AbuM talks to Blanford:
… Hezbollah goes from just another crappy Lebanese militia in the early 1980s to the most feared non-state actor in the world. Briefly tell us how:
Hezbollah emerged in the early 1980s and was initially very much guided by the Iranians. It owes its creation to the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanon in 1982, although its leadership had been mulling establishing some form of anti-Israel resistance that followed the teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini since the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979. Hezbollah’s military exploits began slowly but by the latter half of the 1990s they had come to dominate the resistance against the Israeli occupation in the south. In those days, it was fairly ramshackle, and tactics – such as human wave assaults against Israel outposts – cost them a lot of casualties. Hezbollah’s “Golden Years” were in the 1990s – the second phase of the party’s evolution – when with the civil war over and under the protection of Syria, Hezbollah was able to focus its activities on resistance. The Islamic Resistance was adaptive and a quick learner and it was fascinating in those days to watch them improve year-on-year. The Israeli withdrawal in 2000 marked the beginning of Hezbollah’s third phase. This is where they evolved from a resourceful guerrilla group employing classic hit-and-run tactics into something that folks like you describe as a “hybrid force” – a group that employs a blend of guerrilla and conventional weapons and tactics. Hezbollah today is probably the most formidable non-state military actor in the world. Although we concentrate on Hezbollah’s ever expanding arsenal of weapons, for me the most telling aspect of its evolution is its highly complex and advanced electronic warfare and communications systems….
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian