The global hierarchy of al Qaeda proper has been destroyed or made irrelevant (good), Iraq's violence is down to about a quarter it was during the dark days of 2006 (good), and Afghanistan's violence level is slightly above Iraq's (bad, it has been rising). Elsewhere the Philippines is talking to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and giving them terroritry (not good but stops killing) while Abu Sayef is run down (good). There is no longer a difference between Pakistan and Afghanistan as military operations cross borders almost daily. Meanwhile al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is reminding Algerians of the bad days of the 1990s. The truly dark spot is in Somalia. After a series of victories by the government and their Ethiopian backers the former youth wing of the Islamic Court Union, Al-Shabaab, has received al Qaeda backing. Al-Shabaab has taken the south and is directly engaging the government, Ethiopian, and African Union soldiers.
The plotters of 9/11 are in the background while their smaller children seek to fill the vacuum.
The days of credit given to those who cannot handle it sure shook the world. Economies in recession led to markets slowing down. The big under reported story of this downturn is the falls effect on oil prices. As of late October oil prices were trading below $65 a barrel. For the last several years dictatorial countries like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran managed to expand their operations with gas profits. Will these powers slim down their operations or will they fall like the Soviet Union under pressure from their growing monetary demands.