There is no shortage of big-ticket news items today:
There is a major meeting happening in Egypt today involving the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. This is the first diplomatic initiative to occur since the election of Hamas last year. With Abbas flailing after losing control over Gaza, it is important that he be seen to be effective and still the real leader and champion of the aspirations of the Palestinian people. As always, skepticism and severely guarded optimism is the best approach, but that these parties are all talking again is a first step.
Tomorrow is Tony Blair's final day as the Prime Minister of Britain. America's best ally in the War on Terror and Tyranny is stepping down, and already rumours are circulating as to where he goes from here. The G&M has a story about Blair possibly being named a peace envoy to the Middle East for the Quartet. This is a position that many have said previously would be the perfect fit for Bill Clinton, but Blair would also be tremendous in the role. He's an expert diplomat, calm and reassuring yet tough and principled, and would have the full support of the West. Here's hoping that it turns out to be true, because this is a leader that should remain connected to major processes.
Also, this is an example of why I like the Government of Canada more than its elected representatives. This analysis of the 2006 US National Security Strategy is one of the best that I've seen--and I've seen many...and even written one. There's a lot in this document that is pretty similar in its conclusions to what I wrote about in my thesis. It focuses, naturally, more on the implications of the NSS for Canada than I did (since I was writing from an IR perspective and not a Government of Canada perspective), and I was pleased to read that it concludes that there are "many positive signs" for Canada in the new overarching US grand strategic policy blueprint.