"To shift the focus of Geneva talks away from core political issues would be a significant mistake. It would continue a process of re-legitimating the Assad regime, further delay accountability to its tens of thousands of victims, and render even less likely the prospects for a political transition in the future. To broaden the agenda will be a vindication of the Assad regime's strategy of diverting attention from Geneva I. It would send a clear signal that the Geneva I framework—already on life support—will be all but dead and buried," writes Steven Heydemann in Foreign Policy.
"Obama should announce that the U.S. is committed to a political solution in Syria, and that his government will do whatever it can to bring about such a solution through next week's peace conference and follow-up action. But if a cease-fire has not been achieved in the next three months, the US should work with regional organizations and all friends of the Syrian people to authorize a set of military strikes on Al Qaeda-linked forces and on the killing machine that Assad's government has aimed at civilians," writes Anne-Marie Slaughter for Project Syndicate.
Pakistan fighter jets bombed suspected Taliban hideouts in tribal areas along the Afghan border, the first air strikes since Islamabad struck a cease-fire agreement with local Taliban officials in 2007. At least fifteen people died in the strikes, which came in response to a wave of insurgent attacks against security forces (Reuters).