"It's day one, and there is agreement that we don't know where we are headed or how we get there. Both sides are playing a long game and seem unified in their brinkmanship. If current market and political realities are any indicator, we're a long way off from there being enough pressure on either side to deal," writes CFR Senior Fellow Robert Kahn.
"Perhaps the looming mid-October debt ceiling, the breaching of which could have catastrophic financial consequences, will force the Republicans' hand. But it's equally plausible that, having precipitated a government shutdown over the health care law, the House Republicans could simply pass a short-term debt ceiling hike and leave the government closed," writes CFR Senior Fellow Edward Alden.
"Why does Washington claim that demonstrating resolve in the world requires intermittently using military force, but not funding the federal government on time? For those who claimed that attacking Syria with cruise missiles was required to maintain U.S. credibility in the eyes of Iran's Supreme Leader, doesn't Capitol Hill's behavior over the past week do more to demonstrate America's incompetence?" writes CFR Douglas Dillon Fellow Micah Zenko.
South Korea., U.S. Sign New Security Pact
The United States and South Korea signed a new pact to deal with North Korea's potential use of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction, and agreed to review the timing of a scheduled 2015 transfer of command control of their combined forces in the peninsula (Yonhap).
Afghan opposition politician Abdullah Abdullah, the runner-up for the presidency in 2009, won the backing of important warlords and an Islamist party, and became the first high-profile candidate to register for the April elections (WSJ).
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his speech at the final session of the annual UN General Assembly meeting to dismiss Iran's recent overtures to the United States, saying that Tehran's softer rhetoric on its nuclear ambitions is nothing more than a "ruse" (PBS).
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for a Kenyan journalist who allegedly offered bribes to witnesses in the trial of Kenya's deputy president William Ruto (BBC). Prosecutors accused the journalist of being part of a wider network intent on sabotaging the case.