Table: Tiny Steps toward Progress in the Middle East

INSTABILITY

Declining living standards and fallout from the Arab-Israeli dispute could produce more turbulence.

SUPPRESSION OF ISLAMIC GROUPS

Governments realize that extremists are dangerous. But they could go underground or offshore.

GRADUAL ECONOMIC OPENING

Governments will have little choice but to try to attract investment--but don't expect fast results.

GLACIAL POLITICAL CHANGE

Regional governments excel at one thing--keeping power. They will only share it reluctantly.

Data: BusinessWeek

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