Title: Countering Iran Through Hezbollah Author: Lieutenant Commander Curtis J. Van Hooser, United States Navy
Thesis: As a rogue state, Iran poses a significant threat to the United States as well as the entire international community. If the U.S. and its allies hope to degrade Iran’s influence around the world, they must focus their efforts on Hezbollah.
Discussion: The United States and Iran have had a volatile relationship with each other for more than 30 years. Less than one year ago, these two nations were at the brink of war following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and the Iranian ballistic missile attack on Coalition Forces in Iraq. Iran exports its terrorism and increases its global influence through proxy forces. These proxy forces provide financial support to Iran, carry out attacks on Iran’s behalf, spread Iran’s influence, and provide access and placement for Iranian forces on the global stage. Hezbollah has emerged as Iran’s premier proxy force and the most influential proxy that achieves the strategic goals for Iran.
Conclusion: At this present time, it is possible for the U.S. and its allies to dissolve the relationship between Iran and Hezbollah through diplomatic, economic, and/or military efforts. By focusing the efforts of national power on Hezbollah, the U.S. is more likely to avoid vertical escalation and state on state kinetic conflict with Iran. The U.S. and Iran are on a path of destruction, and in order to contain this global threat, the U.S. must focus its efforts towards Hezbollah.