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And Patrick Habis

The LAF - Hezbollah duopoly : a stake for the Lebanese safety and the regional security

Karine Meunier: Sciences po Paris.

This article explores the evolution in the relationship between the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Hezbollah in Lebanon, which can be qualified as a duopoly in the use of legitimate physical violence. Building on an explanation of Hezbollah’s path to political and military power, the second section of this article will provide an insight into the current nature of its relationship to the LAF, and the power-sharing between the two of them. In a third section, this article questions the future of this security duopoly in the context of the increasing military threat posed by radical elements from Syria at the border. In order to do so, the article elaborates and assesses two overarching scenarios in which each actor empowers the other, and five sub-scenarios to describe the different expectable modi operandi. The security duopoly is further analysed by introducing the regional stakes and influences on the LAF and Hezbollah. The conclusion of those 5 sub-scenarios’ assessment is that the current equilibrium of the relationship between the LAF and Hezbollah is not likely to change radically since every sub-scenario has flaws impacting its credibility, and hence its potential for becoming true.