This study argues that Hamas and Hizbollah, the two main religious groups fighting Israel, probably are more threatening to U.S. interests than is generally believed. It discusses the various openings that the groups were able to exploit to advance themselves, and particularly how they profited from errors on the Israelis' part.
At the same time, the study contends, there has been a corresponding rise of religious radicalism in Israel. This means that on both sides of the struggle--Jewish as well as Arab-extremism is gaining strength. It is going to be difficult, the study concludes, to avoid a decisive confrontation between the two forces.
To be sure, the Israelis have now begun peace talks with the Arabs. However, the study points out, the talks are not proceeding as well as might be hoped. In line with this, a proposal has been put forward to overcome the present impasse. This suggestion involves stationing U.S. troops on the Golan Heights as guarantors of security.
The author believes that this idea should be scrutinized carefully. The plan may result in the United States becoming bogged down in the territories for an extended period. Moreover, the level of violence in this area is such that positioning U.S. troops there could jeopardize their safety.