The best hope for reconciliation and democracy promotion in the Arab world comes from a focus on economic reform and other concrete issues.
While Lebanon is not currently headed toward a widespread collapse, regional players and the international community must recognize the danger of using Lebanon as a proxy battle for another Arab country.
The Syrian opposition will fail to bring about change unless it develops a clear transition plan and a credible political strategy for winning over key sectors in Syria.
The opposition must navigate rifts caused by class divisions and political divisions between those in exile and those in Syria if they hope to tip the balance against a determined and resilient regime.
Although Turkey is trying to avoid becoming even more entangled in the Syrian problem and is counting on the international community to find a solution, no such solution seems on the horizon.
The Friends of Syria meeting held in Istanbul reinforced international commitment to political transition in Syria and granted further legitimacy to the Syrian National Council, but it has also left the council facing several major challenges.
Iraq hosted the Arab League summit last week, a significant development for a country that has been marginalized from its Arab neighbors. But as Arab relations with Iraq improve, relations with its neighbor Syria are deteriorating.
Much has changed in the Middle East during the past two years, and not to Turkey’s advantage. As a result, Turkey is now seeking to contain a rapidly deteriorating regional security situation.
Although Russia seeks to remain the critical broker between Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian opposition, its stance on Syria is beginning to shift as the prospects for Assad's long-term rule diminish.
Russia’s intransigence in the face of intense international pressure to halt the violence in Syria is confusing to much of the world, but there are real Russian financial and strategic interests at stake over Syria.