Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

Visit Douglas Farah's
author page at

Press Releases

By Holding its Own, Hezbollah Shows Difficulties Ahead
By holding out two weeks longer than the nations that attacked Israel during the Six-Day War, Hezbollah has proven itself to be a formidable military force that has spent recent years increasing its wartime capacity and training even as it was projecting a more moderate image of a party in government.

Granted, the military success to date is built partly on the willingness to hide among the civilian population, in part giving rise to the horrendous civilian toll in the conflict. Nor is Hezbollah capable or seeking to destroy the nation of Israel. Its objectives and means are more limited than the more grandiose plans of previous nations to wage war there.

But when the dust clears at the end of each day, Hezbollah is there, against one of the most formidable armies in the world, fighting on familiar terrain, not far from home.

The double game was not unknown to Israel and others watching the region, but the amount of arms amassed, the constant upgrades of the group's capacity and the training show the dangers that non-state actors pose, especially if they enjoy a high level of state support. These groups often fare better than state militaries, have more flexibility and the ability to break down into small, self-contained units that are not bound by the rules and conventions of states.

The skill of formidable groups like Hezbollah, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and other groups-perhaps even including the core al Qaeda group- is often underestimated in calculating the groups' capacity and capability.

The ability of these groups to raise, manage and hide large streams of revenue, engage in political games and build clandestine structures is routinely downplayed, on the assumption that somehow these groups do not have the personnel or intelligence to engage in these types of sophisticated strategies. And routinely these groups surprise with the strength and capabilities.

Hezbollah's ability to endure the Israeli pounding is also projecting an image of heroism in the Shi'ite world, a sign that the IDF is not invincible, that standing and fighting is an option. And that is a dangerous precedent both for the region and groups beyond the Middle East who may want to test the reactions of states. We are woefully unprepared to deal with the challenge.
IIRO Freezings Long Overdue
Is Viktor B. Flying Weapons to Islamists in Somalia
Maintained by Winter Tree Media, LLC