"But if Syria cheats, the president will find himself constrained from acting. Under the terms of the resolution, a committee of diplomats and functionaries from the United Nations and the Organization on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will determine whether Syria has violated the terms of the agreement," Colum Lynch writes in Foreign Policy.
"Bashar's objectives to consolidate alliances and weaken the counter alliance and buying time have all been thus far satisfied. The one year disarmament period that Bashar suggested will be needed is no speculation at all; it is well calculated period during which time to weaken the opposition and its supporters and to deny the U.S. and her allies any legitimate pretext to attack Syria," Zaher Mahruqi writes for Iran's Press TV.
"There are huge challenges ahead, including devising a plan to get rid of the chemical weapons and trying to reach a broader deal that could end the fighting and put a transitional government in place. That was made even harder on Wednesday when some Syrian rebel groups abandoned their Western-backed political leaders in exile and cast their lot with an affiliate of Al Qaeda," writes the New York Times in an editorial.
InfoGuide: China's Maritime Disputes
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new interactive series called "InfoGuides." The first guide examines the escalating maritime disputes in the South China and East China Seas, pairing expert analysis with maps, timelines, infographics, and videos. Take a look.
Abe Sees Stronger Security Role for Japan
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to boost Japan's security role and said the country can no longer be a "weak link" in the world (SCMP). Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Abe said Japan plans to work with the United States on a "collective self-defense" plan.
After more than three decades of hostility and years of fruitless negotiations over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program, a meeting between the top diplomats in the United States and Iran has given hope that the impasse could be resolved, and a deal might be struck in a few months (McClatchy).
Expert Mohsen Milani explains the prospects and challenges of talks with Iran in this interview.
CFR's John Campbell explains how Robert Mugabe outplayed South Africa's Jacob Zuma in the latest elections in this blog post.
Climate Panel Warns of Upper Limit on Emissions
A panel of climate scientists assembled by the UN formally adopted the notion of an upper limit on greenhouse gases that will likely be breached within decades (NYT). The report noted there is a 95 to 100 percent probability that human activity is the principal cause of the planet's warming.