Matthew Levitt is the Fromer-Wexler Fellow and director of the Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
Despite being a distinctly Lebanese actor, Hezbollah has been ideologically allied with Tehran from its founding, and this deep connection often dictates how it prioritizes competing goals.
To read the full version of the following excerpt, download the PDF. This article was originally published on the MEI website.
As a Lebanese actor ideologically tied to Iran, Hezbollah has multiple allegiances and objectives that do not always align symmetrically. Hezbollah’s regional activities are a reflection of the group’s increasingly close alignment with Iran rather than the interests of the Lebanese state or citizenry. Today, Hezbollah’s regional adventurism is most pronounced in its expeditionary forces deployed in Syria and elsewhere in the region, but no less important are the group’s advanced training regimen for other Shi’a militias aligned with Iran, its expansive illicit financing activities across the region, and its procurement, intelligence, cyber, and disinformation activities. Together, these underscore the scale and scope of the group’s all-in approach to transforming from one of several Lebanese militias into a regional player acting at Iran’s behest...