Hezbollah's recent flexing of its muscles in Lebanon may well lead to an unintended effect -- the long-overdue disarming of the militant group.
A new dynamic is certainly at work. Hezbollah suggested for the first time that its weapons might now be used not only against outsiders -- namely, Israel -- but also against Lebanese. The Lebanese people replied in effect, for the first time, that they were well and truly fed up.
Now, after the Qatar talks, Lebanon finally has a new president, army Chief Gen. Michel Sleiman. The Lebanese opposition and majority also agreed on the establishment of a government that gives veto power to the opposition, and committed not to resort to violence.
Most importantly, it was agreed that the question of Hezbollah's arsenal will be discussed.
In other words, Hezbollah's aggressive maneuvering to attain a sound, if not overwhelming, governmental presence has resulted in it now being subject to demands of responsibility that come with the position. Good news.
Israel should avoid reunifying the Lebanese behind Hezbollah's weaponry through a military intervention. At the same time, the United States and the international community will have to work hard to prevent other groups in Lebanon from rearming. And the United States should continue its efforts to train and equip the Lebanese army and the internal security force.
Momentum is on the side of diplomacy. With the Lebanese people fed up, and international pressure building, it might just have a shot at positive unintended consequences