chapter  Chapter 26
ByRaphael D. Marcus
Pages 13

This chapter provides a concise organizational profile and broad overview of Hizbullah. It outlines the origins of Hizbullah, and discusses how its emergence was shaped by internal shifts in Lebanon amidst the civil war and significant regional events related to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. Hizbullah's ideological foundations, closely tied to Iran, are assessed, as well as the group's overall strategic aims as laid out in its 1985 'Open Letter' manifesto. The chapter describes Hizbullah's organizational development and military expansion throughout its protracted conflict with Israel. It highlights key events and milestones, and the group's political expansion in tandem. The chapter shows how Hizbullah adapted and moderated itself politically to appeal to broader segments of Lebanese society while concurrently maintaining its militant posture against Israel. It illustrates Hizbullah's multifaceted identity, but ultimately highlights the centrality of its militant capability that enables Hizbullah to maintain influence and project power domestically and regionally.