Topic:

Lebanon

The WhatsApp Crisis Reveals Cracks in Iran’s Soft Power Strategy

| December 8, 2019

The “WhatsApp crisis” in Lebanon revealed a crack in Iran’s grand diplomatic strategy of using its proxies to push ideological soft power concurrently with hard power. Since 1979, Tehran has been trying to brand itself as the epicenter of the Islamic Revolution. That notion is being challenged—not by Lebanese tanks and Iraqi bullets but by citizens armed with smartphones.

Iran and Its Proxies Face the Costs of Imperialism

| November 25, 2019

In both Iraq and Lebanon, Shiites are participating in protests against Iranian-backed, Shiite-led governments. As protests and violence in Iraq and Lebanon continue, Iran is beginning to learn that imperialism in a world of mass politics and protest has unintended costs.

Lebanon Is On the Verge of Collapse

| November 18, 2019

Israel’s neighbor to the north is gripped by a popular uprising that many fear could lead to civil war.

Lebanese and Iraqi Protesters Transcend Sectarianism

| November 12, 2019

The protests in Lebanon have evolved into more than a fight against a failed and corrupt government. They constitute a rare demand for political and social structures that emphasize national rather than ethnic or sectarian religious identities in a world in which civilizational leaders who advocate some form of racial, ethnic, or religious supremacy govern the world’s major as well as key regional powers.

Israel’s Red Lines in Lebanon and Syria

| February 3, 2019

The “War Between Wars” is an ongoing Israeli military and intelligence effort to disrupt the force build-up of the Iranian-Shiite axis throughout the Middle East. This campaign, which has evolved into an entire force activation doctrine, has seen the Israeli defense establishment employ an approach that differentiates between Syria and Lebanon. 

Lebanon’s Strategic Symbiosis

| December 10, 2018

A new strategic symbiosis has evolved over the past decade between Hezbollah and the Lebanese state, enabling the Islamist group to pursue its massive military buildup with impunity. This necessitates that Israel revisit its strategic doctrine vis-à-vis Lebanon and clarify to the Lebanese government the devastating consequences that could result from a new Hezbollah-induced war with Israel.

How Popular Is Iran in Lebanon?

| August 1, 2018

Iran’s hard power in Lebanon is well-known. At its beck and call is the Hezbollah militia, the powerful military force through which it largely controls the Lebanese state. Its soft power, however, is limited to Lebanon’s Shiites, and even among them it is hardly overwhelming.

Israel’s Active Defense Campaign in Syria: The Next Phase

| July 12, 2018

Tehran’s recent decision to attempt direct clashes with Israel resulted in a resounding defeat on May 10, when the IDF destroyed 50 Iranian military targets in Syrian territory. Iran is now shifting gears back to its traditional proxy approach. While it appears reluctant to mobilize Hezbollah against Israel right now and risk a full-scale regional war, it is continuing to work on securing a military position in Syria to use for future aggression. Israel must maintain its flexibility and responsiveness in order to prevent the creation of a second Iranian mass missile front on the border.

The Travesty of the Lebanese Elections

| May 16, 2018

The Iranian leadership has claimed a great victory for the Hezbollah-Amal alliance, which it backed, in the recent Lebanese parliamentary elections. But Lebanese elections are a travesty. In that country, the will of the people is completely distorted by gerrymandering engineered by Hezbollah and its mentor, Iran.

The Nascent Russia-Lebanon Alliance and Israel

| March 23, 2018

Though Russia has been gradually increasing its economic and military influence in Lebanon, it is unlikely that Moscow is prepared to irreparably compromise its relations with Israel. Russia faces competition from other actors in Syria, and good relations with Israel can serve its interests there.