As the prospects of a two-state outcome on Israel/Palestine fade, Europeans need to apply tougher love to both parties before it is too late.
Middle East and North Africa
An understanding of the importance of the Gulf States is vital for explaining how the wider Middle East functions, thanks to their wealth, their energy resources, their geostrategic position, and their straddling of many of the MENA region's major faultlines.
The collapse of Lebanon’s government has thrust the country into a deepening political crisis. The war in Syria and recent actions by Hezbollah also suggest that internal conflict may return to Lebanon.
Obama said all the right things in Jerusalem, but what next? The visit has offered nothing new on the programmatic side, no plan for going forward.
If Obama begins to grasp the tribal, fluid and divided nature of Israeli politics and how to impact Israeli voters and their leaders, then this visit might be worth something after all.
A ‘plug-and-play' approach to peacekeeping lacks the glamour of a full-scale military intervention but it could be a cheaper and a more strategic approach for the EU to deal with the situation in Mali.
Egypt appears to be spinning out of control. The current crisis is a prolongation of the crisis that emerged late last year over a decree by President Morsi suspending some judicial decisions and giving himself additional powers, followed by the rush to approve a new constitution.
Jordan's elections were widely considered a success, but the country continues to face two critical challenges: dealing with overspill from the Syrian conflict, and a badly stumbling economy.
Lakhdar Brahimi has been the United Nations and Arab League envoy for Syria for less than five. But while his chances of orchestrating a peace deal are now vanishingly small, he should not quit quite yet.
The Mali conflict has caught the EU asleep at the wheel. But with support from across the Union and credible, limited aims, a European intervention in Mali can be successful.