(CNN) - When Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, the wish list that has been building abroad may have grown longer than he or anyone else can deliver.
There are the apparently eternal conflicts of the Middle East and Kashmir, between India and Pakistan, that have already reared their ugly heads almost as a warning even before Obama took office. Between them, they engulf most of the grievances and violence that shape the Islamic world and its relations with the United States.
Intense U.S. involvement will be needed to help resolve both of the conflicts. This will require imagination, creative out-of-the-box diplomacy, and the courage to see it through both from the United States and leaders on the ground. Going back even to the status-quo ante will no longer be sufficient.