In This Review

Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God
Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God
By Matthew Levitt
Georgetown University Press, 2013, 426 pp

In this book, Levitt, a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Treasury Department, focuses on Hezbollah’s operations outside Lebanon in near-excruciating detail. He presents an avalanche of evidence that Hezbollah is a global terrorist organization and demonstrates that its links to Iran are strong and organic. Levitt relies on declassified intelligence, court documents, and other sources in the public domain to delve into familiar (albeit horrifying) crimes often linked to Hezbollah, including the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and the 1996 attack in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 U.S. military personnel. But Levitt does not offer much analysis of these events and makes little effort to situate them in a broader consideration of Hezbollah’s tactics and strategy. The main takeaway from his book is that Hezbollah’s overarching objective is to destroy Israel and drive the United States from any effective presence in the Middle East, and that its foreign operations also serve the purpose of revenge -- above all for the assassination of the group’s strategic mastermind, Imad Mugniyah, in February 2008.