* Russia to keep posts in Georgia A senior Russian general says Moscow intends to maintain a military presence of more than 2,000 troops in Georgia.
* The Real World: Georgia War Lessons for the Middle East Syrian President Bashar Assad joined Muammar Gadhafi of Libya in backing Russia's lightning military action against Georgia.
* Protest boats sail for Gaza Strip Two boats carrying members of a US-based pro-Palestinian group have left Cyprus in an attempt to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.
* Barak: Israel analyzing implications of Assad's trip to Russia "The Israeli security establishment is analyzing the ramifications of Syrian President Bashar Assad's visit to Russia.
* U.S. sees much to fear in a hostile Russia The president of Syria spent two days in Russia this week with a shopping list of sophisticated weapons he wanted to buy.
* Lebanon to complain to UN about 'Israeli threats' Lebanon's unity cabinet on Friday approved a decision to formally complain to the United Nations about what it perceived as recent Israeli threats against Beirut.
* Deal would have U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2012 U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have reached agreement on a proposal calling for a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq by 2012.
* US pressuring Israel to halt talks with Syria The United States is pressuring Turkey and Israel to halt the indirect negotiations with Syria being held in Istanbul.
* Something Important is Stirring in the Deep, Dark Waters of Geopolitics Four almost simultaneous events this week point to the emergence of something that is starting to look like a new U.S.-led security system that reaches from Europe to the Indian Ocean.* Jordan protests against Israel's Jerusalem dig plans Jordan said on Thursday it summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest against plans for excavation and construction work near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.