July 18th, 2014
09:34 AM ET

Fareed Zakaria answers your questions

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

Fareed Zakaria answers readers’ questions on the U.S. role in the world, whether Iraq would have been more stable if Saddam Hussein hadn’t been removed from power, the NSA’s spying on Germany and whether the borders in the Middle East are outdated.

Do you believe there’s a shift toward isolationism in the United States?

I think there’s a shift toward less involvement and engagement in the world. Some of this is unfortunate. It shows up, for example, in the suspicion towards trade, towards immigrants. But for the most part, I think Americans retain a healthy openness to the world and a healthy openness to America being engaged in the world.

When people shout about isolationism, it’s worth remembering that the United States – with the support of the American people – still maintains thousands of troops in foreign countries, in dozens of bases around the world. We have 60 treaty alliances. In many of them we’re committed to the defense of these countries – from Japan, to South Korea, to Germany. That doesn’t seem to me the story of a country that is isolationist and has withdrawn from the world.

But it’s true that from certain heights, especially after 9/11 – where the United States was, in my view, too engaged, and too engaged in the details and nation building operations in many, many parts of the world – we’re drawing back, and that draw back has some public support.

So, I’m not ready to wave the flag of isolationism, I don’t see it. But I do think in some areas there are some troubling signs. The part that worries me most is about trade and people, because the thing that has historically made the United States so strong has been its ability to open itself up to ideas, to people, and then to adapt and adjust and become stronger from that.

Watch the video for all his responses.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. Lyle Jenkins

    Great show this morning (GPS) on refugees, etc.!

    Where has CNN been hiding Rula Jebreal? An astounding voice on the refugee crisis, the Middle East, etc.

    January 29, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  2. M Michaels

    There are a lot of mentions of Orwell's "1984" these days. Please call attention to another of his works, "Animal Farm," which eerily hits home right now as much as, if not more than, 1984. Given you are a member of the media as well as an intellectual, your thoughts on this work would be of interest. Your show is a must-see every week, and a service to our country. How fortunate we are that you chose the U.S. as your home.

    February 6, 2017 at 2:31 am | Reply
  3. G Orwell

    "Syria we didn't intervene"? Obama sent weapons to al qaeda (2013) in response to Asaad using chemical weapons, but your take (the US media take) is what most people want to hear.Way to keep that false message alive.

    February 15, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  4. helen schwerter

    It is so obvious that talking is always better than going to war which very often harms young soldiers, and non combatives and collateral damage where the war takes place. I am not so concerned about Iran, but rather I am worried about North Korea. I have many years (right now 84) and wonder why we don't ask for those who want war to sign up and go to the front lines. Perhaps there woud be more in favor of talking, not going to fight everyone and everyw.here.

    February 21, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  5. ernest wester

    Every economy it simply a hypothetical construct; the only issue is; getting people to buy into it. if tomorrow it was announced that minimum wage was now $0.15 / hour; what you have in the bank is yours unchanged. All wages 15% of what they had been; all debts, morgages, loans 15% of face value; a $15.00 stock on wall street is now 100 $0.15 stocks. nothing would be lost, America would be on an equal footing with the other economies of the world, could afford to rebuild our infrastructure and in ten years we would still economically pull ahead of other nations. A win win for all.

    March 3, 2017 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  6. Monica

    Enough with the Putin apologists on your show! I want to hear from people who are going to tell us real information from a balanced viewpoint not from Putin fabulists. Your audience knows Putin's side of the story. We don't need to hear it anymore.

    March 18, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  7. Angela Smith

    Please discuss why some people in Trump's inner circle, i.e., Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner or even Ivanka do not have to be vetted. They should be as they are very close to the president and influence his decisions. Also, why are so many x-Goldman Sachs workers in top positions to make policy for the country's workers who are working people not millionaires like they are.

    March 23, 2017 at 3:27 am | Reply
  8. Allen N Wollscheidt

    Fahreed - What do YOU see as the Future of MONEY (Capital and Capitalists) as AUTOMATION implacably replaces virtually ALL human labor over the next 100 years or so ? ? . . How do we distribute the products produced ? ?

    No one seems to want to talk about this ! ! . Any discussion thereof is branded as lunacy : I have news for those folk ! ! !

    It is REALLY NOT that hard if one simply discards Rightist mythology - which itself ignores Human Nature ! ! !

    April 2, 2017 at 7:44 am | Reply
  9. Oliver Marriott

    What's to stop the North Koreans from launching submarine missiles off the US coast? They appear to have this capability today. If their subs don't have the range, they could be towed some of the way.

    April 7, 2017 at 10:17 am | Reply
  10. kate m

    I missed your statistics on yesterday's GPS on starvation in East African countries.

    April 10, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  11. Sonny Harmond

    This is the best search system in the planet


    April 15, 2017 at 6:37 am | Reply
  12. Maryland Berney

    That is the best search system in the planet


    April 15, 2017 at 6:38 am | Reply
  13. MaggieJ

    You discussed North Korea this Easter Sunday morning . I would like you to ask the IOC if they would consider moving the winter Olympics out of South Korea which are scheduled next year. I do not want my grandson there because of the behavoir of North Korea. So many wonderful athletes from all over the world 35 miles from an unstable dictator!!!! Thank you

    April 16, 2017 at 11:11 am | Reply
  14. Kefelegn

    I was very disappointed to see Mr Zakaria adding his name into the bunch of war mongerers when he endorsed the missile attack against Syria by Mr Trump without demanding for a shred of evidence as to who did the atrocities knowing the fact that America has perfected the skills to manufacture evidences. i am not the supporter of Assad, but America's involvement in any conflict can only make matters worst than what it is, every now and then I have seen you appeared reasonable, but this time, you seem like wanting to join the Trump wagon. Good luck, I hope you won't sink with it.

    April 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  15. Nina Livings

    Very good article. I surely love this website. Continue the good work!


    April 19, 2017 at 5:13 am | Reply
  16. kevinschappert

    India is doing something right, no? The U.S. should embrace globalism in order to grow and place tariffs where necessary. Unfortunately, the present administration sends the wrong message. As Fareed has said, countries such as Singapore and Mexico will simply peddle their business elsewhere, as they have already done. TPP may have had negative attributes, but in considering our global presence it would have been positive overall.

    April 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Reply
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