Why Sending Ukraine Shoulder-Fired Missiles May End Badly

Many applauded the U.K. government for its decisive action in providing military aid to Ukraine this week. While the U.S. appeared to vacillate over the difference between an incursion and an invasion, and Germany continues to block arms exports to Ukraine, Royal Air Force C-17s made special flights to Ukraine to deliver a consignment of much-needed light anti-tank weapons. Later in the week, Washington authorized the Baltic states to send U.S.-made, shoulder-fired anti-tank and anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine as well. But hastily transferring portable weapons to an area known for criminal diversion of military hardware might end badly.
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Washington Examiner

Biden's weakness matters

When President Joe Biden won the election, his surrogates repeatedly declared, "The adults are back in charge." Especially on the foreign policy front, Biden’s team promised expertise and a steady hand. They have delivered anything but. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster that will blight not only America's...
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U.S. sanctions “financial facilitators” tied to Hezbollah

The Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions against "financial facilitators" and companies connected to Iranian-backed Hezbollah. Why it matters: The three people — Adel Diab, Ali Mohamad Daoun and Jihad Salem Alame — and 10 companies targeted by the new sanctions helped Hezbollah obtain funds through global "networks of companies that disguise themselves as legitimate businesses," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Friday.

Cabinet meeting scheduled, Hariri back in town, storm Hiba recedes: Everything you need to know to start your Friday

Want to get the Morning Brief by email? Click here to sign up. The Cabinet is scheduled to convene on Monday at 9 a.m. in its first meeting since Oct. 12 of last year. The ministers will discuss the draft general budget law for 2022 and other topics as part of a 56-item agenda, according to the National News Agency. The cabinet has been unable to meet since last October due to bitter disagreements over the fate of judge Tarek Bitar’s leadership of the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion. On Jan. 15 Hezbollah and Amal announced their ministers would not boycott a session if called, opening the way for Monday’s scheduled meeting.

Heavy on deficit, light on reforms and scant on exchange rate details, the 2022 draft budget is ready

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Finance Ministry on Thursday the long-awaited 2022 draft budget proposal to the government, after many weeks of speculation about its fate. The budget, which is a prerequisite to any headway on talks with the International Monetary Fund, is one the first items on the agenda for Monday’s scheduled cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Baabda. This meeting will be the government’s first since Oct. 12 — a hiatus that resulted from concern that Hezbollah and Amal Movement affiliated ministers would boycott any session convened over their dissatisfaction with cabinet not taking a stance on Judge Tarek Bitar’s leadership of the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion. The two Shiite parties last weekend acquiesced to meet to discuss the draft budget.

Massacre in Yemen confirms forces of aggression barbarism: Hezbollah

Hezbollah strongly condemned “the horrific massacres committed by the Saudi-US aggression on Yemen,” denouncing the “deadly silence that envelops the world regarding these massacres.”. Today, Friday, the Lebanese party said in a statement that "this heinous massacre confirms the barbarism of the forces of aggression and their...

Bennett to IDF General Staff: Israel’s main mission is to harm Iranian regime

At an Israel Defense Forces’ General Staff Forum on Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the country’s central mission is to significantly harm the Iranian regime and its regional proxies, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror factions based in the Middle East. During a meeting...

Despite Mass Slaughter of Muslims, Iran Arming Military Regime in Myanmar: Report

The Iranian regime’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) is delivering weapons to a regime accused of committing genocide against a Muslim minority group, a new report on Thursday claimed. An investigation by the Asia Times news outlet found that Iranian planes had been landing in Myanmar, formerly known as...

From Saving Assad to Reshaping the Middle East, Soleimani Left a Lasting Legacy

Gen. David Petraeus in a report from Iraq to the White House once wrote that Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top general, was “truly evil.” This is according to Soleimani’s 2013 New Yorker profile by Dexter Filkins. Soleimani proved to be Iran’s most lethal weapon in the Middle East following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Over the years, he helped save Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and built a network of Shi’a militias whose loyalty to Iran and its agenda for the Middle East is beyond doubt. Soleimani achieved these objectives by being a ruthless and merciless killer whose forces continue to wreak havoc not only in the Middle East but across the world.

US sanctions 'international' Hezbollah financing network

The Biden administration on Friday issued sanctions targeting an international financial network benefiting Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based political and military group designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. The sanctions target three individuals and 10 companies that the administration says took part in actions to evade primary sanctions on Hezbollah...

War Drill Improves IDF’s Readiness for Combat Against Hezbollah

(JNS) A war drill conducted by the Israel Defense Forces’ 74th armored battalion in the Golan Heights has significantly improved its readiness for combat against Hezbollah, the battalion’s commander has said. Lt. Col. Ofer Tchorz, commander of the Merkava 4 Tank 74th battalion, a part of the 188th...

What does Lebanon's new draft budget include?

The Lebanese cabinet will discuss next Monday the draft budget for the current year, which includes a deficit of 15,000 billion Lebanese pounds, and will adopt an exchange rate of 20 thousand pounds against the US dollar. Significantly, a 3% on all imported goods and a customs fee of 10%...

The Lebanese government is in front of the microscope again.. rescue and restoring confidence

After months of disrupting cabinet sessions, specifically since last October 12, the “Amal” and “Hezbollah” duo presented the Lebanese with a surprising joint statement, stating that the two parties agreed to return to participation in the Council of Ministers, in order to approve the state’s general budget, and discuss a plan financial recovery. As for reading between the lines of the statement, I predicted that the return would not be for one but several sessions, coinciding with the high level of talk about progress in the Vienna talks, and about the possibility of restoring diplomatic relations between Riyadh and Tehran.