Obama touted Yemen as a model for US efforts against the so-called Islamic State in a major speech this summer. While an odd statement at the time, with Yemen teetering, it looks much worse now.
You get the opposite impression from much of the discussion in the US, though.
A lot of the coverage of polls saying Scots are leaning toward independence from the UK ignores the undecideds.
Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the US on charges he ran a sophisticated scheme to share hundreds of millions worth of stolen movies and music. Now he has famous friends in his fight to unseat New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.
If US statements are taken at face value, Obama has set the country a mammoth task in the Middle East with a very low probability of success.
So far, it doesn't look like much. That explains why the US president was short on specifics when he vowed to take the fight to the jihadis.
Expect strong words from President Obama on confronting evil and bringing Islamic State militants to justice. But where are the capable allies and plug-and-play moderate rebels?
Pledges are rolling in for a NATO 'rapid reaction' force, a direct response to what members say is Russian aggression against non-NATO member Ukraine.
Core Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is looking over his shoulder, not for US Seals, but at the more brutal and successful self-styled Islamic State.
The self-declared Islamic State has released a video showing the beheading of a second US journalist. The US has few easy options to navigate a complex, multi-front war in Iraq and Syria.
The PKK - a Kurdish separatist group based in Turkey that the US has placed on its 'terrorist list' – has been in the thick of the fight against the Islamic State in Iraqi Kurdistan.
That's a popular claim. But there's not much evidence to support it.
Afghanistan presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani is spending nearly $150,000 a month on lobbying in DC amid a stuttering election audit.
Iraq's president has nominated a replacement for Prime Minister Maliki, who is unpopular at home and abroad. But Iraq's problems go much deeper.
A black and white approach to the conflict isn't likely to yield better outcomes for either Israelis and Palestinians.
The Islamic State's game plan is to use massive doses of savagery and terror to get what it wants in Iraq. So far, it's working.
After a reported Gaza rocket strike near Israel's Ben Gurion Airport, the US suspended commercial flights to and from Tel Aviv.
Though the Iron Dome interceptor system has been credited for the minimal damage Israel has suffered in the current conflict, the threat from Gaza appears to be smaller than in 2012.
A new government without a capable military won't mean much. And it doesn't appear that Iraq has one at the moment.