June 2, 2010: Israel has revealed its plans for a future war with Hezbollah. Israel doesn't want another war with the Lebanese terror organization, Hezbollah. In 2006, the Iran backed Islamic radicals dragged Lebanon into a war with Israel, that left Lebanon a mess. Hezbollah, in typical Arab fashion, proclaimed defeat as a victory. The 2006 fighting crippled Hezbollah military power, destroyed billions of dollars of its assets, and actually improved Israeli combat power. Thousands of Israeli troops gained combat experience in southern Lebanon, and Israeli casualties had no effect on overall Israeli military strength. But Hezbollah is still there, and Iran financed the rebuilding their military strength.
Thus if there's another war, Israel plans to use a larger force (4-5 combat divisions, versus three in 2006, and more than twice as many aircraft and many more commandos.) The next war would involve doing a lot more damage to Hezbollah, in a shorter period of time. The earlier war lasted 34 days. Since 2006, Hezbollah has acquired more power (via its control of about a third of the voters) in the Lebanese government. Thus the new plan involves doing a lot more damage to the rest of Lebanon, and the Lebanese armed forces. Israel wants all Lebanese to know that they are partly responsible for Hezbollah continuing to exist.
Keep in mind exactly what Hezbollah is. It is a radical Islamic organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and the eventual establishment of a world-wide Islamic dictatorship (in cooperation with its patron, Iran). Hezbollah has taken control of about a third of Lebanon, and runs it as a religious dictatorship, a branch office of the similar Iranian tyranny. Hezbollah's power base is the 1.3 million Lebanese who are Shia Moslem (like most Iranians are). The Shia comprise about 35 percent of the Lebanese population, and have long been the least prosperous third of the population.
Hezbollah not only helped defend Shia interests during the 1975-90 civil war, but gave out tens of billions of dollars in Iranian money over the years. In return for all these favors, Hezbollah asks only for obedience, and volunteers for its trained terrorist force of several thousand fighters. Pro-Hezbollah Shia also dominate in the Lebanese army, a force put together since 1990 with the assistance of the Syrians. The Syrians are also allies of Iran, and consider most of Lebanon as part of Syria. France assembled Lebanon in the 1920s, after World War I, from bits of the recently disbanded Turkish empire. Historically, "Lebanon" was a string of coastal cities in what is now Lebanon. The French added some more territory inland, territory that had traditionally been considered part of Syria. The Syrians have not forgotten, neither have the Lebanese.
Hezbollah remains a close ally of Syria, which makes most Lebanese nervous. But most Lebanese are hostile to Israel, that hatred being the only thing that unites Lebanese (who are otherwise divided by religion and politics). Yet most Lebanese also fear Israel. It's taken for granted that the Israelis could conquer the country if they wanted, and certainly demonstrated, in 2006, that they could destroy much of the country from the air. But despite the threat, Israel pleas for Lebanon to disarm Hezbollah have been brushed away. That is largely because most Lebanese are eager to avoid another civil war. Damage from the 1975-90 conflict is still being repaired. But Israelis make it clear that, if Hezbollah attacks again, all of Lebanon will suffer, and quickly.