• 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
  • Ep. 168 — The U.S.-Israel impasse

    Bill and Joe discuss the current low lows of U.S.-Israel relations as Israel prepares to proceed with finishing its stated goal of defeating Hamas without the blessing of its closest ally.

    46m - May 14, 2024
  • Ep. 167 — Rafah red lines

    Israel’s operation in Rafah officially underway and met with the threat of pausing military aid from the Biden administration. Bill and Behnam discuss the potential consequences and ripple effects. 

    46m - May 10, 2024
  • Ep, 166 — Bill and Tom's Excellent Debunking

    On November 8, 2023, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs conducted a closed-door interview with Zalmay Khalilzad, the Former Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation and master architect of the Doha Agreement which cemented the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan.

    Many items of interest came up during the marathon meeting, including Long War Journal. If you know, you know.

    Bill poured over transcripts of the nearly ten hours-long interview, and he had help from none other than LWJ OG Tom Joscelyn.

    Bill and Tom discuss the highlights.

    1h 0m - May 10, 2024
  • Ep. 165 — Israel's boiling point (BONUS: Joe goes to a "protest")

    Bill and Joe catch up on top Israel headlines, including this weekend’s attack by Hamas that killed four IDF soldiers and in which the Iron Dome was curiously not activated to intercept the rocket fire; the issues of humanitarian aid, pier, and port; the anticipated Rafah operation; the concept of a permanent ceasefire; the cycle of civilians being kidnapped and held hostage by armed Palestinian groups; reports of the U.S. withholding a shipment of military aid to Israel; an update on the eerily quiet West Bank; and Joe’s visit to his local “pro-Palestine protest.”

    44m - May 6, 2024
  • Ep. 164 — Hezbollah Hold 'Em

    Bill is joined again by his FDD colleague and show regular David Daoud to unpack issues raised in David’s latest piece for The Wall Street Journal, “Hezbollah Stumbles Into a War of Attrition.” They also catch up on adjacent matters concerning Israel’s ground war in Gaza and the dumpster fire engulfing American "institutions of higher education.” 

    1h 5m - May 2, 2024
  • Ep. 162 — Something went boom in Isfahan

    Is anything more on-brand than seismic geopolitical events co-occurring with Bill’s family vacation? No.

    Bill is back and leaning on co-host Joe Truzman to help him piece together the events of last week. He doesn’t want it to be “a what-the-hell-happened episode,” so we won’t call it that.

    They revisit Iran’s historic strike on Israel and Israel’s retaliatory strike in Isfahan, Iran — including what targets they hit, what message they wanted to send by hitting them, and whether this was the right move. They contemplate whether Israel’s relatively tempered response is indicative of U.S. restraint and if Israel will continue to go after IRGC-QF targets.

    They also discuss reports of an attack on an Iranian-backed militia outside of Baghdad as well as allegations of Hezbollah Brigade forces launching an attack on U.S. forces in Syria.

    35m - Apr 23, 2024
  • Ep. 161 — A Jihad for Knowledge

    Another co-host takeover ("Freaky Friday edition"): Behnam is joined by his friend, former FDD colleague, and top expert on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ali Alfoneh, now with The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. They discuss this week's historic conflagration between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel.

    36m - Apr 20, 2024
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