Syria’s Assad remains defiant, but changes occur elsewhere

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has faced international condemnation and one year of rebellion against his dictatorial reign, but somehow he has also managed to remain in control of his nation. Rand Slim of Foreign Policy considers some of the reasons that Assad has been able to survive.

In other news, the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council has formerly recognized the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF), the new coalition of opposition groups organized over the weekend. Rebel groups within Syria also offered tacit approval of the coalition.

Changes At The Departments Of Defense And State
With the election over, the routine changing of the guard begins. Could Massachusetts Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry be the next defense secretary? That is a more likely result of Barack Obama’s reelection than Susan Rice, the current United Nations ambassador, taking the leadership post at the State Department. Republicans in the Senate already are preparing for a battle over Rice’s nomination given her role in the aftermath of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

South African Leadership BBC Africa correspondent Andrew Harding looks at the future of Helen Zille , the leader of South Africa’s opposition party, and asks, “Could a white woman be elected president of South Africa?”

Congress Returns To Deal With Fiscal Cliff In Lame-Duck Session
Members of the House and Senate come back to Washington to face the looming fiscal cliff, as well as moving forward on a trade deal with Russia.

Robert Kagan writes in the Washington Post that the inability for Congress and the White House to move forward on proposals to address the fiscal crisis could negatively affect the standing of the US on the global stage.

EU Struggles To Find Common Ground On Regulations
At a meeting of European finance ministers, differences on establishing a single banking supervisor and the scope of banking regulations continued to stymie progress.



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