For Israeli policymakers, President Obama's major Middle East speech on 19 May 2011 has been met with alarm. An American president has for the first time broken with the traditional US approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The end result may harden attitudes on both sides of the conflict.
With its thirtieth anniversary in May, the Gulf Co-operation Council is proposing to expand by incorporating Morocco and Jordan. The unlikely inclusion is more a response and a challenge to the revolutionary impulses of the Arab Spring than it is towards regional coherence.
Two months after intervention began, NATO's war in Libya has become an open-ended stalemate. A resolution requires compromises from each side rather than self-righteous declarations of total war. The balance of power does not permit a decisive victory for regime or rebels. A settlement must either reflect this fact, or give way to renewed fighting.
Even though it faces a range of protests, Syria is unlikely to face popular-led regime change. Instead, unremitting instability and a standoff between protestors and the regime are more likely to follow leading to a combination of piecemeal reforms and more violence. However, internal challenges to the regime should not be ruled out.
Water scarcity, although a relatively low priority, is still a concern for the Middle Eastern security agenda. Gulf states in particular can lead the way in ensuring that water co-operation replaces the threat of water conflict.
Western intervention in Libya appears to be stalling, and the coalition has responded by committing military advisers and drones. But their priority, for the time being, is to purchase coalition longevity at the price of campaign intensity.
The US President visits the Gulf amidst heightened tension between the United States and Iran. But the latest episode in the Straits of Hormuz only underlines the wariness towards both countries by Gulf Arab States.
An analysis of the means the US should employ in its policy towards Iran's nuclear ambitions. A combination of sticks, carrots and diplomacy might serve Washington's aims better than sanctions and rhetorical brinksmanship.