- Ep. 147 — Tehran slowly tightens its noose around the Middle East
Bill, Behnam and Joe discuss a few of this week’s biggest headlines including reports of Israel assassinating an IRGC advisor in Syria, escalation by Hezbollah at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, and the results of Iran’s parliamentary elections.35m | Mar 1, 2024
- Ep. 146 — Update from Israel
Seth Frantzman is back on the show with Bill to provide an update from his perspective on the ground in Israel.36m | Feb 29, 2024
- Ep. 145 — Israel is winning, but it hasn’t won yet.
Bill and Joe discuss the latest updates from Israel’s defensive war in Gaza, including a potentially dwindling supply of ammunition for Hamas and its subsequent cooperation with other Palestinian terror groups; Egypt “fortifying” its border (but only above-ground and only because they want to keep Gazans out); whether Yahya Sinwar is still hiding out in a tunnel somewhere under Khan Younis (“with pneumonia”); the possibility and consequences of a ceasefire during Ramadan; and why Israel is indeed “winning” but will only win if it to continues its ground operation in Gaza, including in Rafah.28m | Feb 26, 2024
- Ep. 144 — Battlefield innovation by Iran and proxy: “Expect more not less”
Bill and Behnam discuss reports of Iran sending ballistic missiles to Russia and the potential for subsequent U.S. sanctions on Tehran (and why that’d be insufficient); why the head of the IRGC Quds Force allegedly paid a recent visit to Iraq; an update on the Houthi-Gulf of Aden-Bab al Mandeb-Red Sea theater, including a new underwater drone threat and why if we happen to see the Iranians “de-escalate” in one theater it’s because they’re preparing to escalate in another (and not because they’ve been “deterred”).31m | Feb 23, 2024
- Ep. 143 — Biden’s Crippling Fear of Escalation, Part 387
Bill and Behnam discuss the status of U.S. posture in the Middle East, including whether deterrence has been restored and how the U.S. could be more proactive in Syria and Iraq (but wait, do we even have a partner in Baghdad?); the unclaimed rocket attack (by Hezbollah) on the northern Israeli city of Safed; Iran’s recent missile launches (speaking of… just how close are they to being able to build and launch a nuclear weapon?); and why the cyberattack just conducted by the U.S. on an alleged Iranian spy ship transiting the Gulf of Aden, Bab al-Mandeb, and Red Sea will do nothing to deter the Islamic Republic.35m | Feb 16, 2024
- Ep. 142 — With Israel's friends like these...
Bill and Joe catch up on the latest headlines from the war in Gaza.
They discuss the IDF's operation along Gaza's border with Egypt in Rafah, which last night included the rescuing of two hostages; how Hamas fighters are resurfacing in Khan Younis; and the uncomfortably palpable uptick in international pressure on Israel as it continues its defensive war, most notably from the U.S.
They also start to unpack some of this UNRWA baggage, like the newly-discovered Hamas operations hub found beneath an UNRWA school (to ironically quote DJ Khaled: "another one"); the UNRWA chief's subsequent statement about "alleged tunnels" (which Bill points out is interesting, given that something either is or is not a tunnel); new consequences for the UN organization still reeling from funding cuts after it was revealed that several of its employees participated in the October 7 attack on Israel; and whether (and how) Israel might continue to work with UNRWA to facilitate the transfer of aid into Gaza.37m | Feb 12, 2024
- Ep. 141 — PSA: "Iran + Iran ≠ anything other than Iran"
This episode features the most special guest to join Generation Jihad in two years: Thomas Joscelyn.
Bill's OG partner in crime is back on the show to discuss the newest variant of Disconnect-the-Dots Disease and its primary benefactor — who also happens to be the arsonist behind the dumpster fire currently engulfing the Middle East — and the dangerous cost of American ambivalence.53m | Feb 9, 2024
- Ep. 140 — New UN report on al Qaeda and Islamic State: here's what to know
Bill and Caleb are joined again by Edmund Fitton-Brown — former coordinator of the UN’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team — to discuss the group’s latest report on the threat posed by al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
They unpack the report’s highlights and key takeaways, including uncertainty surrounding the new IS leader and why the reason behind it could be “earth-shattering;” West Africa’s slide into even deeper chaos; how only one ‘member state’ (🤔) denied that al Qaeda’s leader is inside Iran, the state which Edmund says is “the spider at the center of the web;” and more.1h 26m | Feb 6, 2024
- Ep. 139 — A little less conversation, a little more targeting (please)
Bill is joined again by FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power CMPP) senior director Bradley Bowman to discuss broader U.S. military posture in the Middle East amidst the the death of three American service members last weekend in Jordan.
Housekeeping note: This was (naturally) recorded just hours before the U.S. announced that retaliatory strikes are in fact underway in Iraq and Syria on Friday, February 2.
Keeping this in mind while listening, all points are still relevant.1h 6m | Feb 2, 2024
- Ep. 138 — The Iran-backed murder of three Americans in uniform
Bill and Joe are joined by their FDD colleague Bradley Bowman, senior director of FDD's Center on Military and Political Power, to discuss yesterday's tragic news of three U.S. service members killed in Jordan.51m | Jan 29, 2024
- Ep. 137 — Lebanese Hezbollah 101
Bill is joined again by his FDD colleague and expert on all things Lebanon and Hezbollah, David Daoud.
They discuss the latest Israeli strikes against Iranian assets in Lebanon, the status of fighting in northern Israel and southern Lebanon, the pervasiveness of the IRGC in Lebanon, why Iran's master proxy strategy is so successful — and why it's so difficult for Washington to understand.1h 1m | Jan 27, 2024
- Ep. 136 — H is for Hamas... and Hezbollah (and Houthi)
Bill and Joe catch up on the latest news from the Middle East, including U.S. pressure on Israel (led by Secretary of State Blinken) to come to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza while the U.S. also considers withdrawing its own troops from Syria; Israeli casualties in Gaza (including suffering the recent historic loss of 24 IDF reservists); Israeli strikes inside Lebanon; and, yes, more Houthi drama.42m | Jan 24, 2024
- Ep. 135 — The Houthis are not deterred
Bill and Behnam discuss the recent attacks in Iraq as well as the latest string of Houthi incidents and U.S.-led coalition's response.1h 2m | Jan 20, 2024
- Ep. 134 — The IDF's competing priorities
Bill and Joe discuss stats released this week by the IDF pertaining to its operations in Gaza and why escalation at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon is "just a matter of time.”38m | Jan 18, 2024
- Ep. 133 — Striking Houthi targets in Yemen
Bill and Behnam unpack the details they’ve been able to gather so far surrounding the U.S. and UK-led coalition strike against Houthi targets inside Yemen and whether this will restore deterrence.
Accurate preview courtesy of Behnam: “We like to say ‘freaky Fridays’ here [we do not] — it can’t get freakier than the first-ever, historic use of force since October 7 by the U.S. and UK against the Houthis.”33m | Jan 12, 2024
- Ep. 132 — Joe's trip to Israel
Joe just returned from Israel and joins Bill to share insights from his trip which included a sobering visit to Nir Oz, one of the kibbutz communities along the Gaza border that was brutally attacked by Hamas on October 7, 2023.
Included in Joe’s haunting description of a scene “almost untouched since October 7” and frozen in time: “There’s still blood on the ground. There’s still blood on the walls. There’s glass everywhere. You can still smell burnt wood; a lot of these homes were burned with people still inside of them. There is still the smell of death.” His visit was also marked by the constant hum of heavy artillery and gunfire, apache helicopters, and the incessant buzzing of drones (AKA “the lawnmower of the sky”).
Also discussed: being on sustained high-alert for shelling from rockets, mortars, and drones; spending time at Israel’s northern border with Lebanon to observe Israel’s management of the Hezbollah threat; takeaways from conversations with Israelis — from cab drivers to government officials — about the resolve of Israelis and the still-standing solidarity between them, whether or not they share the Biden administration’s insatiable appetite for a ceasefire, and why one Israeli official told him that on October 7, “Israel shrunk.”47m | Jan 10, 2024
- Ep. 131 — Terrorists will be terrorists
Bill and Behnam unpack this week's headlines from the Middle East, including the assassination of Hamas deputy Saleh al-Arouri; the U.S. strike that killed Iran-backed militia commander Abu Taqwa Al-Saedi in Iraq (and subsequent drama with the Iraqi government); the U.S.-led coalition dubbed Prosperity Guardian’s “final warning” to the Houthis; and the ISIS bombings at a memorial in Kerman, Iran for slain IRGC-QF commander Qassim Suleimani.49m | Jan 5, 2024
- Ep. 130 — Million dollar missiles shooting down thousand dollar drones
Bill and Behnam are back for what has been dubbed by Behnam as the first and last Freaky Friday of 2023 to discuss news of an alleged Israeli assassination of an IRGC general, context of U.S.-launched strikes against the Hezbollah Brigades after the group targeted U.S. forces at an airbase in Erbil, the latest string of Houthi maritime attacks (remember Operation Prosperity Guardian… yeah…), and the painful irony of a million dollar missile shooting down a thousand-dollar drone, AKA Iran’s asymmetrical warfare strategy.36m | Dec 30, 2023
- Ep. 129 — Measuring the prosperity of Operation Prosperity
Bill and Behnam check in on the U.S.-led coalition formed earlier this week in response to increased maritime aggression from the Iran-backed Houthis — spoiler: France seems to already be backing out. They examine countries noticeably absent from the bloc, like Egypt, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. They also ponder the strategic nature of Operation Prosperity Guardian — is it only defensive? How about going on the offensive to prevent Houthi attacks in the first place?
Bill thinks he's seen this movie before. It's the one where they ignore the core of the issue.38m | Dec 22, 2023
- Ep. 128 — Operation Prosperity Guardian, the Houthis, and CDR Salamander
Bill is joined by CDR Salamander to discuss the coalition announced today by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his trip to the Middle East. The coalition — made up of the UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles and Spain in partnership with the US — was formed with the objective of “ensuring freedom of navigation in the Red Sea” following the recent uptick in Houthi aggression and attacks in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden area.43m | Dec 20, 2023