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Hussein hadn’t been removed from power, the NSA’s spying on Germany and whether the borders in the Middle East are outdated.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 That doesn’t seem to me the story of a country that is isolationist and has withdrawn from the world.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 (227 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Fareed,
    What can be done to make the dream come true for the delightful young woman who appeared on your show today – December 13, 2015? What a wonderful addition that she would make to our country. Her intelligence, kindness and obvious ambition to really make a positive mark in the world was obvious and heartwarming.

    December 13, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  2. david frazier

    I have long believed and was taught that charity begins at home.being a chairitable person I try to help when ever I can, but it is very hard for me to support bringing in thousands of refugees and giving them money, housing , medical care, education food stamps and other benefits,When we have several million homeless vets and others already in this country that are citizens born in this country and can get no help but our elected officals would rather take care of refugees to try and build a bigger voter base vetrans waiting for months for medical care,people that faught for our country its soo sad

    December 15, 2015 at 12:03 am | Reply
  3. PUTHIA

    I am a fan of Fareed Zakariah, the one and only fare and fearless media personality.
    I wonder why all the forces of the civilised world fail to defeat ISIL.
    I never heard anybody talking about the most important and vital issue – who is arming ISIL!
    My plan for defeating this cancer is:
    Stop bombing Syria
    Stop provoking the militants
    Isolate the terrorist owned countries / territories
    Cut off the supply of weapons, arms and ammunitions, and sophisticated gadgets to these territories. Cut off channels of trade in and out, close the roads and other routes.
    Stop all imports and exports into and out of these territories
    Even if they have money, it is of no use if no weapons and gadgets are sold to them. I do not think they have the knowhow and materials to produce sophisticated weapons of their own. They cannot survive for long without outside supplies and support. With this strategy ISIL will wither away within one year

    December 22, 2015 at 7:05 am | Reply
  4. Peter Simmons

    Hello Fareed,
    I am generally a fan of yours...I see your reporting as insightful, and truthful. However, today I watched "The Long Road to Hell", and was VERY DISAPPOINTED. You touched on the reasons re: WHY the US invaded Iraq, but there was a GLARING OMMISSION here. You failed to mention that the REAL REASON the US invaded Iraq was to GRAB THEIR OIL!!! Dick Cheney, at the behest of HALLIBURTON, convinced George Bush that there were "Weapons of Mass Destruction" there. Bush, a likeable but goofy, semi-literate, moron figured that Cheney must know what he was talking about, and followed Cheney's STRONG ADVICE to invade ASAP. And THAT'S why we're where we are today. Of course, it's not too hard to figure out why you failed to mention all this...the OIL companies are major suppliers of CNN's revenue stream, and we all know the old adage: DON'T BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU!

    December 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  5. Dillawer K.

    Fareed, I have long been your fan for your reporting on various issues in the US and around the world. Lately however I am beginning to see how you are congregating to the camps of the general media and sorry to say that is not a compliment. Your gradual move to be just like all others will destroy the strong and fair reporting foundation which you build GPS on and we respect. You more than anyone knows that the top three issues that are destroying Middle East now are ISIS, Sectarian violence and the Kurdish nation. You have covered ISIS and Sectarianism numerous times but you are avoiding the Kurdish nation. I always thought that you are above the average (directed) media, don't let me and many of your fans down. See if you can bring the subject of the Kurds out to light in the familiar fashion you and GPS is know for. eliminate doubters about the direction you are heading.

    January 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Reply
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