August 6, 2020 | Foreign Podicy

The Failing State of Lebanon

Episode 60

About

Episode 60

Lebanon is a small country that has long been facing enormous perils. This week, its capital, Beirut, exploded — literally. An enormous, devastating and mysterious blast in the port killed a still-unknown number of people, but reportedly over a hundred, injured thousands more, and caused billions of dollars in property damage.

Lebanon’s strongest political and military faction is Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization loyal to the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The possibility of Hezbollah dragging Lebanon into another war with Israel remains real — particularly as Hezbollah installs increasingly sophisticated missiles, tens of thousands of them, in Lebanese homes, hospitals, schools and mosques. The missiles are, of course, pointed at Israel.

All this falls within the context of Lebanon’s worsening economic crisis. James Rickards, a well-known writer on economics and geopolitics who serves on the Board of Advisors for FDD’s Center on Economic and Financial Power, has just released a new FDD monograph on this dire situation, written before the horrific explosion in Beirut.

He — along with Tony Badran, a research fellow at FDD, who was born and raised in Lebanon and has for years studied and written about the Levant — joins Foreign Podicy host Cliff May to discuss the new report, and the very real possibility of Lebanon’s imminent collapse.

A worker counts Lebanese pound banknotes in Beirut, Lebanon. (Getty Images)

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Lebanon Sanctions and Illicit Finance