Operational success in Libya appears to be close for anti-Qadhafi rebels and their international military backers. But victory will bring the NATO powers little direct strategic benefit. Grateful for success, we should nevertheless be careful how we interpret it and understand the limitations of success for the West and the wider policy implications for the Middle East.
The underlying logic to the current Israeli military response in Gaza is that Hamas can somehow be destroyed. Instead, the strategy will fuel support for Hamas and will feed the single narrative of suffering that sustains Al-Qa’ida and its global ideological affiliates.
As the UK announces its withdrawal from Iraq, an overall judgement of its deployment should be a favourable one. Although it has become clear that the softer British approach is no longer appropriate, the UK contingent has made significant progress in preparing the Iraqis to cope with their own security.
The latest stand-off between Hezbollah and the Lebanese government underlines the primacy of the Shia movement. They have now fundamentally challenged the terms of the grand bargain between Lebanon’s many different sects and confessions.