Hezbollah’s role as an Iranian proxy and its provision of significant assistance to its allies in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq has been an area of justified focus for policymakers in many capitals but the organization’s evolving role inside Lebanon merits equal attention.
In the past, Hezbollah was able to distinguish itself from Lebanon’s ruling circles, capitalizing on its nonstate status and role as the “resistance” to Israel. However, in recent years, Hezbollah has become ever more entangled with the country’s kleptocratic ruling elites and status quo defenders, an association that has alienated many of their compatriots.
Hezbollah’s over-involvement and its mutation from its outsider (and putatively reform-minded) status to the defender of the corrupt Lebanese political class which poses the most risk for the future of the organization.
What is clear is that it is the Lebanese people themselves who are paying a terrible price caused by their country’s dysfunctional politics.