Syria is obviously in very dire straights right now. Assad most likely cannot survive for much longer in even the best scenarios. Syria is perhaps the most important Middle Eastern Country in terms of strategic location. Unless you are really following what is going on it can be tough to know who is fighting who and what sides are being taken. In effect Syria is what is termed a proxy war and is very similar to the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.
The new front on the Global war on terror will certainly be Africa (to some degree it is all ready with Yemen and Mali dealing with Al-Qaeda). The US plans on having troops in every African Country. Al-Qaeda has grown by leaps and bounds in almost every Country in Africa.
Very well written article in Newsweek/The Daily Beast about exactly this issue. In researching this Blog post I ran into another article that deals with the problems associated with dealing with Al-Qaeda.
Article from Newsweek: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/12/26/apocalypse-not-quite-yet.html
Article from Wall Street Journal: