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.
A positive step for Afghanistan is brokered by John Kerry. The key feature? Giving up on longstanding US political strategy for Afghanistan.
It appears Joko Widodo has won Indonesia's presidency over former general and Suharto stalwart Prabowo Subianto. But that doesn't mean Indonesia is on easy street.
The US Department of Justice arrested a Russian in Guam for involvement in a hacking and stolen credit card ring. Moscow says he was framed.
Hatred, anger, and desires for revenge are being driven ever higher by the dynamic of unequal violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Preliminary results for Afghanistan's presidential election appear to show Ashraf Ghani won in a landslide. But his defeated opponent is unlikely to accept the result.
Iraqi Kurdistan is moving ahead with independence plans. With Kurds also holding an important swing vote in Iraq's parliament, this is a problem. A big one.
Opium production and heroin addiction are soaring in Afghanistan.
Almost certainly not, as a look at recent writing on the question shows.