A few months ago, Lebanon arrested Amer Fakhoury, a former senior officer in the South Lebanese Army, the Israeli-backed force that served as a bulwark against terrorist groups based in that country from 1979 until 2000. Fakhoury was arrested at the behest of Hizballah, which had hoped to exchange him for one of its financiers who is currently in U.S. custody. Thanks to pressure from the Trump administration, and the threat of sanctions from the Senate, Fakhoury was released two weeks ago—without any reciprocation by Washington. Yoni Ben Menachem explains why this matters:
Lebanon’s Release of Amer Fakhoury Is a Small Victory for the U.S.
Despite Opposition from the Taliban, Islamic State Is Thriving in Afghanistan
According to Taliban officials, Islamic State’s Afghanistan offshoot (known as the “Khorasan province,” or ISKP) has but a negligible presence. American diplomats, for their part, have claimed that the new jihadist government in Kabul can provide a bulwark against the group, which opposes what it sees as the Taliban’s relative religious moderation. But, Oved Lobel argues, the evidence supports neither interpretation: