Syria's civil war rages on with ad hoc arrangements for civilian law enforcement in rebel-held areas. Debates about the relative merits of arming the Syrian opposition should not hijack attempts to promote accountability and the rule of law.
Iraq is on the brink of civil war. Restless Sunni minorities are emboldened by Sunni opposition in Syria and entrenched authoritarianism by a Shia led government. The only solution is deeper de-centralisation or a break-up of Iraq itself.
Iran's Guardian Council has just published its list of approved candidates for presidential elections -notable for its absence of challengers to the Supreme Leader. The eventual winner needs to repair external alliances and re-energise faith in the Islamic Republic amongst Iranians.
Powerful structural forces inside Iran, not individual personalities, have brought Tehran to the brink of confrontation with the international community over its nuclear programme. Hope lies with closer US-Iran contacts - but this will come at the expense of even greater tensions with Britain and Israel.
Reports of the United Arab Emirates entering into the advanced stages of negotiating a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with NATO comes at a time when the region continues to face threats of varying degrees, and the Atlantic alliance looks for a renewed role after celebrating its sixtieth anniversary.
Speaking at RUSI's Qatar office on 12 October 2009, RUSI Council member and Shadow Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones discussed the role the Middle East and the Gulf region could play in Britain's fight against terrorism over the next few years.