Nearly fourteen years since the 2006 war, Hezbollah and Israel seem to be drifting closer to war than at any time in the last decade. Even as Lebanon and Israel grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, neither the Israeli military nor Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah are allowing the disease to distract from their long-running enmity. Although neither side seeks another war, recognizing the deadly consequences, the Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah have undertaken enormous efforts to prepare for what many believe is an inevitable encounter.

The Atlantic Council’s Middle East Programs hosted a virtual launch event to discuss a new report, Counting the Cost: Avoiding Another War between Israel and Hezbollah, co-authored by Nicholas Blanford, a Beirut-based nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Middle East programs, and Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Orion, senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. Dr. Mara Karlin, director of Strategic Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, joined Blanford and Orion to discuss the report’s findings and recommendations for policymakers. The conversation was welcomed by William F. Wechsler, director of the Middle East Programs, and moderated by Dion Nissenbaum of the Wall Street Journal

This live virtual discussion was held via Zoom on Wednesday, May 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET.


Mr. Nicholas Blanford
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council

Dr. Mara Karlin
Director of Strategic Studies
Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Brig. Gen. (Res.) Assaf Orion
Senior Research Fellow
Institute for National Security Studies

Moderated by

Mr. Dion Nissenbaum
Wall Street Journal

Introduced by

Mr. William F. Wechsler
Director, Rafik Hariri Center & Middle East Programs
Atlantic Council