Wednesday, June 19, 2024
    HomeWorldThe Limits of US Spying in Beirut

    The Limits of US Spying in Beirut

    The Limits of US Spying in Beirut

    In the mountains overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean, a new, ultra-modern American embassy is about to open any day now. But the timing, coinciding with the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in and President Joe Biden's deepening engagement on several related Middle Eastern fronts, could not be more dangerous for the diplomats posted there. And for the CIA officers at the agency's storied Beirut station, the challenge of collecting timely, accurate, on-the-ground intelligence to help inform the president's policy decisions remains as daunting as ever.

    The new Beirut embassy will open at a time when Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has been showing its support for Hamas for the past three months by initiating artillery duels with Israeli forces along their shared border. On Tuesday, reported that Israeli warplanes and artillery struck Hezbollah targets deep inside southern Lebanon, heightening concerns that the fighting could grow into a full-blown war.

    At the same time, pro-Iranian Shiite militias in Iraq and have responded to the administration's military and intelligence support for Israel with more than 150 rocket attacks on U.S. forces stationed in those two countries, prompting retaliatory U.S. airstrikes that have destroyed militia bases and killed a number of their members. And in the wake of more than two dozen attacks on American and international shipping in the Red Sea by…

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