Tensions between Israel and Hizbullah have risen sharply in the past week, but despite the animosity between the two sides, regional strategic calculations mean both sides will step back from the brink of all out war.
The regional strategic context stands in contrast to 2008-09. The government in Cairo is now much more sensitive to popular sentiment, which has been inflamed by the violence. Egypt’s reaction to the conflict will be of keen interest to regional observers.
Obama's declaratory policy on Iran involves a fine balancing act that is designed for multiple audiences: a recalcitrant Iranian regime, a domestic population about to go to the polls, and a jittery Middle Eastern region led by Israel. Though this strategy has thus far been successful, it carries notable risks for the Administration in the midst of a continuing standoff with Iran.