December 22nd, 2012
11:56 PM ET

Tough Decisions: A GPS special

Tough Decisions, the latest Fareed Zakaria GPS special, is airing Sunday at 8:00 p.m. & 11:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. During the show, Fareed is speaking with four leaders – National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and the former director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department, Anne-Marie Slaughter – about tough decisions they have made, ranging from the personal to those that have impacted the world.

But GPS would also like to hear about tough decisions that viewers have made – and what they think are some of the trickiest calls made by policymakers and business leaders in recent years.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Brian Ford

    For some time now, I have found you to be the wisest of the news analysts/commentators. With such high regard, I have found excellence to be the norm with your programs. I am moved to write because your (just aired) tough decisions program is among the best. A superb hour, thank you.

    December 23, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Why must a small percentage of the population has to defend their issues like tax hikes, gun ownership etc. tooth and nail and forces the bigger majority to go along with them?

      December 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        please read why must a small percentage have to defend......

        December 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  2. Dev Horn

    You just compared the school attack in China to the attack in Newtown CT; event which happened just a few hours apart. You implied the incredibly obvious notion that it would be better to have 16 stabbed children (as in China) rather than 20 dead children. Jeez, wouldn't the BEST scenario be two dead crazy people at the doors of those schools?

    There is a reason the police of generally referred to as "first responders". They usually show up after people are hurt or dead. Now you can argue all day long that we shouldn't have guns in America, but unless you are going to advocate that the military goes door to door taking them away (probably unleashing untold violence, perhaps civil war), you guys need to deal with the reality that they exist. Let's make sure that our most precious assets are protected in this country – not just be "responders", but by "protectors". Any other solution is reckless and irresponsible (regardless of how good it might make people FEEL.).

    December 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Dev Horn

      Sorry about all the typos =) dang tablet!

      December 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  3. Lyndsie Graham

    Tough decisions for next year? I have one here that is not so tough, that is, how about pulling our troops out of Germany and saving the taxpayers money? Another excellent idea whose time has come, but try telling that to those idiots on Capitol Hill since they're too busy trying to be "politically correct"! We could replace American troops in Germany with those from Poland, Czechia and Hungary. Unfortunely, nobody has the sense to consider it!

    December 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Kerry

      You have a beautiful idea there, Lyndsie. As a German American, I feel quite offended at the large presence of foreign troops on German soil. Have the Germans lost their national pride or what? A better idea yet is to have no foreign troops on German soil since Germany today has no outside foes.

      December 23, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  4. BAS

    Yes women can have it all in good proportions. Like Anne-Marie Slaughter, I turned down offers as a physician, took a part time job with minimal income because I needed to give my two year old daughter and a newly adopted teenager with chronic illness the full attention of a mother. It raised eyebrows among my colleagues especially as my part-time job was in one specialty giving up my other specialty. They wanted me to go for what they all were going for. While they had supportive spouses with more income than theirs and domestic support, I had a dependent unstable husband who was in and out. I have it all. A professional part-time job that gives me just enough income for my family, and time to be there through my daughter's hospitalizations and stroke, raising a balanced toddler while doing community education through my peace project in Africa. It wasn't a though decision. It was a REASONABLE decision for happiness we needed at this time.

    December 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  5. Kerry

    Insightful to see the inner workings of tough decision making from the actual decision makers. It's helpful to see the process that they went through. Thank you again Fareed for a great teaching moment.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  6. Walter Kitchenman

    With regards to Dr. Kissinger's interview on the toughest decision, he failed to mention a very tough behind the scenes action that made the trip and opening possible: They didn't just talk or ask for an invitation. I believe that Pres. Nixon halted all covert activity directed against the PRC, especially in tibet. They didn't say anything. They just did it, and knew that China would notice. They did. Maybe there's a message there with regards to our relationship with Iran.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Unfortunately Walter, a breakthrough with our policies regarding Iran is quite unlikely since all of the politicians in Washington want to be "politically correct". In this regard, we do need another Richard Nixon who is not afraid to do anything that is not PC but the right thing to do.

      December 23, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  7. Ann Wright

    I was one of only three US government employees who resigned in 2003 in opposition to President Bush's war on Iraq. This was after almost 4 decades of government service, including 29 years in the US Army/Army Reserves and retiring as a Colonel. I had also spent 16 years as a US diplomat and had helped reopen the US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan in December, 2001. The tough decision was to give up my career as a diplomat on principle. I am very glad I resigned. I now challenge many policies of our government, no matter which political party is in power.

    December 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  8. John Fredell

    Given the anticommunist state of belief on the right, could anyone other than Nixon have opened the path to China? What would have happened if a Democrat (someone automatically labeled "weak on communism") had tried to do the same? And today, given that any policy decision or statement is immediatey attacked, denounced and dozens of politicians line up for newsconferences to repeat the same sound bite denouncing the decision, is our ability to make tough decisions even more difficult than it was four decades ago?

    December 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  9. William Thompson

    Why does it take so long for episode segments - in this case, Fareed Zakaria's interview with Paul O'Neill on the GPS Special, Tough Decisions - to become freely posted and accessible online? Almost any other news segment can be found freely within 24 hours, but not GPS or CNN, except selectively. For those of us that get or wish to share news online, such restricted access imposed by CNN or Zakaria is annoying and exploitive.

    These days I hate CNN for a variety of reasons, of which this is just another...

    December 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply

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