Lebanon

ISIS Moves on Lebanon

By the end of July 2014, the much anticipated spillover of the civil war in Syria into Lebanon became a reality on the ground when a coordinated coalition of the two biggest Jihadist insurgents active in Syria — Jabhat el […]  Read More »

Iran’s New Defense Minister: Behind the 1983 Attack on the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Beirut

The newly-elected president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, has appointed Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan as the new defense minister in place of Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi. The appointment will take effect as soon as it is approved by the Majlis. Brig. […]  Read More »

The Rise of the Salafis in Lebanon: A New Sunni-Shiite Battlefield

The Sunni community in Lebanon is being led by a new breed of Islamist Salafi leaders such as Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.  Read More »

Will Lebanon Help Iran Circumvent Sanctions?

As part of its efforts to break the grip of Western sanctions, Iran is working intensively to develop its economic ties with Lebanon.  Read More »

Michael Widlanski on the Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations by Lee Smith

Jewish Political Studies Review 23:1-2 (Spring 2011)    What is the key to understanding the Middle East? Sometimes a perceptive outsider can grasp the political culture of a state or a region better than a native observer or an academic.   Lee […]  Read More »

The Arab Peace Initiative: A Primer and Future Prospects

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., Saudi Arabia was under intense scrutiny since 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. In Feb. 2002, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia proposed to Israel “full withdrawal” from the territories in return for “full normalization.”  Read More »

The New Flare-Up between Israel and Lebanon Over Gas

The potential oil and gas fields off the Lebanese and Israeli coasts look set to become a source of conflict in the years ahead. Behind the tensions is the fact that the maritime border between Israel and Lebanon has never been delineated because the two states are still formally at war.   Read More »

Toward a Radical Lebanon?

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati recently succeeded in forming a new government dominated by the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance, thus ending a deadlock that left the divided country in a power vacuum for almost five months. The thirty-member cabinet was […]  Read More »

The Arab Spring from a Counter-Terrorism Perspective

World War III is occurring right now. It is a religious war – first and foremost within the religion of Islam. It is a war of the culture of Islamic radicalism against the rest of the world, which includes the majority of Muslims worldwide.  Read More »

Iran Changes the Balance of Power in Lebanon

Iran no longer hesitates to state publicly that its forward defense line now passes through “Lebanon and Palestine.” In practice, the Lebanese-Israeli border is in fact Israel’s border with Iran. Hizbullah is nourished by the growing strength and power of Iran and draws upon its successes. Both parties recognize that the fall of one also signifies the demise of the other.  Read More »

Countdown to a New Lebanon Crisis: Iran Sends a Signal to Obama through Beirut

There is a tendency in the West to underestimate the Iranian role in Hizbullah decision-making.
Iran is signaling to the Obama administration that the main political developments in Lebanon are being decided today in Tehran and not in Washington. Iran is testing U.S. power and determination, and the states of the Middle East are closely following what will be the outcome.  Read More »

Iran Steps Up Arming Hizbullah Against Israel

Hizbullah has 50,000 rockets and missiles, including 40-50 Fatah 110 missiles and 10 SCUD-C ground-to-ground missiles. Furthermore, some 10,000 Hizbullah fighters have been provided with a broad range of modern weapons, while the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have trained Hizbullah teams to operate these weapons.  Read More »

Ahmadinejad in Lebanon

Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon constitutes an additional stage in the process of the Lebanese state’s collapse. From now on, Hizbullah supporters will find it difficult to argue that theirs is a national Lebanese party operating in the Lebanese reality on behalf of Lebanese objectives.  Read More »

Lebanon: Ayatollah Fadlallah’s Death and the Expansion of Iranian Hegemony

Shiite religious leader Sayyed Muhammed Hussein Fadlallah played a leading role in the increasing Islamic radicalization of Lebanese Shiites and laid the foundations for Hizbullah’s ideology of violent struggle against the West and Israel. He supplied an organized doctrine for the mujahid who is ready to sacrifice his life. Yet he opposed the aspirations of Iran to establish an Islamic republic in Lebanon.  Read More »

Has Hizbullah Changed? The 7th Hizbullah General Conference and Its Continued Ideology of Resistance

Hizbullah’s alleged move toward pragmatism is based to a large extent on an Iranian decision to create a new atmosphere in Lebanon that will allow it to work unmolested. Iran is looking for strict silence in the Lebanese arena in order to enable Hizbullah to reconstruct its strategic capabilities (including long-range rockets and missiles) in Lebanon in order to make use of these capabilities at a time to be determined by Tehran.  Read More »