Despite various complications, Moscow and Baghdad are improving their strategic relationship.
Moscow wants to prevent Afghanistan from erupting into chaos but is wary of intervening directly.
The pipeline expansion is in part a response to energy liberalization in Europe.
Challenges to potential U.S. military action in Libya include intelligence concerns and possible destabilizing effects.
The Turkish army's retaliation against a Syrian mortar strike reflects increased tensions between the two countries.
Tehran and Baghdad are exploiting Kurdish tensions to undermine Ankara's emergence as a regional power.
The rapid fall of the Iranian currency is not evidence that international sanctions are having their desired effect.
The row between Beijing and Tokyo over a disputed island chain could encourage Japan to reconsider where it puts its money, but its options are limited.