Cease Fire?

Breaking news: Israel reportedly has proposed a cease-fire if Hezbollah agrees to release the two captured Israeli soldiers and withdraw from southern Lebanon, to be replaced there by the Lebanese Army.

My first reaction is that a cease-fire seems premature, as Hezbollah’s capabilities are not yet sufficiently degraded. On the other hand, it would be a major political defeat for Hezbollah to be ousted from southern Lebanon, and a significant strategic accomplishment for Israel–assuming, of course, that one has confidence in the Lebanese Army. As such, it seems doubtful whether Hezbollah will agree; so the offer may be a sensible prelude, from a political standpoint, to further hostilities.

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