Latest from Frederic C. Hof
Syrian Opposition Figure Bassma Kodmani Dies at 64
When the peaceful national uprising against the Assad regime began almost exactly 12 years ago, Kodmani set aside a distinguished academic career to become a leading figure in the expatriate opposition to the regime, and a respected one by American officials. We were blessed to have known her.
Lessons in Diplomacy from Wartime Lebanon
When our car was reassembled, we were ordered (at gunpoint) back into the front seats and directed by two Syrian soldiers — seated behind us — to drive to the unit’s headquarters. As Tony drove, I ingested, as inconspicuously as possible, notes I had written on rice paper.
U.S. Syria Policy Could Be Linchpin to Global Stability
Given past U.S. failures to take on the Assad regime, Moscow’s and Beijing’s plans may well hinge on how Biden next acts in the Levant.
Afghanistan down, Syria next?
If the evacuation of Afghanistan tested U.S. partnerships in ways that revealed something short of solidarity, building and sustaining an allied strategy for political transition in Syria can provide the corrective.
“Lebanon Will Be Last”
The obstacles are daunting, but no law of nature dictates that Lebanon must remain last in line to make an honorable and complete peace with its neighbor to the south, one that secures the interests of the “Precarious Republic” and its citizens.
Assad: The Shebaa Farms Are Syrian, Whatever Hezbollah Claims
What shocked me as I listened to al-Assad was his lack of hesitation in telling an American diplomat point-blank that the Shebaa Farms — the entire basis for Hezbollah’s claimed status as the “Lebanese Resistance” — was not Lebanese; it was Syrian.
People-Driven Policy in the Middle East
A Middle East ruled illegitimately by the criminally violent will always produce security threats to Americans, especially if the U.S. government is seen in the region as consorting with the enemy.
Parting the Seas
With Lebanon’s political class promising that untold riches were right around the corner, Hezbollah, apparently, did not wish to be the proverbial skunk at the garden party.
Fifty Years after Lebanon’s Last State-builder
Chehab’s central idea – replace the missing sultanate with a modern nation-state and a government guided by the consent of the governed – remained fixed in the minds of his most fervent supporters. Yet even they found themselves either exiled or politically marginalized within Lebanon.
Legitimacy, Consent, and the Search for a Successor
A century after the end of the Ottoman Empire, no successor to Istanbul’s sultan-caliph has emerged