Date Approved

2012

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Technology Studies

First Advisor

Gerald Lawver

Abstract

The Middle East is full of non-state actors that exercise their views and beliefs over the government, the people and other countries. These non-state actors tend to view themselves as resistance groups, freedom fighters, political parties, or activist groups pushing for reform. One of the most militarily dangerous and politically influential non-state actors is Hezbollah, an organization with cyber capabilities that can effectively knock out critical infrastructure in the United States. Hezbollah, with a membership of at least 3,000, is a primarily Shia Muslim organization based in Lebanon ("Hizballah"). Hezbollah views itself as the army of Lebanon, as well as a political force pushing for a unified state and equality in the electoral system of Lebanon. Hezbollah started as a resistance group against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon but has slowly moderated its views as it has developed into a political power in the Lebanese government. Now Hezbollah faces a new challenge with the Arab Spring spreading to its ally and neighbor Syria.

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