David Daoud

  • Lebanon Is Incapable of Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701

    On its thirteen anniversary, UN Security Council Resolution 1701—intended to degrade and disarm the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah—is no closer to fulfilment than on the day it was passed. 

    To the contrary, Hezbollah is now stronger, while the Lebanese government—the party primarily responsible for implementing 1701—continues to passively permit the group’s military build-up. Beirut’s dereliction is not solely a result of intransigence. Rather, Lebanese sectarianism, and Hezbollah’s political alliances and entrenchment among Shias make 1701 inherently unworkable. Instead of admitting this, the international community and the parties most concerned—namely Lebanon and Israel—continue fostering the illusion of 1701’s efficacy. Rather than making war less likely, this guarantees its inevitability. 

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  • IRGC Designation: A Lost Opportunity to Weaken Hezbollah in Lebanon

    Designating Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) stirred panic in Lebanon. Hezbollah’s allies in the Lebanese government—such as the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and Amal—worried they too would soon bear the brunt of American sanctions. But US officials reassured a hastily dispatched delegation of the group’s allies last week that despite the more aggressive stance on Iran, they would suffer no consequences for empowering its primary proxy. In doing so, the United States lost an opportunity to weaken Hezbollah through deterring its allies. 

    Because Hezbollah has enmeshed itself in almost every level of Lebanese government and society, countering its growing strength without harming the integrity of the Lebanese state remains a challenge. Differing but insufficient solutions to this dilemma exist. ...

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  • UK’s Hezbollah Ban May Signal Tougher Stance on Iran

    Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah once dubbed dividing his group into distinct political and military wings an “English innovation.” Yet, last week, the United Kingdom decided to end this mainstay of British policy. Shortly after Home Secretary Sajid Javid announced a total ban on Hezbollah, Parliament amended the UK’s Terrorism Act 2000 to proscribe the group “in its entirety.” London’s acknowledgment of Hezbollah’s unity aligns British law and policy with the United States. In doing so, the UK is signaling a partial departure from Europe’s approach to the group’s patron, Iran, but more importantly, a third way between American confrontation and European conciliation.

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