For two years, the international community watched silently. These visits [by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to governments in the region] are a sign that in its third year, the conflict is threatening Syria's neighbours - a scenario that Washington is not willing to accept, says Nadim Shehadi.
Arguments in favour of autocracy still resonate in the Gulf. It is a case that may become harder to make as Qatar promises to set up its own parliament in late 2013, and now that Kuwait, for once, has a more pliant one to deal with, writes Jane Kinninmont.
'There is little doubt that Colombo will use the CHOGM and its leadership of the Commonwealth to signal "all is well" with Sri Lanka,' said Charu Lata Hogg. But 'the CHOGM will not turn Sri Lanka into a good news story', she added.
'There is an imbalance of forces in [Lebanon],' David Butter told Al Arabiya, referring to Hezbollah whose military power is stronger than that of the country. There are 'political red lines' and Lebanese officials want to refrain from tipping the scales of the already fragile situation in the country.
The EU’s announcement Monday that it is lifting sanctions against Myanmar, following their suspension last year, poses some important questions about the country’s future political and economic development – and the role of the international community, writes Gareth Price.
In terms of what happens next, it depends to the extent it just becomes commercial engagement, just with European businesses investing in Burma, and the extent to which the EU carries out what it's offered in terms of... helping Burma continue the reform process, says Gareth Price.
In a 2012 study titled Resources Futures, Chatham House expressed particular concern about possible resource wars over water, especially in areas like the Nile and Jordan River basins where several groups or countries must share the same river for the majority of their water supplies and few possess the wherewithal to develop alternatives.
A recent Chatham House study by Matthew Goodwin found fewer than one quarter of Britons perceived Islam as not a threat to western civilisation.
Last year they tried to use the race to demonstrate everything was normal in Bahrain... It was pretty obvious the country wasn't unified, said Jane Kinninmont.
The solution is probably not for everybody to turn inwards and say 'we are going to feed ourselves'. The solution is to get in place international rules and agreements to deal with dysfunctional global markets and build confidence, said Rob Bailey.
If governments are not going to step up to the plate... others are going to move in. Private security providers are licking their lips in anticipation of coming in and making good money, says Alex Vines.