September 16th, 2014
07:04 PM ET

Assessing America's alternative energy future

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

The crisis in Iraq and Syria, fueled by oil. The crisis in Ukraine, greatly complicated by natural gas. So what if we lived in a world that was powered by something other than these hydrocarbons we are so dependent on. That's a world that Vinod Khosla is betting on, quite literally. Khosla was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems. He now runs his own firm, Khosla Ventures, and is the 352nd richest person in America, according to Forbes. In recent years, most of his energy has gone into finding promising alternate energy technologies, and investing in them.

Watch the video for the interview for his take on the future of alternative energy.

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Topics: Energy • GPS Show
September 16th, 2014
04:04 PM ET

U.S. must not jump when ISIS asks it to

CNN’s New Day speaks with Fareed Zakaria about recent developments over the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and what the U.S. response should be. This is an edited version of the transcript.

What is the perspective from Arab states about who is willing to join the coalition against ISIS and put boots on the ground?

Let's think about it from this point of view. What is ISIS’s strategy? What are they trying to do to put out these videos, by doing this kind of brutality? They are trying the goad the United States in. What they want to do is say, there America goes again, invading another Arab country, bombing Muslims, and we are the defenders. They want to make it us against them.

What we have to be careful not to play into the game, not to jump when they ask us to.

How?

The most important thing is that we have to make sure that the other Arab states are involved. We have a few countries like Saudi Arabia that say they would be willing to participate in the bombings. FULL POST

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Topics: Iraq • Syria
September 16th, 2014
11:38 AM ET

Do sanctions actually work?

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

The West has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia. But can America and Europe craft effective sanctions?

Sure, sanctions have already hurt the Russian economy: stock prices are down, capital is fleeing the country and the Russian ruble has taken a hit. But Vladimir Putin shows no signs of moving to the off ramp of diplomacy that President Obama has talked about. Indeed, he's retaliating against the West by basically imposing his own set of counter-sanctions, banning around $9 billion worth of food imports from the West, despite the fact that this will mean higher food prices for Russians.

And he's not changing his military strategy, which has been to encourage the Ukrainian separatists to stand firm. So, will yet another round of sanctions do the trick?

Well, here's the problem. Sanctions don't really have that great a track record. We think of sanctions as highly effective because they did bring the Iranians to the negotiating table, it seems. But those are unusually comprehensive sanctions, implemented by almost all countries. That's very rare. FULL POST

September 14th, 2014
01:08 AM ET

Kissinger on the evolving global order

Fareed speaks with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about the current global order and the concept of American exceptionalism. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

In reading your book, what is striking is you describe a world order, really the Westphalian world order, created after the religious wars in Europe that was conceived of and articulated and implemented by the West using Western values. And you point out that there is no such agreement now. The Chinese have their own conception of world order. The Islamic world has its own conception of the world order. Even the Indians have a very different conception.

So I read that part and I thought, my God, it’s going to be impossible to imagine any conceivable global world order, no matter how smart and engaged the U.S. president is or this is a structural shift that's taken place that is overwhelming.

No, it will be very difficult, but it has to begin by understanding what the differences are. And therefore, in stating one's objectives, one has a dual task and it's somewhat contradictory.

One has to be motivated by the values of our own society. And they are very inseparable from exceptionalism. But one has to understand that these are not self-evident somewhere else. And one has, therefore, to fit specific policies into a framework. That's very difficult. It's never… FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show
September 13th, 2014
07:01 PM ET

How to defeat ISIS

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

By Fareed Zakaria

President Obama's speech Wednesday night outlined a tough, measured strategy to confront ISIS. But let's make sure in the execution of this strategy that the U.S. learns something from the 13 years since September 11, 2001 and the war against al Qaeda.

Here are a few lessons to think about:

One – Don't always take the bait. The United States has to act against this terror group. But it should do so at a time and manner of its choosing rather than jumping when ISIS wants it to jump.

Lesson two: Don't overestimate the enemy. ISIS is a formidable foe, but the counterforces to it have only just begun...While ISIS is much more sophisticated than al Qaeda in its operations and technology, it has one major, inherent weakness. Al Qaeda was an organization that was pan-Islamic, trying to appeal to all Muslims. This group is a distinctly sectarian organization. ISIS is anti-Shiite as well as deeply hostile to Kurds, Christians and many other inhabitants in the Middle East. This means that it has large numbers of foes in the region who will fight against it, not because the United States wants them to but in their own interests.

Lesson number three: Remember politics. The Obama administration has mapped out a smart strategy in Iraq, pressing the Baghdad government to include more Sunnis. But that is yet to happen – the Shiite parties have dragged their feet over any major concessions to the Sunnis. This is a crucial issue because if the United States is seen as defending two non-Sunni regimes – Iraq and Syria – against a Sunni uprising, it will not win.

Watch the video for the full Take, or read the WaPo column

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Topics: Fareed's Take
September 13th, 2014
06:33 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Fareed's take on ISIS, Kissinger on Ukraine, and the CEO of Uber

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

On GPS this Sunday: First, Fareed gives his take on President Obama’s speech on how to respond to the threat posed by ISIS – and looks at what the United States should and shouldn’t do.

Then, Fareed speaks with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about the recent developments in Ukraine, how the U.S. should tackle ISIS, and what he thinks about Barack Obama and his administration’s foreign policy.

“I thought we withdrew too rapidly from the Iraq, not just militarily, but also with a political presence. And I have concerns about what will happen in Afghanistan unless we create an international framework for it,” Kissinger says. “But we should try to come up with non-partisan solutions in what is going to be an extremely difficult period.”

Later, Fareed speaks with former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher about President Obama’s ISIS strategy, and what role other countries in the Middle East might be willing to play.

Also on the show, Fareed speaks with Travis Kalanick, founder and CEO of Uber.

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Topics: GPS Show
September 11th, 2014
11:34 PM ET

Can we defeat the Islamic State?

By Fareed Zakaria

The Obama administration has mapped out a smart strategy in Iraq, pressing the Baghdad government to include more Sunnis. But that has yet to happen — the Shiite parties have dragged their feet over any major concessions to Sunnis. The Iraqi army has not been reconstituted to make it less partisan and sectarian and more inclusive and effective. This is a crucial issue because if the United States is seen as defending two non-Sunni regimes — Iraq and Syria — against a Sunni uprising, it will not win. And it will be hard to recruit local allies. While a minority in Iraq, Sunnis make up the vast majority of the Middle East’s Muslims.

The Syrian aspect of the president’s strategy is its weak link. It is impossible to battle the Islamic State and not, in effect, strengthen the Bashar al-Assad regime. We can say we don’t intend to do that, but it doesn’t change the reality on the ground. The Free Syrian Army remains weak and divided among many local militias.

Read the full Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take
How not to demilitarize Hamas 
September 11th, 2014
11:33 PM ET

How not to demilitarize Hamas 

By Ofer Zalzberg 

Editor’s note: Ofer Zalzberg is Senior Analyst for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group. The views expressed are the writer’s own.

In a few weeks, indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas are to take place in Cairo with the aim of consolidating a durable ceasefire. The problem is that the two sides have two quite different agendas – while Hamas chiefly seeks the removal of the siege over Gaza, the Israeli government is primarily interested in demilitarizing Gaza.

But is pushing for demilitarization of Hamas in Gaza alone really in Israel’s interests?

The government embraced this objective after important Israeli figures, pointing to Syria’s relinquishing of chemical weapons and the PLO’s 1988 adoption of non-violent resistance, put forward proposals aiming to fully demilitarize the Gaza Strip, including its rockets, missiles and offensive tunnels in exchange for massive economic investments in the Strip. FULL POST

September 10th, 2014
11:12 AM ET

Why sugar is worse than fat

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

Fareed speaks with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta about recent research on the risks of high sugar consumption. Watch the video for the full interview.

For 20 years, people have been assuming that fat was the enemy because it produced cholesterol, which was blocking arteries. That's not quite right.

I could talk about this all day long, because I think it highlights some very important things in terms of how we sometimes misinterpret science, or at least exaggerate it.

It was in the late '70s – in fact, there was a Senate commission, Senator McGovern, who actually looked at this issue and found that people who had very high levels of cholesterol tended to die early of heart disease. And there was also other studies that showed if you ate a diet high in fat, it raised your cholesterol. But those were two different studies. And they got really, really linked, not only by the Senate, but also in the scientific community and then by everybody else.

And what happened over the last 30 years, it got codified. It became the way that we eat low fat in this country. And nothing changed. In fact, things got worse. Cardiovascular disease remains the biggest killer of men and women. Diabetes rates are higher than ever before. Childhood obesity. So it didn't work. And I think that's what sort of prompted all this analysis. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show • Health
September 8th, 2014
07:06 PM ET

Some good news out of Washington

For more What in the World watch Sundays at 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. ET on CNN

By Global Public Square staff

We’re always on the lookout for good news – and we have some important good news this week, and it's actually coming out of Washington, despite all the polarization. Of course, true to form, the two parties disagree about this piece of news. So what is it?

Well, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently released its semi-annual outlook of the U.S. economy over the next decade. And the CBO's headline is that things are going better than expected. We are firmly in an economic recovery with substantially lower federal deficits, low interest rates and, we would add, little danger of inflation.

The CBO says that the federal deficit – the gap between revenues and spending – is projected to be $506 billion in 2014. That is just 2.9 percent of GDP, slightly lower than the average shortfall over the last four decades.

Keep in mind that in 2009 the federal deficit was 9.8 percent of GDP. The current number is much better than most believed was possible just a few years ago.  FULL POST

Topics: Economy • What in the World?
September 8th, 2014
03:55 PM ET

Revisiting 'Why Do They Hate Us?'

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

By Fareed Zakaria

Watching the gruesome ISIS execution videos, I felt some of the same emotions I did after 9/11. Barbarism, after all, is designed to provoke anger and it succeeded. But in September 2001, it also made me ask a question: "Why Do They Hate Us?"

I tried to answer it in an almost 7,000-word essay for Newsweek that struck a chord with readers. I reread the essay this past week, to see how it might need updating in the 13 years since I wrote it.

I began the piece by noting that Islamic terror is not the isolated behavior of a handful of nihilists. There is a broader culture that has been complicit in it, or at least unwilling to combat it. Now, things have changed on his front but not nearly enough…

…By 2001, when I was writing, almost every part of the world had seen significant political progress - Eastern Europe was free, Asia, Latin America, and even Africa had held many free and fair elections. FULL POST

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Topics: Fareed's Take • Middle East • Religion
September 6th, 2014
11:41 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Analysis on Ukraine, ISIS and the unrest in Pakistan

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

On GPS this Sunday: A special live start to the show, examining the two major crises that dominated the NATO summit this week: Russia in Ukraine and ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Then, Fareed looks at whether another crisis is brewing – in Pakistan. Another civilian government is teetering on the brink. Will a former cricket star (and his supporters) topple the government and send the nuclear-armed nation into turmoil again? Fareed speaks with Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, and CNN security analyst Peter Bergen.

“We must understand that these protests and the turmoil they have generated is just the symptom of a deeper, deeper disease,” Haqqani says. “The disease is that Pakistan's military has ruled Pakistan for more than half its life as an independent country. And in the other half, when civilians are allowed to govern, the military wants control of foreign policy and security policy.”

Also, Fareed speaks with CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, about a new study suggesting that eating a low-carb diet is more effective not just for weight loss, but also for reducing your risk of heart disease.

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Topics: GPS Show
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