October 21st, 2014
04:39 PM ET

How big a threat does ISIS pose?

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

Fareed speaks with Admiral James Stavridis, former supreme allied commander at NATO and author of The Accidental Admiral, and Daniel Benjamin, a former coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department and now director of The Dickey Center for International Understanding, about the threat posed by ISIS. Watch the video for the full interview.

Jim, it does feel like they've got their hands full, ISIS that is, between Iraq and Syria and all the forces that are battling them.

Stavridis: I think that this is a kind of a short-term/long-term set of constraints for us.

In the short-term, I completely agree, they've got their hands full. They've got Peshmerga coming from the north, they've got Iraqi security from the south, they've got bombing in the west. They're very busy. They're going to be in the middle of a three-front war very soon.

Long-term, there's not only, as Dan mentioned, I think ultimately the threat to the homeland – they have said they intend to fly the black flag of ISIS over the White House, I don't know how more direct they can be. But it is long-term.

You said, though, “it’s only a matter of time before a wave of EU-passport-bearing jihadists will be headed back home to wreak havoc.” So that sounds…

Stavridis: It's a matter of time. How long will that be? I don't know. Will it be different with individuals, different countries, different cultures? Absolutely. But that threat is building. It's a looming tower, as one person said about 9/11 a few years back.

Dan, one of the things they seem to be doing is goading the United States and the West. Presumably that is the point of these executions? That is the point of talking about raising the black flag. How seriously should we take this? People say one should have read Mein Kampf to understand Hitler's aims. So when they say all this stuff, how seriously do you take it?

Benjamin: Well, there's no question that they're no great fans of the United States, Fareed. I think that they were surprised a bit by the reaction to the decapitations. I think they probably miscalculated there. I think it's also important to calculate in here how much their presentation of themselves as hating the West, as being violently anti-American, is really aimed at selling themselves to potential recruits.


They’ve gone out of their way to prove that they are the most brutal group anyone has seen. And this has really worked for them. It's attracted an awful lot of people to their cause.

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Topics: GPS Show

soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. deniz boro

    Turkish-wise it sems imposible to help THE internal Kurdish Issue seems to be as high as ...sorry to say this.....they do not care...As long as one side or another of t the Kurdish ıssue come up

    October 21, 2014 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • Hannah

      Nobody invited us caucasians into the M-E or Iraq rattling our sabres. We have killed millions for no reason. Trust me there will be payback. Just like in Afghanistan we retreated with the tail between our legs claiming victory. What victory? We are broke. Just go to Fort Bragg et al and see the cemeteries full of our dead ones. Go to Walter Reed and watch the maimed. Go to Veteran’s Hospital and witness the sick die waiting for help. Enough.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:10 am | Reply
  2. Grand1

    The leadership want the money from the oil fields and refineries. They recruit young, unemployed, desperate men and women to do their dirty work. Leaders consider these "jidhadis" expendable.

    October 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  3. Ferhat Balkan

    ISIS is no doubt a very violent terrorist group that presents a danger to the Iraq-Syria region. That said, I believe Daniel Benjamin is correct that ISIS poses no immediate threat to the US. The threat has been greatly exaggerated by the media and the neocon republicans in congress. It's all driven by corporate politics to start another endless war in the Middle East. It's also sad to see that they're trying to drag Turkey into this mess. A mess that was created during the 2003 invasion of Iraq that destabilized the entire region.

    October 21, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      You are full of s hit. Yiur logic is coming out of your a zz.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:17 am | Reply
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

        You know that I didn't write that.

        October 22, 2014 at 7:31 am |
      • banasy©

        What do you mean you didn't write that? It sounds just like you.

        October 22, 2014 at 7:38 am |
      • Jose Ramirez

        Stop changing your IDs and posting anti muslim/hindu comments you piece of s hit burrito.

        October 22, 2014 at 10:15 am |
      • banasy©

        Not I.
        Not JIF.

        October 22, 2014 at 10:49 am |
      • Hannah

        Jose Ramirez. Go back to Mexico where you belong. I hope you can swim the river.
        Then have a fat bean burrito shoved up your brown ugly wet back asss

        October 22, 2014 at 1:45 pm |
  4. Blue Saffron

    PARDON ME:::: BUT------>>>>>

    There are 4 million muslims being subjected to genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir by Hindus. Hundreds of thousands have been killed.

    Over 20,000 muslims have been killed by hindus in Gujarat

    About 6 million Palestinian muslims have been made homeless and their lands taken away by jews in collaboration with Americans/British et al. One million have been killed.

    175 million muslims in India are living in oppression, subjugated by hindus and therefore seeking independence.

    300,000 muslims have been killed in Iraq by western forces

    250,000 muslims have been killed in Afghanistan by NATO.

    And we are worried about ISIS?
    Give me a break.

    October 21, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      How many American soldiers were killed?
      You don't care. I don't care about the dead Muslims either. I'm not cold. It's just not my world. Same reason you don't care that scared, nervous, unwanting to go American soldiers died too. Thousands of miles away from home. So STFU about your dirty Muslims because nobody in the west cares.

      October 21, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Reply
      • Chappel H

        Run along now boy and take a s hit on the rail track in Bombay.

        October 22, 2014 at 5:07 am |
    • Hannah

      This is so terrible. Why don't they hold plebiscite in Indian Occupied Kashmir? Where is democracy? This genocide and atrocity is happening right before our eyes. India needs to be stopped. We need to drone hindus. We need to airdrop arms and ammunition for Kashmiris in India.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:15 am | Reply
  5. Blue Saffron

    @my troll. If that is true, I am sorry and someone should do something about it.
    But nothing comes out in the news. So I do not know where you get such info from.

    October 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      Awwww Geeee.... You never heard of Indian Occupied Kashmir? Palestine? Irak? Afghanistan? I have made these places up? Shucks !! You were never a bright bulb.

      October 21, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  6. Blue Saffron

    ***News Flash***
    Muslims in the Middle East are killing women and children.
    Why? Because they are Christians.
    Some Muslims are so EVIL.

    October 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      Gee whizz... Awww shucks..

      A catholic nun has been rayped in Orissa state in India.

      The nun was rayped by a Hindu mob in Kandhamal district after riots between Hindus and Christians there.

      The Catholic nun, working with the Divyajyoti Pastoral Centre at Kanjemandi village, alleged that she was dragged out of a Hindu man's house where she had taken shelter along with a 55-year-old priest, Father Thomas Chellantharayil.

      She was taken to an abandoned house where she was rayped by a mob on. She was also paraded naked through the streets.

      October 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • Cristobal

      Most hindus are EVIL, though. I am sure you will agree.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:21 am | Reply
  7. Mike

    Alebadi the Iraqi prime minister went to Iran to kiss the Shia supreme leader hands. He's copying the former prime minister acts and expanding the civil war between Sunni and Shia in the region! He told that I am under order of Iran islamic regime!!
    The question is why the Iraq prime minister must be Shia?!

    October 21, 2014 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  8. Blue Saffron

    Christians BEWARE!
    Muslims will kill you just for being Christian.
    Dirty evil Muslims!

    October 21, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      Will they bother me? I'm just an atheist.

      October 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in violent attacks on Christians in India, often perpetrated by Hindu Nationalists/Hindu Talibans. The acts of violence include arson of churches, re-conversion of Christians to Hinduism, distribution of threatening literature, burning of Bibles, rayping of nuns, murder of Christian priests and destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries.

      October 22, 2014 at 4:53 am | Reply
  9. Blue Saffron

    Shhhhh Joey Isotta-Fraschini. You must go to sleep now to rest for your up coming performance this weekend when you conduct the New York Symphony Orchestra.

    October 21, 2014 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

      I don't think that any NYC orchestra calls itself that.
      We usually just say "the Philharmonic" when discussing the "group," or "band," that you probably meant.

      October 22, 2014 at 6:30 am | Reply
  10. Blue Saffron


    VISHWA HINDU PARISHAD (World Hindu Council)

    LEADERS: Narendra Modi/ L.K. Advani/ Ashok Singhal/ Bala Saheb Devaras/ Bal Thackeray(EXTERMINATED)/ A.B. Vajpayee/ Savarkar/ Baikunnth Lal Sharma “Prem”/ Balraj Madhok/ The Shankaracharya of Puri, Niranjan Dev Theerth/ Rama Gopalan/ Variyar – Vishwan Hindu Parishad/ Dharmalinga Nadar/ Cho Ramaswamy

    October 22, 2014 at 4:46 am | Reply
    • Cristobal

      We should just send the drones in and bomb away these hindus in India. They are cannibals.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:19 am | Reply
  11. Chappel H

    @Blue Saffron you articulate well the terror emanating from hindu India home to about 500 freedom fighting organizations and some 30 odd terror outfits. I have researched this issue well. ISIS is a product of the teachings of the none hindu terror groups you listed above in the 4:46 post.

    India mastered terrorism
    via raypes and beheadings and burning innocent people alive in Indian Occupied Kashmir and Gujarat, Assam, Tamil Nadu etc. These bad guys were hindus. Again, millions have been killed.

    Furthermore, terrorism, IEDs, self immolation and suicide belt technology was invented by Indian hinddoous in Sri Lanka. They trained Tamils as suicide bombers and terrorists. They were marketed as Tamil Tigers. The terrorism lasted 35 years. Hundreds of thousands were killed as a result. The hate towards India was so much in Sri Lanka that Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was slapped by a Sri Lankan soldier during an official visit. He was later blown up to smithereens by a hindoo suicide bomber in India.

    ISIS is a charity organization as compared to to hindu terror groups such as Shiv Sena and BJP et al. Modi is their leader. He should stand trial for genocides in Gujarat and Indian Iccupied Kashmir.

    October 22, 2014 at 5:05 am | Reply
    • Hannah

      Modi will never be accepted as a leader till he faces trial for the genocides in Gujarat, India. The trial should be held in The Hague where Milosevic was tried.

      October 22, 2014 at 5:17 am | Reply
  12. Cristobal


    Indian Army::::

    :::Killed 10 million bangladeshis
    :::Rayped 7 million bengali women
    :::M assacred 200,000 muslims in Meerut
    :::Murdered 1 million Kashmiris and rayped 500,000 and 50,000 are missing
    :::In Assam 350,000 have been killed
    :::During 1947 hindus murdered 3 million muslims
    ::::Murdered millions of Sri Lankans
    :::: Millions of Sikhs have been killed


    October 22, 2014 at 5:25 am | Reply
    • Sounds

      Sounds like the Hindus have a good start then.

      October 22, 2014 at 11:33 am | Reply
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    From my perch, ISIS poses no threat to anybody. If you are clean then you have nothing to be afraid of. However, if you have committed genocides then they sre coming after you.

    October 22, 2014 at 6:58 am | Reply
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©

    Everybody, please vote this year.
    I always vote, but then I'm a Republican: we always vote.
    Because I support Obama, I keep getting requests to support an amendment to our YouKnowWhat that would void SCOTUS decisions in Citizens United v. FEC, and in McCutcheon v. FEC.
    I oppose such an amendment.

    October 22, 2014 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • Jose Ramirez

      Child p ornography is legal in India. The only country in the world to allow it. Why? Because their leader Mahatma Gandi was a pedo.

      October 22, 2014 at 7:37 am | Reply
  15. Jesus Moreno

    I eat dog sh-t for breakfast.

    October 22, 2014 at 7:28 am | Reply
  16. Jose Ramirez

    Mama mia .... Hindoos eat Mexican s hit for dessert. Caramba!

    October 22, 2014 at 7:34 am | Reply
  17. banasy©

    Jose Ramirez is a POS, elephant d-ck su..cker. He likes it up his girly tight a.s..hole.
    Jesus Moreno gives good B. J's.
    Blue Saffron is a dirty rotten coward muslim that does not follow his own religion.
    These are undisputable facts.

    October 22, 2014 at 7:46 am | Reply
    • Jose Ramirez

      And you are? A motha fockin hombre with BO from India. Eh Pasquale. Sukk my conchita curry boy.

      October 22, 2014 at 10:05 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      Mr. Ramirez:
      I didn't author this.

      October 22, 2014 at 10:52 am | Reply
  18. Hannah

    Muslims have no culture, no class, and a false religion. Got to feel sorry for them.

    October 22, 2014 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • Jose Ramirez

      Sounds like hindoos to me. Have some burritos kid.

      October 22, 2014 at 10:02 am | Reply
  19. Hannah

    Modi is great!

    October 22, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Jose Ramirez

      He takes a guacamole burrito up his black hinddoou a zz eh bambino.

      October 22, 2014 at 10:07 am | Reply
  20. Jose Ramirez

    Modi was talking a hike in chandni chowk and sn ISIS freedom fighter shoved his bicho up his nekro culo.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:10 am | Reply
  21. Blue Saffron

    Here is my take on ISIS. We know that tigers are dangerous but we don't go about killing them. Same analogy applies to ISIS. Let them loose in India to control the population. That is a good thing.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:22 am | Reply
  22. Blue Saffron

    ISIS fights for justice. Therefore, it has opened up an office in India. It is now a multinational just like McDonalds. It serves fast justice. Head on a plate. Braised to perfection. Andrew Zimmern style. A lesson learned well from hindus.


    October 22, 2014 at 10:43 am | Reply
  23. palintwit

    Historians now agree that the south lost the civil war because generations of inbreeding resulted in an abnormally high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the confederate army. Also, physical deformities such as webbed feet prevented the confederates from running from the northern army, thus insuring their capture and defeat. One has only to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line to see the descendants of the confederate forces, easily recognizable by their lack of teeth and sloping foreheads.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Beef Lo Mein

      How do you explain this? Inbreeding/I ncest?

      1962 INDIA-CHINA WAR

      111,383 killed
      11,047 wounded
      11,696 missing
      123,968 captured
      131,544 ran away to Bhutan and still are hiding scared from Chinese.

      October 22, 2014 at 11:12 am | Reply
      • palintwit

        Yes. Studies have shown there was and still is abnormally high inbreeding / incest in the southern bible belt states.

        October 22, 2014 at 11:29 am |
      • Beef Lo Mein

        In Tamil Nadu? Chennai? Bang-a- loru?

        October 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  24. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    How big a threat does ISIS pose? In reality, not very big at all except that the politicians in Washington are using this "threat" in order to scare the public as usual! It works every time!

    October 22, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
  25. My Picture Of Mohammad


    October 22, 2014 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Beef Lo Mein

      Did Mohammad take your job away? Stole your wife? LOL

      October 22, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • Mohammad

        Mohammad like little boys.

        October 23, 2014 at 8:28 am |
  26. Beef Lo Mein

    There have been 3 wars between China and India. Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola War in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian War.
    In all these three wars India was comprehensively defeated and the Indian Army surrendered. In two of these wars the Indian Army was commanded by hindu generals. The last war had a Sikh general. Needless to say they were all cowards and surrendered to Chinese.

    October 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  27. palintwit

    "Michele Bachmann is the poor man's Sarah Palin".

    -Meghan McCain-

    October 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  28. Thomas

    A federal jury returned guilty verdicts for all four former Blackwater security guards charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad.

    This happened 7 years ago , since then Blackwater changed there name , owns there on bank in the Caribbean and made off with 100s of millions in tax payer no bid contracts .

    what is the difference between them and Isis , money and a different god .

    October 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  29. chri§§y

    Not only that @ Joey you also dont have a foul mouth like the coward who has been stealing your name of late. And im talking about recently when he has been posting under your name in BLUE!

    October 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      We can tell the difference. JIF isn't profane.

      October 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Reply
      • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby


        October 22, 2014 at 1:49 pm |
      • banasy©

        Yes. You are special.

        October 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
  30. Hannah

    Modi is a great leader.
    Praise Modi.
    Praise Allah.

    October 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Reply
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