The conflict in Syria is a complex one with different world powers and the Syrian opposition playing different roles that have changed over time.
Throughout history there are a number of examples of siblings and friends operating together in armed groups.
Restoring effective policing in Arab states is crucial in order to rebuild social peace, resume economic development and growth, and reintegrate deeply divided political systems and broken state institutions.
The partial Russian military pull-out from Syria announced by President Vladimir Putin on March 14 continues to generate considerable commentary.
The Arab states in transition are confronted with a seemingly intractable task: rebuilding state institutions and social contracts in an era of global change. Conventional approaches to security sector reform that fail to grasp the dilemmas and challenges complicating this effort are certain to fail.
Security-sector reform in the Arab World cannot happen in isolation from the wider process of democratic transition and national reconciliation.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb remains a looming threat, with its proven adaptability and resilience, and its high capacity for destruction.
The various conflicts raging in the Middle East, and particularly in Syria, have created a refugee crisis of unprecedented scale.
Decades of corruption have paradoxically led to the Syrian Army's resilience in the face of a multifront war and tens of thousands of defections.
If the current cessation of hostilities endures, this means an entirely welcome reduction in the suffering of the Syrian people, but conditions may not yet be ripe for it to lead to a political solution.