The feeling here, and this is just based on my day in the city running around talking to people, is that Hizbullah plans to stay and fight. For a movement fueled by martyrdom, a glorious final battle with the hated enemy must have some cachet. This might explain their air of confidence rather than desperation when me and a colleague got hassled by Hizbullah’s security guys in the bunker. They acted like guys in complete control with none of the twitchy desperation of guys who think the gig is up. Hizbullah may soon be surrounded, but they’re going to stay and fight, I think.
It's funny that so many people are still thinking of Hizbullah in terms of a state. They aren't. They are as happy to fight under occupation as they are to rule temporary autonomous zones in Lebanon (same goes for Hamas). Their primary loyalties are actually strengthened under occupation, unlike a state that requires territorial control, a conventional military, and a functional economy for legitimacy. Defeating them conventionally won't matter. They will merely move to guerrilla warfare.It's also funny that people think that running an EBO on Lebanon will help them become a more aggressive state that enforces its borders/internal groups/etc. It won't. It will only drive the development of alternative, more resilient organizations.