Syrian Kurds are attempting to assert greater autonomy from the chaos, but former ambassador to Syria Robert Ford says that the US would not back their bid, unlike in Iraq in the 1990s.
Turkish activists and the European Union are applying pressure on President Abdullah Gul to veto a recently-passed Internet censorship law. Turkey has long aspired to join the club of European democracies.
Turkey is increasingly concerned about the proliferation of Al Qaeda-linked fighters along its border with Syria. This week its military fired on jihadist targets in Syria.
The following regions and issues are among those critical to both short- and long-term US interests. They should draw greater US attention and diplomatic efforts.
While western Iraq is in the hands of Al Qaeda, recent trends suggest there's no safe oil investment refuge even in the Kurdish north, Graeber writes.