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Hussein hadn’t been removed from power, the NSA’s spying on Germany and whether the borders in the Middle East are outdated.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 That doesn’t seem to me the story of a country that is isolationist and has withdrawn from the world.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 (139 Responses)
  1. m.s.mohamed ansari

    ECONOMIC COLLAPSE REASON ILLEGAL WAR AND ROYALBUDGET $1.7TRILLION
    next BBC All press and media Arabs leader and G20 leader ELECTRONIC VOTE ,,WHITE HOUSE HOUSE OF COMMAND,HOUSE OF LORD,,MICROSOFT, under control by CONGRESS ATO Z CONTROL BY QUEEN ELIZABETH still British rule the global 21 st century

    Royal budget and wedding cost. 10 generation total $ 57 trillion
    Each every politician rolling 8 years only
    But queen family enjoying 10 generation

    GLOBAL ECONOMIC FALL REASON WAR. Improve economy only peace and prayer
    WAR cost total $ 3.5 TRILLION. Every poor human blood tear .please saves economic
    POVERTY FAMINE &Effected education many people suicide. Many people Drug addict
    Jobless PRESENT ECONOMIC CRISIS
    Effected All liberal democracy. Billion of people tax pays.
    FDI INVESTOR &Joint ventured, effected global Federal Reserve
    Effected CNC manufacturer & energy power
    BANKRUPT 170 BANKS OVER ALL 87000 BRANCHES
    Million of people death and is wounded. NATO &US. Coalition troops 8000 wound 35000, public 800000
    Increase every day by day OPEC. Every good leader 8years but queen family enjoying10 th generation Y
    Global environment climate change this leads to agricultural &human health problem
    HISTORY + 114. MDCCLXXVI +114.UNITEDKING+114.HOUSE OF COMMAND +62
    WHITE HOUSE +52 =114. QUEEN+62 POPE +52 =114
    Please bring original HISTORY .Six thousand journalist are suppressing the truth of history but in one day it will come out
    Now we are in 21st century there were times former journalist exposed truth and sacrificed their precious life for the sake of truth, they unveiled the real history. Perhaps contradicting to their present power and money clouded their mind and our upcoming generation becomes a victim.
    We do not believe politicians as we used to, we do not believe the media, and whereas we believe each other”
    Thanking you this is turning point of improve GLOBAL ECONOMIC
    1. Press freedom 2.libral democracy 3.all country equal currency4.open emigration 5.free trade policy 6.avoid electronic vote 7. Every one equal right

    Your’s sincerely
    M.S.MOHAMED ANSARI
    Pragmatism has now fallen foul of the continuing power of the press.

    http://costofwar.com/

    http://edition.cnn.com/SPECIALS/war.casualties/index.html

    http://openlibrary.org/authors/OL3647712A/World_Media_Association

    Economic save only 6 point. Peace, prayer, liberty, unity, friendly, simple

    September 21, 2014 at 3:17 am | Reply
  2. Felix Girard

    I say "follow the money" for the real reason we have a coalition to get ISIS. OPEC does not want anyone to sell oil for $30 a barrel. And of course a bunch of cut-throat thugs should not be allowed to fund their terror from stolen property anyway.

    September 26, 2014 at 1:10 am | Reply
  3. Mark Stevens

    Borders may change throughout 3 Middle Eastern countries and resulting in one new country. That is Kurdistan. If the Kurds show themselves as the only responsible people that take in refugees that are Christian,Yazidi and Shia while fighting ISIS on behalf of themselves and these others then they have a strong argument for having their own nation. And bye the way, this would be a nation that is friendly to the west and grateful for their help in defending their territory.

    October 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  4. Daniel

    The one part that made me outright laugh was when Mr. Zakaria said 'the US was deciding if the UK or Germany was a closer ally...' BWAHAHAHA... umm... no. Germany and the USA were at war in WW2. The US and Germany were at war in WW1. Both times the UK was our ally. Pretty clear who is our 'closer ally'.

    October 12, 2014 at 3:42 am | Reply
  5. Fred Ferguson

    Excellant commentary re Muslim religion. CNN 10:00 AM Oct. 12 2014. This reminds me why I watch CNN.
    By the way My small company has bee involved in international technology development to lead a new era in energy-electricity initially for impoverished nations. We have operated 'stealth' until now. The issue; 71% of the planet is covered by water, all of it moving in some way or other, and generally quite slowly (ocean currents- 4 mph). We are about to show a technology that converts 50% of the energy in all water movement to electricity. http://www.waterotor.com – general press will be notified in about 2 months. Fred Ferguson, CEO – Founder

    October 12, 2014 at 10:19 am | Reply
  6. Metta Spencer

    Fareed, I think you're the best pundit in the US today - but I was shocked that you threw such soft balls to Netanyahu. How could you look him in the eye and ask questions about how many Iranian centrifuges he would "tolerate" — as if it were up to him anyway — without questioning him at all about Israel's own nuclear weapons? That omission amounts to scandalously biased journalism. Straighten up, friend!

    October 12, 2014 at 10:31 am | Reply
  7. E. E.Conway

    The info on the 4 Presidents economies this morning was quite informative and good for discussion. 1 complaint you called every President by their first and last names. Except for the present President, the sitting one, Barak Obama. You just called him Obama. Please give him the same respect as the other Presidents you reported on. The vast media has become so disrespectful of this President, He gets enough of this from Congress! The vast majority of Americans voted him in to office twice. We who voted for him no matter the mass problems he is facing observe this disrespect and will voice our distain and not forget it during the upcoming elections. Your name is clearly displayed in your broadcast and show, both names, first and last. You want respect, please give it to the current President of the United States, President Barak Obama.

    October 12, 2014 at 11:26 am | Reply
  8. Diane

    Enjoyed and learned from your program once again today. The variety and depth of coverage is continually outstanding. Thank you?

    October 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  9. Diane

    Oops. Question mark was meant to be an exclamation point!

    October 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  10. billbl

    Didn't Fareed suggest that moderate Muslim leaders speak out more?

    October 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Reply
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