I had been planning to write this week about the negotiations between President Biden, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia to normalize Israel-Saudi ties in return for a U.S.-Saudi defense treaty. Analysts I talked to were cautiously optimistic that this megadeal might be concluded by early next year. Despite the continuing civil war in Syria, the region felt calm. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan remarked just last week that “the Middle East region is quieter today than it has been in two decades now.”