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Analysis & Commentary - Tony Badran

Tony Badran's Latest Articles

12th December 2017 – Hoover Institution

The Limits of the Indirect Approach

Tony Badran

In October 2017, the Trump administration rolled out its long-anticipated policy to counter Iranian expansionism in the region. The policy pays significant attention to Hezbollah, Iran’s principal instrument of regional power projection. After eight years of American courtship of Iran, which drastically elevated its regional position, pushing back against Tehran and its proxies was always going to be a formidable challenge. more...

7th November 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Lebanese PM Sa’ad Hariri Cancels His Deal With the Devil, Leaving Lebanon in the Hands of Iran

Tony Badran

On Saturday, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in a televised speech from Saudi Arabia. In the speech, Hariri cited Iran’s control of Lebanon through Hezbollah as the reason for stepping down. Hezbollah, Hariri said, “has come to control the seams of the state and has the final and decisive say in the affairs of Lebanon and the Lebanese.” more...

27th October 2017 – Tablet Magazine

American Policy in Lebanon Isn’t Policy. It’s Poetry.

Tony Badran

And if we want to get serious about fighting Hezbollah, we should start by insisting on the following benchmarks more...

11th October 2017 – The Cipher Brief

Hezbollah Calls the Shots in Iran’s Syria Policy

Tony Badran, Amir Toumaj

President Donald Trump is reportedly about to extend a terrorism designation to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in its entirety. The IRGC is both the dominant force inside Iran and the instrument through which the Islamic Republic projects power abroad. Operating throughout the region, the IRGC is deeply entrenched in Lebanon; the domain of Hezbollah. more...

25th September 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Unless It Is Changed, UNIFIL’s Mandate Makes It a Boon for Hezbollah

Tony Badran

Nikki Haley is right to insist the UN group in Lebanon undergo some big changes. more...

12th September 2017 – The Cipher Brief

Get Tough on Beirut to Rein in Hezbollah Threat

Tony Badran

Hezbollah – an Iran-backed militia that controls southern Lebanon – boasts a medium-sized army and a whopping arsenal of up to 150,000 rockets and missiles. Since 2011, much of that army has been engaged in Syria supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. While this has thinned Hezbollah’s ranks, it has also given the group valuable field experience and is opening up new routes of military supply to Iran. more...

15th August 2017 – Tablet Magazine

The Pentagon Fills Hezbollah’s Shopping List

Tony Badran

Bradley fighting vehicles, M4 rifles among the American goods that will soon make their way to Lebanon, free of charge. more...

2nd August 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri Joins With Hezbollah to Con Donald Trump

Tony Badran

Hariri’s visit with Trump was part of a coordinated, multifaceted information campaign to swindle the U.S. government into continuing its military support and extending political cover for the evolving pro-Iran order in Lebanon and Syria. Everyone—Hariri, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and its supporters and publicists in Washington—is in on the con. Everyone benefits—except, of course, the people who continue to suffer and die in the region. more...

26th July 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Lebanon Is Another Name for Hezbollah

Tony Badran

During his joint press conference with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday, President Trump gave expression to the inherent paradox in America’s Lebanon policy. On the one hand, the president voiced appreciation and support for Lebanon and its Armed Forces (LAF) for their supposed “impressive” role in the fight against ISIS and Al-Qaeda. On the other hand, he had strong words for Hezbollah, calling it a menace to the Lebanese state and the entire region and noting its role in fueling the catastrophe in Syria. more...

6th July 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Lebanon’s New Electoral Law Seeks to Preempt U.S. Sanctions on Hezbollah

Tony Badran

The next Congressional bill imposing sanctions on Hezbollah has not even been introduced, but the Lebanese state has already created loopholes to help the terrorist group circumvent U.S. law. more...

27th June 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Hezbollah’s Environmental Warriors

Tony Badran

After the second Lebanon war in 2006, when the IDF uncovered the elaborate network of underground Hezbollah tunnels and bunkers in southern Lebanon, the Israelis dubbed these fortifications “nature reserves.” more...

5th June 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Distinction between Hezbollah and the “Lebanese State” now Meaningless

Tony Badran

At the conclusion of President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the Saudis issued a joint statement outlining shared positions. The last article in their statement addressed Lebanon and stressed “the importance of supporting the Lebanese state,” specifically in pursuit of “enforcing its sovereignty on all of its territory, disarm terrorist organizations such as Hizballah, and bring all weapons under the legitimate supervision of the Lebanese army.” more...

16th May 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Assad’s Industrial Killing Machine

Tony Badran

On Monday, the State Department revealed that it possessed evidence that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime was operating an industrial crematorium at the Saydnaya military prison outside Damascus. Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, said that the U.S. believes the Assad regime had practiced extrajudicial mass executions of thousands of prisoners. “We now believe that the Syrian regime has installed a crematorium in the Saydnaya prison complex which could dispose of detainees’ remains with little evidence,” he said. more...

9th May 2017 – Tablet Magazine

The Lebanese Prime Minister Is Stuck, and He’s Improvising

Tony Badran

A high-level delegation of Lebanese politicians and bankers reportedly will visit Washington later this month to try and convince Congress to soften impending sanctions legislation designed to squeeze the Iranian proxy, Hezbollah. Already, there have been visitors from Lebanon in recent weeks for this purpose, and there’s been speculation in Lebanese media that prime minister Saad Hariri, who has expressed his hope to “change” the legislation, might himself come to town to make the case for going easy on Lebanon. more...

24th April 2017 – Tablet Magazine

Hezbollah’s Farcical Media Tour at the Israel-Lebanon Border

Tony Badran

Last Thursday, Hezbollah organized a tour for journalists along the border with Israel, where the Iranian proxy highlighted the various topographical alterations the IDF has done near the border in preparation for a future war. more...

5th April 2017 – The Weekly Standard

Was a Hezbollah Commander Really Killed by His Own Organization?

Tony Badran

Two weeks ago, Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot took the unusual step of confirming claims in the media about the May 13, 2016, killing of Hezbollah military commander, Mustafa Badreddine. more...

19th March 2017 – The Cipher Brief

After Nuclear Deal, Iran Looks to Profit in Syria

Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. more...

16th March 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Morocco Arrests Hezbollah Financier

Tony Badran

Lebanese media reported Tuesday that the tycoon and terror financier Qassem Tajeddin has been apprehended in Morocco before boarding a flight to Beirut. The U.S. Treasury Department designated Tajeddin in 2009 for being “an important financial contributor” to Hezbollah and for operating a number of front companies with his brothers for the group. more...

9th March 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Lebanon’s New Army Chief has History of Coordination with Hezbollah

Tony Badran

Lebanon’s new cabinet announced Staff Brigadier General Joseph Aoun as the new head of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) on Wednesday. Aoun, who commanded the 9th Brigade, was a favorite to take the post, and reportedly has the backing of newly-elected President Michel Aoun (no relation), a Hezbollah ally. more...

2nd March 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Lebanon’s Armed Forces and Hezbollah Increasingly Intertwined

Tony Badran

General Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command reportedly visited Lebanon on Monday and met with top officials to discuss U.S. aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Votel’s visit followed a separate visit last week by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and a delegation of congressional staff members. Corker went on a tour of the LAF position in the northeastern town of Arsal, near the border with Syria. more...