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. banasy©

    Guys, I have to tell ya that Chrissy is a real
    a sshole. She is PMSing.

    October 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      You have gotten my avatar.
      Although I know how you have done this,(because it isn't magic) from now on this shall be my new avatar.

      I truly wish I knew why you do the thugs you do. It isn't remotely normal.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  2. rupert

    I'm gone for two days,and this is what happens? Name stealing, I-con re-newing, fighting, & name calling ?
    This name stealing is precisely the reason I haven't posted in two days.
    Stop it guys! And the troll in blue, forget about the hidus and india.
    What u need is a Catholic priest for an ex.or cist!

    October 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      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.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Not I.
        I am not remotely interested in bashing entire nations, because of a personal itch only a madman can scratch.

        October 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm |
  3. banasy©

    Fareed needs to seek atonement and perhaps another profession. His ethics are third world .

    October 22, 2014 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  4. chri§§y

    Lol see @ JR...thats the beauty of celebacy...i no longer have to Put up with Mens Sh!t aka PMS!

    October 22, 2014 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      You need to get laid Chrissy.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm | Reply
      • banasy©

        Your interest in everyone else's sex life is quite creepy, faux banasy.

        October 22, 2014 at 9:59 pm |
  5. rupert

    @9:13. Fukk u azzhole. U aint fooling anybody.
    Now sukk my willy wacker and drink my
    E. Jack a.lation. the protein will do u good c.u.n.t. face

    October 22, 2014 at 9:26 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      Man, do you miss me? Holding my d ik?

      October 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  6. rupert

    Jeff Roem does not exist
    Jeff Roem does not exist
    Jeff Roem does not exist

    October 22, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      This is true. He changed his name four years ago. His first name is Adam, but, try as he might, he cannot change his profound mental illness.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Reply
      • rupert

        Hey! Psst. 9:44 below. Put your glasses on

        October 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
      • banasy©

        No, I don't think so. Stellar effort, however.

        October 22, 2014 at 9:51 pm |
  7. banasy©

    Bye guys. It was a blast.

    October 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  8. rupert

    Blue Saffron does not exist
    Blue Saffron does not exist
    Blue Saffron does not exist

    October 22, 2014 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  9. rupert

    1,2,3,4,5 a few more moments and u can change your name from banasy to christobal, or randy, or jose ramirez, or hannah, or blue saffron, or what ever.
    U have more names than the hair around your sweaty dirty as-crack.
    So long mel. Have a nice trip

    October 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm | Reply
    • banasy©

      I'm sure you are patting yourself on the back, at your job well done.
      You are wrong.

      October 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
      • rupert

        I'm sleepy banny. I ate too much garlic. ISIS won't last past 2018.
        Good night
        Blue Saffron. I know you're the mega troll. All of a sudden all the trolls are in blue talking about india the same day u arrive?
        What a coincidence. And they all have a grudge against Fareed?
        Another coincidence. They all hate Hindus and love muslims?
        Another coincidence. U are just a mean troll.
        I hope u lose your teeth and your hair!

        October 22, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
  10. rupert

    Mental illness? That would be you,chrissy, new blue troll of 1000 names and jesus moreno.
    He is a blog tard. Just another of blues many names.
    4 years ago I didn't even know of these blogs sherlock.
    Wise up or stfu

    October 22, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  11. rupert

    Hey! Where is everybody?

    October 22, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    Sad pathetic little man! If you didnt talk like a pig maybe you could get a date once in awhile. Women do not like to be with men like that!

    October 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • rupert

      @chrissy. I want to li ck u.

      October 22, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  13. Blue Sapphire

    ISIS has found the cracks in India and kicked the door wide open.

    "Experimental Democracy" has failed in India. An experiment that was being shoved down India's throat by western countries too eager to propagate their own values on a country that was trying to decolonize itself while trying to shed the communist skin of being a Soviet ally. India was thus trapped. What has become evident now is that this "Experimental Democracy" has marginalized the country. The marginalized groups of the country – Dalits and ‘backward’ castes/classes, indigenous ‘tribal’ people and religious minorities have been disenfranchised.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  14. Better Tomorrow

    Where I come from we feed terrorists like Modi alive to Aghoris or Jeffrey Dahmers.
    One hindu the other American. The comparison ends there ... at cannibalism.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm | Reply
  15. Akbar: The Last Grand Emperor of India

    Fareed is a CIA agent implanted at CNN to spread misinformation. He is a convicted plagiarist. He is from India. We are well aware of his pro Indian and Israeli leanings.

    For all of us who watched the Maher show know how eloquently Ben Affleck expressed his opinions which were very balanced. He explained ISIS better than POTUS.

    October 22, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  16. chri§§y

    What a crock! He is no more a CIA agent than you or i!

    October 22, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
    • Fjord

      You are a stupid person

      October 23, 2014 at 7:54 am | Reply
  17. Blue Saffron

    All I can say is that Modi is a disgrace to the human race. He happens to be from India is a celebration of that country's terrorist culture. He further happens to be a hindoo is reflective that garbage produces smelly gases.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  18. Blue Saffron


    ::Town square for burning brides due less dowry

    ::Fumigation stations to get rid of BO

    ::Shiva's linga statues for easy puja

    ;:Butchery spots for sacrificing kids to deities

    October 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  19. dazzle

    Gone to hell again. Why bother.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • Blue Saffron

      We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. – Socrates

      October 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Reply
      • Chappel H

        What a breath of fresh air after all the trash posted by the likes of @chrissy @rupert and many others. Same person different IDs. We get it.

        October 23, 2014 at 6:48 am |
  20. Blue Saffron

    So the only way to peace in Syria is dismantling the terrorist network and financing emanating from India, cutting it up into smaller nations along the lines of communist USSR and let smaller and more gentle and economically dynamic states emerge, stopping the genocide in Kashmir of muslim children/women, subjugation of minorities, prosecution of Christians and Muslims.

    Furthermore the ridiculously large and ineffective Indian army needs to be dismantled and put to use in assisting the poverty stricken masses and not sitting in trenches hiding from Talibans.

    October 22, 2014 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  21. Chappel H

    ISIS is a major league problem. Others were minor leagues.

    America has always left a mess behind. You all know those countries. We all know which countries are next.

    @ Blue Saffron gives us his thesis and a sneak preview into the future. I get it.

    October 23, 2014 at 6:45 am | Reply
  22. Cobalt

    I am not a messiah but this I will say. The world will never see peace again till the Palestinian and Indian Occupied Kashmir issues are resolved.

    Either the world will be destroyed or the battlefield will now shift across the pond westwards. That seems to be the movie that is now playing.

    The mantra that "We will not be intimated" is not the solution. Looking problem into the eye and solving it is way into the future.

    Remember the movie Seven Days in May? We may yet see that scenario play out after all if our politicians can't figure it out. Hooyah!
    America has failed to lead the world. UN was always a farce.

    Let me also say that the american bureacracy, the likes of CIA/Armed Forces are incompetent. Most of their policies have been failures.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:02 am | Reply
  23. Blue Saffron

    Watching CNN and Fareed et al gives us all a clue what is wrong with America. All hype and propaganda. No substance.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:25 am | Reply
  24. Hannah

    This forum is so civilized and intelligent without the presence of the usual cast of characters such as @ Joey, chrissy, rupert, banasy etc. Hopefully they are done for good and outta here. Now we can have healthy discussions from here on end.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Tracy

      You know they are one and same. They don't fool me.

      October 23, 2014 at 7:39 am | Reply
      • banasy©

        Are you the Tracey from the Marquee Blog?

        Rupert, incorrect as usual.

        October 23, 2014 at 10:35 am |
    • rupert

      Ok. True. You got me. I really am joey,chrissy,banasy, dazzle, and rupert plus a few others..all in one. I don't know how u know this.
      I change colors too.
      Now..India is good. Modi is ok.

      October 23, 2014 at 8:14 am | Reply
      • rupert

        And when I'm feeling wild and freaky, I have a few margaritas and post as Philip.

        October 23, 2014 at 8:26 am |
      • Jorge Santiago

        People like you give India a bad name. Curry people with bad BO.

        October 23, 2014 at 9:41 am |
  25. Blue Saffron

    ISIS is our making. Our failures and political travails.

    It is giving us a run for our money. Only we to blame.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:45 am | Reply
    • Fjord

      Well said. We will now pay a huge price to deal with it.

      October 23, 2014 at 7:50 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      I agree with this.

      October 23, 2014 at 10:37 am | Reply
  26. Blue Saffron

    ISIS is just a footnote. The larger picture is the atrocities against moslems. This chapter was written by India. 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.

    A new world order is being created. India is being dismembered. It is up for grabs. The deal is done.

    October 23, 2014 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Fjord

      My fear is that over a billion people live in that very concentrated country. When the bloated elephant explodes it will spray filth all over. I pity the neighbors.

      October 23, 2014 at 7:52 am | Reply
  27. Ace of Spades♠

    India is a diseased country and devouring our precious resources and not producing enough. On top of that you hindus are massacring minorities including Christians. We cannot accept that. Next week a million people march will be underway to protest genocide in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:00 am | Reply
    • Jorge Santiago

      These hindus now come to Mexico to swim to America illegally. Bicho in hindu culo, chica chita, amigo.

      October 23, 2014 at 9:46 am | Reply
  28. Ace of Spades♠

    Is Fareed a stooge or what? He just doesn't have the brain power.

    October 23, 2014 at 8:02 am | Reply
  29. Jorge Santiago

    What do they do with dead hinddoos in Mexico?

    Gut them to make tacos!

    October 23, 2014 at 9:44 am | Reply
  30. Amit Shivanathan

    Enough of mudslinging on Indians. What have we done to you? We are not terrorists. If you don't stop it I will also speak bad about you.

    October 23, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
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