Who would succeed Bashar Assad? “As rebels rack up important victories that could hasten the fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad, U.S. officials are still struggling to identify a credible opposition authority to keep fragile Syria from civil war once the leader is gone.” (Miami Herald)

The U.S. absence in Syria: “Others — notably the Turks, Saudis and Qataris — are filling the void left open by absent US leadership. . . Without big efforts to shape Syria’s outcome, we’re likely to be dealing with a really hacked-off Assad regime, a less-than-friendly Islamist government or complete chaos, where extremists could thrive — in a country with the Middle East’s largest chemical-weapons arsenal,” writes Heritage’s Peter Brookes. (New York Post)

Politico’s Arena asks: Are politicians getting too involved in the Chick-fil-A controversy? Has the debate resulted in any positive developments for either side? Brookings’ Darrell West answers.

“The political fight over America’s ailing economy is dominated by one word: debt. For most Americans, however, the real problems are jobs and growth—we don’t have enough of either. Yet our political system seems incapable of tackling the true crisis,” write Jacob Hacker and Nathaniel Lowentheil. (Politico)

CFR’s Peter Orszag: “The rising cost of health care in the U.S. has been slowing over the past few years, driven both by weakness in the general economy and by some changes in the way medical services are provided. The crucial question now is, how can we make sure that progress continues?” (Bloomberg)

AEI’s Michael Barone: The pros and cons of partisan divide. (National Review)

Ashton B. Carter and Jane Holl Lute: “A disruption of our electric grid or other critical infrastructure could temporarily cripple the American economy. What’s less well known is that such an attack could threaten the nation’s defense as well.” (New York Times)

Room for Debate asks: Why have Cuban-Americans been more successful than other Hispanic candidates, even in states with few Cuban-Americans? (New York Times)

Victor Davis Hanson: The economy-based election that wasn’t. (National Review)