"Obama never needed to go searching for coalition of the willing for Syria; one comes pre-assembled for him and has been knocking, in fact, at the door to the Oval Office for quite some time. Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, all see Syria as a grave short-term threat to their national security," writes Michael Weiss in Foreign Affairs.
"Assad's plan this week is fourfold: hunker down, survive whatever attack is materializing on the horizon, emerge from his bunker declaring victory over the perfidious Americans (no matter how many of his army bases and command posts and aircraft are on fire), and privately internalize the lesson of the American strike, which is to lay off the gas," writes Jeffrey Goldberg for Bloomberg.
"Of course ethics, not only laws, should guide policy decisions. Since the Rwandan genocide and the Balkan mass killings of the 1990s, a movement has emerged in support of adding humanitarian intervention as a third category of lawful war, under the concept of the 'responsibility to protect.' It is widely accepted by the United Nations and most governments. It is not, however, in the charter, and it lacks the force of law," writes Ian Hurd for the New York Times.
U.S. Envoy to Visit North Korea Seeking American's Release
The U.S. special envoy to North Korea, Robert King, will visit Pyongyang on Friday (NYT), seeking amnesty for Kenneth Bae, the State Department said. Bae, a Christian missionary who was arrested last November while leading a tour group, is reportedly in poor health.
The Indian rupee bounced back slightly on Wednesday after hitting a record low of 68.76 against the U.S. dollar, buoyed by a recovery in equity markets and speculation of central bank intervention (Live Mint). Local investors are spooked by a growing trend of capital outflows from India and other emerging markets.
CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick explains how this year's emerging market currency crunch differs from the 1990s crisis in this blog post.
PAKISTAN: The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Pakistan has an estimated 105 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas reserves, as well as more than nine billion barrels of oil (Dawn).
Bombings Kill 71 in Baghdad
At least seventy-one people were killed in a series of bombing in Baghdad on Wednesday, extending a wave of violence that has surpassed the monthly death tolls seen in 2008 (Reuters). Sectarian tensions and the capacity of al-Qaeda in Iraq have risen due to Syria's civil war.
Boko Haram Fighters Kill Vigilantes in Nigeria
Boko Haram insurgents killed twenty vigilantes (BBC) in the northeastern state of Borno. Nigeria's military encouraged the formation of vigilante groups to assist in its offensive against the militant Islamist group.
More than ten thousand Chechens have applied for asylum in Germany (Spiegel) in the first seven months of 2013, surpassing the combined refugee applications from Syria and Afghanistan, two countries racked by civil war.