The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

    Project Cassandra members say administration officials also blocked or undermined their efforts to go after other top Hezbollah operatives including one nicknamed the ‘Ghost The Ghost One of the most mysterious alleged associates of Safieddine, secretly indicted by the U.S., linked to multi-ton U.S.-bound cocaine loads and weapons shipments to Middle East.,” allowing them to remain active despite being under sealed U.S. indictment for years. People familiar with his case say the Ghost has been one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers, including to the U.S., as well as a major supplier of conventional and chemical weapons for use by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his people.

    A fascinating read by Josh Meyer for Politico. 

    [Source: The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook]

    By consolidating its remaining regional assets, Iran may be trying to strengthen its hand in the nuclear poker game it is playing with the international community. At a time when Washington is engineering a rapprochement between Turkey and Israel – respectively Iran’s greatest rival and enemy in the region – it makes sense.

    Hizbollah, for all its military might, has been dented by scandals and setbacks, and faces an uncertain future. Its leaders are probably realistic enough to know the Assads cannot win and that they could be left on the wrong side of history. Both Iran and Hizbollah may be reading shifts within the dynamic stalemate of the Syrian conflict itself.

    An insightful piece in the FT on the situation in Lebanon and the supposed spillover of the Syrian civil war. The macroeconomic approach is interesting.