Hezbollah Pushes Lebanon Toward Iranian Domination

Published: Fri, 7-Aug-2020 12:15 AM Hezbollah propaganda in Lebanon, photo by Giorgio Montersino via Flickr CC BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,680, August 7, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Islamic Republic of Iran established Hezbollah in Lebanon in the early 1980s, funded it, and equipped it with advanced weapons. In the

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Battleground Africa: The Muslim Brotherhood’s Next Frontier

Published: Thu, 6-Aug-2020 12:16 AM Satellite image of Africa, photo by NASA via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,679, August 6, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: For the Muslim Brotherhood, the Libyan conflict is an opportunity to flex its muscles in the “weak link” of the Arab Muslim world. Weak African

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Russia’s Troubles with Its “String of Pearls”

Published: Thu, 6-Aug-2020 12:15 AM A Russia-backed rebel armored fighting vehicles convoy near Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, May 30, 2015, image by Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,678, August 6, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: For geopolitical reasons, Russia has been building a chain of separatist states near

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DEBATE: How Serious Is the Israeli-Turkish Rapprochement?

Published: Wed, 5-Aug-2020 12:16 AM Turkish ambassador to Israel Kemal Ökem with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin in 2016, photo via Wikimedia Commons Moderated by George N. Tzogopoulos BESA Center Online Debate No. 19, August 5, 2020 Q: Israel and Turkey appear to be making progress in terms of rewarming their

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Japanese Defense Policy Is Changing

Published: Wed, 5-Aug-2020 12:15 AM Shinzo Abe, image via Office of the President of Russia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,677, August 5, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Japan’s defense policy is changing incrementally. Evidence of this was recently provided by Japanese DM Taro Kono, who stated publicly that a preemptive strike

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The American Left’s Media Purge

Published: Tue, 4-Aug-2020 12:15 AM President Donald J. Trump, Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,675, August 4, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The American Left is intensely frustrated by President Donald Trump’s ability to penetrate their monopoly on the news cycle. When the Left

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Failure to Resolve the GERD Issue Portends a Global Crisis and Mass Migration

Published: Mon, 3-Aug-2020 12:16 AM Men at work on the GERD project, Ethiopia, image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,673, August 3, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Despite Qatar’s use of information warfare to spread conspiracy theories about Israel’s alleged role in the Egypt-Sudan-Ethiopia crisis over the Great Ethiopian Renaissance

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When Managing Chaos, a Little Humility Wouldn’t Hurt

Published: Mon, 3-Aug-2020 12:14 AM Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by David Roberts, 1850, image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,672, August 3, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: During chaotic crises, the systems in place to handle such events must stay cognizant of their limitations. As the Talmudic sages taught

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Israel Versus Anyone: A Military Net Assessment of the Middle East

Published: Sun, 2-Aug-2020 12:16 AM IDF soldier of the 595th Field Intelligence Battalion stationed at Israel’s northern border, photo by Cpl. Eden Briand, IDF Spokesperson’s Unit Mideast Security and Policy Studies Paper #178 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Most published Middle Eastern military net assessments are based primarily on lists of units and

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Amnesty International and Qatari Information Warfare

Published: Sun, 2-Aug-2020 12:15 AM Amnesty International logo, image via Flickr CC BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,671, August 2, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A recent unsubstantiated Amnesty International report attacking Morocco for its alleged use of Israeli software to surveil a journalist is part of Amnesty’s pattern of defending turncoat

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The Fading Memory of Soleimani Exposes Iran’s Sclerotic Regime

Published: Fri, 31-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Grave of Qassem Soleimani, photo via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,670, July 31, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The way a regime icon is remembered reveals much about the state of the regime itself. General Qassem Soleimani’s fast-fading memory in Iran, especially in Tehran

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Post-COVID India Must Foil China’s Designs

Published: Fri, 31-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping, image via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,669, July 31, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Modi government in India is working hard to fight COVID-19 and save precious lives, both at home and abroad. However, it cannot afford to focus solely on the

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Confused Turkey: Westward Ho All Over Again?

Published: Thu, 30-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Istanbul photo by Faruk Melik ÇEVİK via Unsplash BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,668, July 30, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Turkey, which has labeled onion traders terrorists, blames the Kurds for the turmoil in America, and encourages its own intelligence agency to kill Turkish journalists abroad

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Turkey Hedges Its Bets by Positioning as a Supply Chain Alternative to China

Published: Thu, 30-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Oval Office, 2019, Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,667, July 30, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: A Turkish-US business council is promoting Turkey as a trading alternative to China with the help

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The Srebrenica Genocide and the Massive Failures of the UN and the Netherlands

Published: Wed, 29-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Gravestones at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the Victims of the 1995 genocide, image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,666, July 29, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In July 1995, in East Bosnia, Bosnian Serbs massacred more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. In

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Turkey and the Future of the Eastern Mediterranean

Published: Wed, 29-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, image via Office of the President of Russia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,665, July 29, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Ankara’s moves in the Eastern Mediterranean, while very risky, have partly vindicated President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. At a time when his regime is faced

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Where Did COVID-19 Really Come From?

Published: Tue, 28-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Wuhan Institute of Virology main entrance, Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, image via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,664, July 28, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The questions of the true genomic origin as well as the direct source of the initial SARS-CoV-2 strain that

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Sports, Moral Education, and the NFL

Published: Tue, 28-Jul-2020 12:15 AM DeSean Jackson, image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,663, July 28, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Ancient Greece considered athletic ability both a measure of one’s value and a cure for social inequality. Athletics were seen as providing a form of moral education, with Plato advocating for

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It’s Time to Reform the World Health Organization

Published: Sun, 26-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, D-G of the World Health Organization, photo by Elma Okic via UN Geneva Flickr CC BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,660, July 26, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The World Health Organization (WHO) performed exceptionally poorly during the COVID-19 crisis, which was one of

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Trump’s Dangerous Diplomacy with Erdoğan

Published: Sun, 26-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,659, July 26, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: America’s reputation as a credible actor is an essential matter for US foreign policy, but it has weakened significantly throughout this

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Was the Iranian Uranium Enrichment Plant at Natanz Sabotaged?

Published: Fri, 24-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Anti-aircraft guns guarding the Natanz Nuclear Facility, Iran, image via Hamed Saber – Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,658, July 24, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: According to the international media, the fingerprints of Israel and the US are all over the recent series of

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What Is Driving the “Has-Beens”?

Published: Thu, 23-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Israeli leftist demonstration, photo via Facebook page of Annexation Is Intifada BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,657, July 23, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many are wondering: how have retired leading members of the Israeli defense establishment come to locate themselves on the political left, at times

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Trump-Kim-Moon: Back to Square One?

Published: Thu, 23-Jul-2020 12:15 AM North Korea blows up liaison office with South Korea in Kaesong, screen capture from YouTube video BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,656, July 23, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Two years after the summits Kim Jong-un attended with Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in, respectively, the three states

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Palestinian Activists at Human Rights Watch

Published: Wed, 22-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, image via World Economic Forum Flickr CC Mideast Security and Policy Studies Paper #177 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In theory, the officials, researchers, and analysts working in the area of human rights are committed to unbiased, politically neutral reporting. In

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The China-Iran Deal: A Trial Balloon with a Clear Message

Published: Wed, 22-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Xi Jinping and Hassan Rouhani, screen capture from YouTube video BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,655, July 22, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Hobbled by harsh US sanctions and a global economic downturn, Iran has discovered a new weapon: hot air in the form of a cooperation

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China and Iran Reach a New Stage in Their Strategic Partnership

Published: Tue, 21-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Guided missile destroyer USS Porter of the Fifth Fleet transits the Strait of Hormuz, image by US Navy Mass Communication Specialist Alex R. Forster via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,654, June 21, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tehran in

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The Iran-China 25-Year Plan: A Preliminary Assessment

Published: Tue, 21-Jul-2020 12:15 AM Ali Khamenei receives Xi Jinping at his home, with Hassan Rouhani, photo via Wikimedia Commons BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,653, July 21, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The newly announced Iran-China 25 Year Comprehensive Partnership is unprecedented in its scope. It contains a “mystery clause” that

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The Houthi “Khums” Tax at the Center of Iran’s Geopolitical Strategy

Published: Mon, 20-Jul-2020 12:16 AM Houthi banner in Yemen. Text reads “God is great, Death to America, Death to Israel, A curse upon the Jews, Victory to Islam”. Image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,652, July 20, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Iran has successfully coopted local separatist movements and

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Iran’s Postmodern Jihad Against the Jews

Published: Mon, 20-Jul-2020 12:15 AM The Imam Mosque, Isfahan, Iran, image via Wikipedia BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,651, July 20, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The rise of Islamism as a postmodern ideology is inextricably tied to a congenital, and fundamentally antisemitic, negation of the Jewish State. Israel’s survival depends on

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