What was the assessment that prompted Israel's operation in Gaza and what might that tell us about its intended outcome and trajectory? Of course the timing can be explained with the approaching elections in Israel. But that is only part of the story.
Middle East and North Africa
Mitt Romney's foreign policy speech focused almost exclusively on the broader Middle East region. But what he really advanced was a policy of weaponised Keynesianism.
Azerbaijan has hydrocarbon riches and a strategic position, which means that all the great powers have an interest in good relations. But one family has dominated the political scene for many years, corruption is rampant and the economy needs diversifying. It’s time to open up.
The outcome of the uprisings in North Africa is still in the balance and although it will be mainly up to the North Africans themselves to decide their future, Europe has a key role to play on the side of reform – especially Paris, Rome and Madrid.
The gathering of world leaders at the United Nations this week will be punctuated by angry statements on the Syrian…
The Brussels visit of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi is a striking reminder of the changes that have swept the Arab world in the last 18 months. Europe should not miss a historic opportunity to rebuild relations with the most important country in the region.
Cairo and Tehran are talking to each other: Iran because it is increasingly isolated, Egypt because it is attempting to reclaim the mantle of regional leadership. Is this an example of Egypt's new foreign policy under Mr Morsi?
With Russia due to play a central role in multilateral institutions over the next two years, its obstructionism over Syria does not bode well. However Europeans may find – to their benefit – that it is actually China that calls the shots on the international stage.
As civil war engulfs Syria talk of politics and diplomacy has fallen silent. But the West should be redoubling its political and diplomatic efforts, even as it offers indirect support for the arming of the rebels in Syria.
Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu eulogized the country's seventh prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir. At first glance the two strike very contrasting profiles yet in terms of ideology and policies, they are probably the two most kindred spirits to have held the office.