• Ep. 189 — Two top Hamas commanders walk into a Gaza villa…

    (…and don’t walk out.) Amidst the chaos of this weekend’s assassination attempt against President Trump, the Israel Defense Forces took advantage of Hamas being on the ropes in Gaza by conducting an operation targeting two of the remaining top brass: top Hamas commander Mohammed Dief and Rafa’a Salameh, Hamas brigade commander in Khan Younis.

    Bill and Joe unpack the strike and discuss a lesser-known terror group inside Gaza (is it the ‘Popular Resistance Committee’ or ‘The Committee for Popular Resistance’?), and the issue of battlefield longevity with which Israel seems to be grappling.

    30m - Jul 16, 2024
  • Ep. 188 — Hostage diplomacy with terrorists

    Bill and Joe catch up on headlines related to the war in Gaza and the additional Iranian-backed conflicts at Israeli borders, including a status update on the latest round of hostage negotiations, action in the West Bank, and how Israel should handle Tehran’s noose-tightening. They also discuss the recent sighting of a top Hezbollah military official and specially designated global terrorist at the funeral of a Hezbollah commander.

    44m - Jul 8, 2024
  • Ep. 186 — A conversation with Lieutenant General Sami Sadat

    Bill and Will Selber are joined by Lieutenant General Sami Sadat who among many other roles served as deputy commander of the Afghan ground forces and later the deputy chief of staff of the Afghan National Army. Now, he leads the Afghan United Front. They discuss America’s role in giving the Taliban the upper-hand that ultimately led to the collapse of Kabul; the vital role of morale during war; just how established Al Qaeda is inside Afghanistan and whether the Taliban-Al Qaeda relationship got stronger after U.S. withdrawal; and more. 

    1h 26m - Jul 2, 2024
  • Ep. 185 — Cognitive Combat

    Bill is joined by his colleague Bradley Bowman to talk about a new FDD monograph edited by Brad, Cognitive Combat: China, Russia, and Iran’s Information War Against Americans. They discuss ways in which America’s adversaries are waging information warfare against it, how the U.S. can defend itself in the information domain — and how it can go on the offensive.

    1h 4m - Jun 29, 2024
  • Ep. 184 — PSA for Israel: take our weapons, not our advice

    Bill and Will explain why Israel is not fighting an insurgency in Gaza as they unpack (and dismantle) a recent Foreign Affairs article authored by David Petraeus et al: Israel’s War of Regime Change Is Repeating America’s Mistakes: But Israel Can Still Learn From America’s Successes — wait, what successes? Israel should learn from our mistakes by repeating our mistakes? 🤔

    42m - Jun 27, 2024
  • Ep. 183 — Day after tomorrow in southern Lebanon?

    Bill and Joe unpack recent headlines related to Israel’s defensive war in Gaza and simmering tensions in its north with Hezbollah, including the IDF chief of staff saying that Hamas brigades in Rafa have been dismantled; thousands of Iran-backed fighters offering to join Hezbollah in a battle against Israel; officials from the Islamic Republic meeting with the Taliban about taking joint action against Israel; how long Egypt will tolerate Israeli forces at its border; and why the Israeli government has yet to share a clear plan for Gaza almost 9 months into the war.

    43m - Jun 25, 2024
  • Ep. 182 — When terrorists act like terrorists

    Bill and Behnam discuss new sanctions that dropped this week, including Canada’s designation of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the U.S. designation of a proxy militia in Iraq; the Houthis sinking yet another ship; and threats made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to conduct attacks in Cyprus. And an update on the Gaza floating pier because Bill.

    42m - Jun 22, 2024
  • Ep. 181 — Al Qaeda’s leader has a new rallying cry. We should listen.

    The (still technically unofficial) leader of Al Qaeda, Saif al-Adel, wrote an article under a pseudonym calling for people around the world to flock to Afghanistan for training to conduct attacks against “the Zionists.” Clear efforts by Al Qaeda to capitalize on the conflict in Gaza — but is the threat credible? Does al Qaeda in Afghanistan even have the means? Yes and yes, say Bill and Will Selber, LWJ contributor and retired Middle East Foreign Area Officer. They discuss how we give an enemy time and space to innovate and then ignore their threats at our own peril.

    49m - Jun 18, 2024
  • Ep. 180 — Meanwhile in the West Bank

    The Islamic Republic of Iran tightening its noose around Israel can be evidenced by activity from the Houthis and in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and — lest we forget — the West Bank. How does the West Bank threat compare to the Gaza threat? Who holds power in the West Bank, and which terrorist groups are active there? Top of the list? Islamic Jihad. They discuss Joe’s recent research on the senior members of Islamic Jihad that were killed in a counterterrorism operation in the West Bank and losses suffered by the group’s Syria branch in Lebanon

    39m - Jun 18, 2024
  • Ep. 179 — Uncertainty: It’s the new weapon, weapon of choice

    Bill and Behnam unpack a recent DIA report on the impact of Houthi attacks on international shipping and discuss everything the Houthis have been able to do with the limited resources supplied by Islamic Republic of Iran (and considering the bang for their buck, why wouldn’t they continue to supply weapons?); the perilous pattern of the U.S. ignoring when its enemies scream from the rooftops what their intentions are; and the credibility of claims made by the Houthi leader that an attack against Israel is being planned with help from the Islamic Resistance in Iraq — should we believe him? 

    34m - Jun 14, 2024
  • Ep. 178 — “Even when Israel wins, it loses.”

    Bill and Joe discuss Israel’s slow news weekend which included a hostage rescue followed by a high-level war cabinet resignation. The floating Gaza pier and al Qaeda are also discussed (because Bill).

    41m - Jun 10, 2024
  • Ep. 177 — Gaza: "There is no pretty end to this."

    Bill and Behnam discuss a Tablet Magazine article “Israel is Succeeding in Gaza” and whether there are any possible “settle-for-less” military and political outcomes in Gaza that involve anything other than the total defeat of Hamas; an IDF soldier killed by Hamas terrorists attempting to infiltrate Israel from Gaza; Iran’s IRGC vowing revenge for an Israeli strike in Syria that allegedly killed an IRGC general; and Israel’s new normal of daily skirmishes with Hezbollah on its northern border.

    37m - Jun 7, 2024
  • Ep. 176 — Israel’s new normal with Hezbollah

    Bill is joined by his FDD colleague and GJ regular David Daoud for an update on Israel’s skirmish with Hezbollah at its northern border. 

    1h 11m - Jun 4, 2024
  • Ep. 175 — Afghanistan’s emerging resistance movement

    The botched U.S. withdrawal in 2021 left behind a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan with al-Qaeda running training camps using abandoned American military equipment. Terrorism confined by the borders of Afghanistan until history repeats itself and it isn’t. Luckily, a major resistance movement is taking shape in Afghanistan and attempting to organize against the Taliban.

    To learn about three groups that have emerged at the forefront Bill is joined by Will Selber, retired Middle East Foreign Area Officer with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    They discuss who’s who in the resistance, which groups could be effective enough to take the fight to the Taliban (and which should sit it out), the work ahead and what they need for success — including unification. 

    48m - Jun 3, 2024
  • Ep. 174 — Attrition Warfare

    Bill and Behnam catch up on new Houthi activity, reports of the Iranian regime leveraging criminal groups in Sweden to target Israeli and Jewish interests, and an update on the most expensive piece of performance art in history, the floating humanitarian aid pier in Gaza.

    38m - Jun 1, 2024
  • Ep. 173 — Who was Ebrahim Raisi, AKA the Butcher of Tehran?

    Bill and Behnam discuss the helicopter crash in northern Iran that killed multiple regime officials, chief among them Ebrahim Raisi who was President of the Islamic Republic and a top contender to be the next Supreme Leader. Was it an accident?

    Given the Islamic Republic’s constitutional mandate that elections be held to replace Raisi, who might be the next president? What does the president even do? What will it mean for Iran’s foreign and security policy

    They also revisit Raisi’s history in the regime or as Behnam calls it, “failing up.” From being the youngest hand-picked by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to head the infamous “death commission” and implement fatwas issued by the then-Supreme Leader to his days as a hanging judge and heading the judiciary, the “Butcher of Tehran” had a lot of blood on his hands.

    E173 - 40m - May 24, 2024
  • Ep. 172 — Afghanistan autopsy: General Miller

    Bill is joined again by our most special guest, Long War Journal/Generation Jihad OG and now senior fellow at Just Security Thomas Joscelyn, to unpack another marathon, closed-door HFAC testimony. This time, the more than 200 pages of testimony they sifted through is from General Miller, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan during the botched withdrawal. They discuss testimony highlights, including when Gen. Miller throws shade at Bill and Tom but in the same breath admits that “they had it right.”

    E172 - 42m - May 23, 2024
  • Ep. 171 — Weekend update: more gasoline poured on dumpster fire

    Bill and Joe catch up on the last few days of headlines, including the helicopter crash that killed the Iranian president and foreign minister and whether this will impact Israel’s defensive war in Gaza; the International Criminal Court’s issuing of arrest warrants for Hamas leaders in addition to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant; the situation in Rafah; an airstrike in the West Bank; and Israel recovering the bodies of four hostages.

    E171 - 35m - May 20, 2024
  • Ep. 170 — An update from the Department of What Could Go Wrong

    Bill and Behnam catch up on the latest round of American ambivalence in the face of vessels harassed, allies shot at, and drones dropping from the sky in addition to other headlines related to the Islamic Republic this week, including the regime’s willingness to share information concerning its nuclear advancements and a former IRGC commander with loose lips gave a precise breakdown of every single type of drone and missile fired at Israel last month.

    E170 - 49m - May 17, 2024
  • Ep. 169 — The Houthi Origin Story

    Bill is joined by Long War Journal regular and long-time friend of the show Edmund Fitton-Brown to talk about the Houthis. If you're here, you've heard of them — but how much do you actually know about them? What is their relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran? Why are they in Yemen?

    Edmund previously served as the United Kingdom's Ambassador to Yemen, a role which required him to negotiate and spend a significant amount of time in close quarters with Houthi leaders. He details some of his interactions with them and how the experience shapes his understanding of the region today.

    1h 18m - May 16, 2024
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