Scarborough - Hizballah's display of coordinated attacks and small-unit action is surprising the world community and making Western nations think twice about agreeing to put peacekeeping troops between the militant Lebanese Shi'ite group and Israeli forces, military analysts say. Retired Army Maj.-Gen. Robert H. Scales Jr., a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, said that persuading Western nations to send troops to southern Lebanon would be a "hard sell." "Few nations want to confront Hizballah because the terrorist group has an unquenchable lust for martyrdom fueled by a radical Islamic ideology," said retired Army Lt.-Col. Robert Maginnis, a military analyst. "I'm not optimistic about the so-called peacekeeping effort. NATO could do the mission, but the French will veto, and besides they already have their hands full in Afghanistan and the Balkans. The European Union is a good candidate, but because members have cut rather than increased their military budgets for more than a decade, they are unlikely to jump on the alternative." There is still the memory of Hizballah suicide bombers blowing up a Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 American service members. Some in the Pentagon doubt Hizballah would ever cede its territory to foreigners or live by any agreement that prevented it from attacking Israel. The White House has downplayed the chance that any U.S. troops would return to Lebanon as peacekeepers.

2006-07-28 01:00:00

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