Despite tactical victories against the opposition in March, President Bashar al-Assad's efforts to militarily crush the more than one-year old revolt have largely failed, leaving him with rapidly diminishing options to stay in power indefinitely...
Sudan's many decades of civil war were supposed to end with South Sudan's declaration of independence in January 2011. But important transitional arrangements were neglected before the independence vote, and as a result, Juba and Khartoum are waging a belated and predictably violent effort to allocate oil revenues and territory. Both sides are treating the problem as a zero-sum game and only the determined efforts of the international community are preventing an all-out war...
A number of countries are moving ahead independently to take advantage of increased access to the resource-rich Arctic circle region, which holds perhaps the largest undiscovered yields of oil and natural gas.
Pakistan's government recently vowed to grant normal, Most-Favored Nation trade status to India by the end of 2012. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman called the news a "very, very big deal" that could bring new prosperity to the region.
The newly assertive foreign policy of the Arab Gulf states is, on balance, proving highly beneficial to U.S. interests in the Middle East. The Gulf states have ample discretionary funds, and are often able to broker arrangements that might elude the United States. In a very real sense, they can; and invariably will; serve as a "force multiplier" for U.S. policy in the region...