November 22nd, 2014
10:21 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: A special live panel, terrorism on the rise, and assessing drug war

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: First, Fareed offers his take on how despite the gloomy mood among many voters at this month's midterm elections, the United States might be well-placed for success moving forward.

“If one looks at the rest of the world, what's striking is how well the United States is doing relative to other major economies,” Fareed argues. “President Obama says the United States has produced more jobs in its recovery than the rest of the industrialized world put together. Why is this?”

Then, a special live panel discussing key events this week, in the Middle East and elsewhere, with guests including Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, The Atlantic contributor Peter Beinart and New America Foundation President Anne-Marie Slaughter.

Also, you would be right to think that terrorism is on the rise around the globe. But it's not something to panic about. Fareed explains why.

Plus, the war on drugs has raged for four decades, with little success. Fareed speaks with Ernesto Zedillo, the former president of Mexico, who has a potential solution.

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Topics: Uncategorized
November 20th, 2014
10:34 PM ET

America’s prospects are promising indeed

By Fareed Zakaria

Two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, a poll number that has not shifted much in three years. The midterm election results were just another reflection of this pervasive discontent. And yet, looking at the rest of the world, what’s striking is how well the United States is doing relative to other major economies. Japan is back in a recession and Germany has barely avoided slipping into one, which would have been its third since 2008. President Obama says the United States has produced more jobs in its recovery than the rest of the industrialized worldput together.

Why is this? Many believe that the American economy has some inherent advantages over its major competitors — a more flexible structure, stronger entrepreneurial traditions and a more demographically vibrant society. Along comes a fascinating new book that says you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take
November 20th, 2014
09:09 AM ET

Are MOOCs the future of education?

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Stuart Butler, a Brookings scholar, who's written extensively on massive open online courses, or so-called MOOCs, and Anant Agarwal, who runs edX, a MOOC outfit founded by two bricks and mortar institutions.

Stuart, explain first the kind of crisis in what you've called the business model for higher education.

Well, it certainly is a crisis that they’re facing. First of all, the costs of traditional education have been going up and the indebtedness associated with it. Now student tuition debt in the United States exceeds credit card debt. Secondly...

And it's $1 trillion, right?

Butler: Yes, exactly. Secondly, you're seeing different kinds of information coming forward so that people can actually evaluate the success of going to one college or another, whether it actually pays off.

And then the third thing, which you referred to, is that you're seeing new kinds of technologies that, first of all, appeal to students who are not part of the regular market, but now that technology is being developed, such as through edX and through others, such that it is really beginning to break open the existing traditional market. So there's an existential threat to the very business model that, quite honestly, has been lasting for almost 2,000 years. FULL POST

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Topics: Education
November 20th, 2014
08:40 AM ET

What I'm reading: It may take a generation to bring Russia back

By Fareed Zakaria

“Western policy [on Russia] is driven by a combination of economic self-interest and increasing timidity. The EU mishandled much of the early strategy on Ukraine, sending mixed messages to Kiev and Moscow,” writes John Kampfner for The Guardian. “Since the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, the approach has become more consistent. Putin had assumed that the west, and particularly Germany and France (disproportionately dependent on trade with Russia) would buckle. And with the eurozone economies in an increasingly parlous state, Putin still assumes that Angela Merkel and François Hollande will resist, and ultimately remove, the sanctions that are causing growing damage.”
“To anyone who appreciates the beauty of Russia, the power of its creativity and the potential it has to offer, the events of the past year, indeed past several years, have been dispiriting. In the 1990s Russia had the opportunity to open up, to become integrated into the international community. The goodwill on both sides was intoxicating.”

“[A]nalysts agree one of the video’s key functions for ISIS is to illustrate how far the group’s seductive reach is extending globally,” writes Tracy McNicoll for the Daily Beast. “As France took in the shock news that one of its own sons may be a throat-slitting, decapitating terrorist, the Islamist specialist Romain Caillet told Le Monde, “In putting forward soldiers from the four corners of the world, Da’esh [as the French call the group, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS] is looking to create a ‘United Colors of Jihad’ effect. The message is simple: there are hundreds of Jihadi Johns.” FULL POST

Facing up to a water crisis
November 19th, 2014
07:09 PM ET

Facing up to a water crisis

Editor’s note: Matt Damon and Gary White are co-founders of Water.org. The views expressed are their own. This is the fifth in a series of articles from the World Economic Forum on the key challenges facing the world in 2015 as part of their Outlook on the Global Agenda. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Matt Damon

Having been in the field, most recently in India, I have seen that access to safe water is just a few dollars away for many people. A small loan can create a pathway to a household water tap. Making access to capital ubiquitous and affordable for those living in poverty would go a long way towards eliminating water stress.

Due to a combination of problems, including rapid population growth, constrained water supplies and high levels of poverty, countries such as India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nigeria will be hit the hardest by this trend. Resource-constrained water stress will be the norm for many countries in Asia, while finance-constrained water stress will be the norm for many countries in Africa. This is reflected in the fact that experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum expect Sub-Saharan Africa to be the most affected region, closely followed by Asia.

Despite the obstacles we face, there is room for optimism. We believe that more will be done to increase the efficiency of water in agriculture, which accounts for more than 70 percent of water use. Awareness about the global water crisis is also set to keep growing over the next year, and the private sector is already looking closely at how it can play a stronger role in helping the communities in which they operate, especially in emerging markets. FULL POST

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Topics: Water
November 19th, 2014
11:24 AM ET

Is Russia cozying up to China?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

Everyone was talking about the moment at last week's APEC Summit in Beijing when Russian President Vladimir Putin draped a shawl over the shoulders of China's First Lady. Many claimed he was flirting. Who knows if he was, but there's no question that Putin IS trying to woo the Chinese.

Last Sunday, Moscow and Beijing signed an accord to develop a second gas route to supply China with Russian gas. And, just 6 months ago, the two nations struck another energy deal – this one a 30-year blockbuster, worth $400 billion.

The Russians reportedly hope that soon China will become their biggest gas consumer. Are we seeing the consolidation of a Russia-China axis?

Well, not quite.

For China, the mega gas deals would help officials diversify away from coal, which would lower pollution levels, which have caused significant public concern in the country. But for Russia, the situation seems more desperate. Remember oil and gas not only accounted for 70 percent of Russia's exports in 2012, but also for more than half of its federal budget income, according to the U.S. Energy Department, which cites PFC Energy Research. FULL POST

Should West be worried by Russia naval moves?
November 18th, 2014
05:56 PM ET

Should West be worried by Russia naval moves?

By James Kraska, Special to CNN

Editor's note: James Kraska is professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, U.S. Naval War College. The views expressed are his own.

Just as Russian ground forces have moved into Ukraine, in recent weeks Russian air and naval forces have conducted a handful of high-visibility deployments throughout the oceans and airspace of the global commons. Should the West be worried?

Generally, these operations comply with the international “rules of the road” at sea and in the air, and are in compliance with international law. All nations are entitled to freedom of navigation and overflight in the global commons. Thus, the deployments should be seen as great power theater, rather than as a violation of international law. Yet they also dispel any doubt that we now live in a tri-polar world, with a revanchist Russia and China bent on upending the U.S.-led global order in Europe and Asia, respectively.

Russia, for its part, is using its naval power to underscore the nation’s relevance and global reach. Indeed, this month Russia pledged to expand its forays into the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement follows an incident in June, when two Russian strategic bombers, bristling with intelligence-gathering electronics, came within 50 miles of the coast of California. FULL POST

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Topics: Military • Russia
Interdependence, not independence, key to success
November 18th, 2014
02:23 AM ET

Interdependence, not independence, key to success

Editor’s note: Gordon Brown is a former British prime minister. The views expressed are his own. This is the sixth in a series of articles from the World Economic Forum on the key challenges facing the world in 2015 as part of their Outlook on the Global Agenda. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

Jean Chrétien, prime minister of Canada at the time of its divisive referendum on separation with Québec, wrote that it took six months before wounds between Canada and Québec, even started to heal. And with 45 percent voting for independence, Scotland will be a divided country for some time to come.

For just as in the years of the Industrial Revolution people turned to political nationalism to protect and shelter their communities against the uneven and inequitable patterns of growth so, too, people seem to be turning back to – and mobilizing around – old loyalties and traditional identities as they seek to insulate themselves; whether it be in Catalonia or Belgium or Lombardy, they are demanding protection against what seems to be the economic disruption and social dislocation of globalization, which threatens to sweep aside long-established customs, values and ways of life.

But is September 18’s vote in Scotland not a moment of destiny? Not because nationalists have done so well, but because most Scots voted against an exit from the U.K.? Could the rejection of separation demonstrate that in this new global era nations can combine strong and vibrant identities with a willingness to engage in even deeper cooperation? FULL POST

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Topics: Uncategorized
November 17th, 2014
06:48 PM ET

What I'm reading: The nuclear gun is back on the table

By Fareed Zakaria

“My parents’ generation got grimly used to living in the shadow of the bomb. But for my generation, the very idea of nuclear warfare seems like something from science-fiction or even dark comedy, such as Dr Strangelove,” writes Gideon Rachman for the Financial Times. “But the world’s nuclear arsenals were not abolished after the cold war. Sadly, we may now be returning to an era in which the threat of nuclear warfare can no longer be treated as the stuff of science fiction.”

“The odds against a Chinese dialect ever gaining traction as an international language are formidable, for linguistic, economic, cultural, and political reasons,” writes Andres Martinez for TIME. “For starters, the language is just too hard for outsiders to attain fluency. Then there is the inconvenient fact that Mandarin doesn’t hold sway throughout all of China.”

“Indeed, resistance to any claim the Chinese language may have for global status may be strongest in the country’s own neighborhood, where nations are nervous about China’s intentions.” FULL POST

November 17th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

What's behind Chinese nationalism?

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and David M. Lampton, the director of China studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, about nationalism in China.

There’s no question there's been a rise in sort of nationalist rhetoric. And as I point out, all these attempts to really subvert the old international order, alternatives to The Asian Development Bank, to the IMF, to the World Bank, to the various security frameworks. Do you think this is Xi or is this a long-term Chinese strategy?

Lampton: What we're seeing is China, not just Xi. We're seeing a China that sees itself in great historic terms. And this isn't so much a new status for China, it's a sort of restoration of national greatness.

And I think we're going to face a China that, on one hand, is cooperative, increasingly cooperative on some economic and global issues, like climate change. But on the other hand, I just was speaking with military people in China last week and they are clearly going to continue to push China's sovereignty, and he's not going to give on that set of issues.

So he's walking a fine line by trying to seem a good global citizen on the one hand, but assuage this nationalistic drive on the other. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show
November 17th, 2014
03:28 PM ET

Facing up to the China challenge

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Fareed Zakaria

As Moscow continues to send its forces into Ukraine, it seems clear that Putin's Russia presents America and the West with a frontal challenge. But in the longer run, it is not Russia's overt military assault but China's patient and steady non-military moves that might prove the greater challenge.

Russia is a great power in decline. Its economy amounts to just 3.4 percent of global GDP. China's is nearly 16 percent and rising, now almost four times the size of Japan's and five times that of Germany's, according to the World Bank.

Presidents Obama and Xi deserve the accolades they are receiving for their historic agreement on climate change, and it seems to suggest that America and China are moving towards a new, productive relationship.

Except that, even while signing these accords, Xi Jinping's government has been taking steps that suggest it is developing a very different approach to its foreign policy – one that seeks to replace the American-built post-1945 international system with its own.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the WaPo column

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Topics: China • Fareed's Take • GPS Show
November 15th, 2014
07:08 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Assessing U.S.-China ties, and Jon Stewart, Maziar Bahari discuss Iran

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

On GPS this Sunday: President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced some areas where they had found agreement on, from climate change to trade to military cooperation. Is this the big breakthrough in relations between the world's number one and two economic powers?

Fareed offers his take, then speaks to two China watchers. Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow and director for Asia studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and wrote about China’s president for Foreign Affairs recently. David Lampton is the director of China studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Then...Jon Stewart and Iranian-born journalist Maziar Bahari discuss the Iran, the Arab Spring, and their new movie Rosewater.

Also, college applications are due soon. But should teens just tear them up? Are colleges as we know them simply too expensive and outdated? Is there a better way in higher education? Fareed speaks with Stuart Butler, a Brookings scholar who has written extensively on this topic, and Anant Agarwal, who runs edX and penned an op-ed for the Huffington Post on reimagining higher education.

Finally, Europe landed on a comet this week. India has a probe orbiting Mars. And Russia remains the not-so-trusty taxi to outer space. What's America up to, up there? And whose spending on space is the highest?

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Topics: GPS Show
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