Wither Hezbollah?

It may be difficult for Hezbollah to disengage from Syria once the Assad regime topples. Damascus may be lost but Hezbollah could be instrumental for surviving regime elements to secure a non-Sunni statelet along the coast. To what degree does Iran really control Hezbollah? Hezbollah learned to its detriment that following Tehran dictates isn’t always in its best interest. Especially with Iranian presidential elections looming, Iran’s actual strategic depth may become an important issue and Hezbollah may not be open to the various overtures coming from competing candidates. If anything, Lebanon is the perfect school for politicians who need to hedge their bets to grow up in. And grow up Hezbollah did.

And if Iran withdraws from Syria it will be difficult to explain to Hezbollah how such a retreat isn’t a “template”. It may be safer for Hezbollah to follow its own path and find a role and meaning in the establishment of a greater Lebanon in a division of Syria and emerge as a champion of not just the Shia rather than to kowtow to faraway Ayatollahs whose dedication may not be absolute.