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The United States and the Israel-Hezbollah War



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The United States and the Israel Hezbollah War Prof Jeremy Pressman Although American soldiers were not involved in the fighting in Lebanon and Israel this past summer the United States was nonetheless a central player in the war U S policy was defined by staunch American support for Israel and repeated calls by U S officials to use the crisis as a means to get at the root causes of violence in the region What were the American objectives in this war Does a preliminary assessment suggest that Washington took steps toward achieving them How does U S policy on the Arab Israeli conflict look moving forward American Objectives in the Israel Hezbollah War Two global foreign policy commitments informed the United States view of the Israel Hezbollah confrontation this past summer the war on terror and the democratization of the Middle East Since September 11 2001 the American war on terror has been defined to include several different international actors In his speech of September 20 2001 President George W Bush stated that the war would not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found stopped and defeated and that any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime In addition he warned terrorists could not be accommodated but instead must be met by force This approach has most directly been applied to al Qaeda and its satellites the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein s regime But it has also generated a general lack of U S sympathy for any terrorist groups that target American allies even if the organization s goals are more national than global in nature 1 November 2006 No 13 At the same time the Bush administration has laid out a broad vision for the democratization of the Middle East as a way to undermine support for terrorism The implicit assumption has been that such radical change may lead to short term upheaval the United States is changing the rules and recognizes that



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