Demonstrators protest against the war in Gaza at the entrance to the Israeli Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.

As with the war in Ukraine, fault lines in the international system have emerged amid the Israel-Hamas war. The variation in reactions is perhaps most evident among the African Union’s 55 member states, whose positions reflect different histories, traditions and interests as well as the preferences of national leaders.

Houthi supporters in Yemen.

For the past year, Yemen has been in a state of limbo, its messy, regionalized conflict on hold but unresolved. And that’s unlikely to change—for the better, at least—soon. Even if Saudi Arabia and the Houthis agree to a formal cease-fire, the country will remain stuck in the liminal space of “no war, no peace” for some time to come.

Armenia and Azerbaijan's longstanding conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh ended in September 2023.

In a lightning strike on Sept. 19, Azerbaijan extinguished more than 30 years of de facto self-governance by ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh. For Armenians, its loss is perceived as a catastrophe. For Azerbaijanis, the outcome represents restored sovereignty. But how the conflict ended has key implications for the future.

The Israel-Palestinian conflict has displaced many civilians in Gaza.

Israel’s order for civilians to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of an expected ground offensive has generated severe criticism. But an alternative, legal plan at Israel’s disposal for moving civilians out of harm’s way could, if executed, resolve Israel’s humanitarian dilemma and also yield some strategic side-benefits.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

The Israel-Hamas war has raised serious questions about the political and strategic relevance of the Palestinian Authority. Against the backdrop of recent trends in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the war both reflects and exacerbates the PA’s dwindling authority and the Palestinian national movement’s shifting paradigm.

A plume of smoke rises in the sky during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City

Debates over the role that shifts in the global order may have played in the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war might seem trivial. But putting discrete events into a global context is valuable, particularly when it comes to conflict, as it can help us anticipate the frequency and kinds of conflicts we are likely to see.

Rwandan armed forces prepare to board a flight to Mozambique

No military solution has so far proved effective at combatting jihadist insurgents in the Sahel region of West Africa. Now a new long-shot idea is making the rounds: bringing in Rwandan security forces. However, the “Rwandan model” is no solution for the Sahel’s nightmare. The search for new ideas will have to continue.

Vehicles drive past a giant portrait of Gen. Qasem Soleimani in downtown Tehran

While the world remains transfixed by the Israel-Hamas war, other trends that could prove as consequential for the future of the Middle East are gaining momentum. In particular, an increasingly visible transformation of identity discourses in the Gulf and Iran is setting the scene for further shocks to the regional order.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was renewed with fighting against Hamas in Gaza, a territory near Egypt.

The Israel-Hamas war has the potential to fuel further conflict across the Middle East, with a high risk in particular of the fighting spreading to include Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. By contrast, there is a worrying lack of attention in European and U.S. political and media discussions to the impact of the war in Gaza on Egypt.

The Israel-Palestine conflict has been renewed in Gaza following an attack by Hamas.

Year after year, observers have been warning that the status quo in Gaza could not last, and yet year after year it stubbornly did. It was a testament to how sustainable an unsustainable situation can be—until the moment when it no longer is. The unprecedented attack this weekend marked that moment in Israel’s standoff with Hamas.

Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan addressed the UN General Assembly about Sudan's civil war.

Six months in, Sudan’s internal conflict has become a devastating humanitarian crisis, with tens of millions of people needing assistance. Worse still, neither side in the war is anywhere near ending the fighting. If concerted action is not taken soon to end the conflict, it could result in the collapse of Sudan.

Russia's war in Ukraine has led to a breakdown in the international security order.

In the same week, Azerbaijan seized control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region in a lightning military advance and Serbia amassed troops on its border with Kosovo. The dual military crises, while concerning in and of themselves, also point to how the war in Ukraine is breaking down the international security order.

Despite the challenges that technological innovations like artificial intelligence and autonomous drones pose to governance and society, they will continue to emerge. In the absence of any global agreement, there is still an opportunity for governments to seize on the benefits these advances might bring, while encouraging their ethical and democratic use.

President Joe Biden’s first priority upon taking office was to reassure U.S. allies of America’s ongoing security commitments, promising that “America is back.” Despite some missteps along the way, that effort has paid off during the current standoff with Russia over Ukraine. But Biden still has a lot of work to do when it comes to shoring up America’s security partnerships to deal with a rising China.