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. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show
October 20th, 2014
05:59 PM ET

Expert: Some good news on Ebola fight

Fareed speaks with Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who co-discovered the Ebola virus.

You worry about the fact that this could spread in the very large, very congested cities in Africa, for example, in Nigeria. And at that point, this could really spread like lightning.

Well, first of all, the three countries that are affected are being totally destabilized, not only in terms of people who are killed by Ebola, their families, the orphans that now are coming up because the parents die, but the economy has come to a standstill. People are massively dying from other diseases that are normally treatable, like malaria, or women die while giving birth because hospitals are abandoned or are full with Ebola patients.

So that’s a very, very destabilizing factor. And that's going to go in its impact beyond Ebola.

Now the big question will be, will this spread to surrounding countries? The good news is that both Nigeria and Senegal have been able to contain a number important cases. In Senegal, there wasn’t even any secondary case. In Nigeria, there were a number of people who were infected and died, but it has not given rise to an outbreak in Lagos, after all, a city of more than 20 million people, or in Port Harcourt. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show • Health
October 20th, 2014
10:36 AM ET

Revisiting my 'Roots'

Watch 'Roots', a CNN special, this Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

For the past couple of months, CNN correspondents and anchors, including me, have been doing deep reporting on a topic that's rather foreign to most of us. That topic is ourselves, our family histories, where we came from. In short, our roots. It was something that didn't come naturally to me at all, but in the end it was fascinating.

You know, I'm curious about the world and about how it works and about what's going on politically and economically and technologically around the world. I'm not that curious about where I specifically come from. I'm just one guy among the billions of people on earth, and I have never until this project, never, ever looked into it in any way one way or the other. I came to America and I naturalized and now I'm an Indian-American.

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Topics: GPS Show
October 18th, 2014
02:32 PM ET

Analyst: There’s been a lot of hyperventilation about the ISIS threat to U.S.

Fareed speaks with Admiral James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, and author of The Accidental Admiral, and Daniel Benjamin, a former coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, about the threat posed by ISIS. Watch the full interview Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

Daniel Benjamin, you’ve written that you believe that the ISIS threat to the United States, and I think to the West, is being exaggerated. Why don't you explain?

Benjamin: Correct, Fareed. I think that there’s been a lot of hyperventilation about the threat. I think over the long-term, the safe havens that have been established in Iraq and in Syria do pose a significant challenge for the United States. But right now, this conflict is primarily about Sunni versus Shia. This is an insurgent force. It is not a terrorist force, first and foremost, although they use terrorist tactics locally against their enemies.

The U.S. authorities, whether from the National Counterterrorism Center or from the Department of Homeland Security or from the FBI, have said that they don't know of any plotting against the United States at home and, in fact, there's been very little reporting on any desire to carry out attacks outside of the area.

And let's remember, this is a group that has no carried out a terrorist attack outside of its immediate neighborhood, ever. And that's a major fact. FULL POST

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Topics: GPS Show
October 18th, 2014
01:18 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Is ISIS threat exaggerated? And why are the markets rattled?

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

On GPS this Sunday: Fareed speaks with Admiral James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, and author of The Accidental Admiral, and Daniel Benjamin, a former coordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, about the threat posed by ISIS.

Next, Fareed speaks with Peter Piot, who co-discovered Ebola, about why this outbreak is so serious, and how the world should respond.

Later, what has gotten stock markets and economists worried recently? The head of the IMF says the world economy is not in a new normal, but a new mediocre. What is happening? Fareed speaks with Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator at The Financial Times and the author of The Shift and the Shocks: What We've Learned and Still Have to Learn from the Financial Crisis, and Rana Foroohar, Time’s assistant managing editor.

“The European situation looks very bad,” Wolf says. “There's obviously a lot of bad geopolitical news. And there's also, I think, a lot of uncertainty.”

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Topics: GPS Show
October 17th, 2014
04:52 PM ET

Will airstrikes be enough against ISIS?

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

Fareed speaks with Francis Fukuyama, the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka, Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose, and Walter Russell Mead, a professor of international affairs at Bard College, about the Obama administration's strategy for countering ISIS, and whether air power will be enough.

Watch the video for the full panel discussion.

 

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Topics: GPS Show • ISIS
October 15th, 2014
04:39 PM ET

The Taliban's Twitter misstep?

For more Last Look, watch GPS, Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Terrorists and jihadis have embraced social media using the Wild West of the Internet to exhibit bravado and spread their messages of hate. The bad guys have learned how to turn Twitter into a tool of terror. And Twitter is fighting back.

One analyst who monitors such accounts, J.M. Berger, tweeted last month that Twitter suspended 400 accounts linked to ISIS in just seven hours. But social media can also sometimes be a counterterrorism weapon.

Just recently, Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid, might have made the CIA's job a little easier. Mujahid's Twitter profile says he is in Kabul, but he posted tweets that showed his location, and as many media outlets reported, those tweets showed him to be in neighboring Pakistan, where many believe leaders of his group are in hiding.

He quickly claimed to be the victim of an "enemy forgery," turned off the location feature and showed that it is possible to spoof your location by sending a tweet that made it look like he was in Brian, Ohio, population 8,000.

While it is possible he was hacked, we think the book "Twitter for Dummies" might better explain what happened.

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Topics: GPS Show • Last Look
October 11th, 2014
11:38 PM ET

What role can the Peshmerga play in fighting ISIS?

Fareed speaks with Barham Salih, former prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and former deputy prime minister of Iraq, about the role the Peshmerga could play in fighting ISIS. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

What about the Peshmerga? Will the Kurdish Army – this is the force that protects the Kurdish part of Iraq. Is it going to be willing to go into battle in Iraq – potentially even into Syria – to fight ISIS, since you do need an effective fighting force on the ground?

My own sense is I can say this defensively. Kurdistan has emerged as the most reliable partner to the international coalition in the fight against ISIS. There may be a number of reasons for that.

One of the issues that I'm proud of, Kurdistan represents a tolerant society, tolerant values, and we do have a real interest in taking on ISIS.

So the Kurdish Peshmergas are taking on ISIS. They are fighting ISIS across nearly 1,000 kilometers of line. But I have to say, also, the mantra is that Kurdish Peshmergas should not be relied upon to go to Mosul or should not be relied upon to go to the heartland of the Sunni areas or to Baghdad.

We can be there to support. But at the same time, the communities there need to be empowered. The same thing about Syria...

Because you would be seen as an almost foreign army if you were to go into...

I think one has to also acknowledge this reality. This is payback time. Over the last 10 years, there were lots of communities, particularly in the Sunni areas, who felt marginalized. ISIS and these extremists have taken advantage of those grievances, and this has become an incubating ground for them.

The fundamental answer is to empower these communities to take on these extremists.

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Topics: GPS Show
October 11th, 2014
10:46 PM ET

Let's be honest: Islam has a problem today

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

By Fareed Zakaria

When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that "the Muslim world...has too much in common with ISIS," and the author, Sam Harris (a guest on his show) concurs, arguing that "Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas," I understand why people get upset. Maher and Harris made crude simplifications and exaggerations.

And yet, they were also talking about something real. I know all the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It is a vast world of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don't fit these caricatures. That's why Maher and Harris are guilty of simplification and exaggeration.

But let's be honest: Islam has a problem today...There is a cancer of extremism within Islam today. A small minority of Muslims celebrate violence and intolerance, and harbor deeply reactionary attitudes towards women and minorities. And while some moderates confront these extremists, not enough do so and the protests are not loud enough. How many mass rallies have been held against ISIS in the Arab world today?

But now the caveat, Islam today, is important.

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

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Topics: Fareed's Take • GPS Show
October 11th, 2014
08:12 PM ET

Former prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan on ISIS

Fareed speaks with Barham Salih, former prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and former deputy prime minister of Iraq, about the strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Watch the full interview on "Fareed Zakaria GPS," this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN.

First, give us your assessment of whether the U.S. airstrikes and this military campaign is having an effect. Is ISIS weaker, because on the ground so far, it doesn't appear that way?

I think it's fair to say that these airstrikes have slowed down ISIS advances, but they are nowhere enough to defeat ISIS.

And what we see, also, in Kobani, in neighboring Syria, is also a testament to the fact that these airstrikes, while welcome, while important, but nowhere enough to defeat ISIS.

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Topics: GPS Show
October 10th, 2014
06:49 PM ET

On GPS Sunday: Are Kurds ready for ISIS fight? And, GPS panel talks Ebola and Panetta

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

On GPS this Sunday: The United States is at war against ISIS. But while President Barack Obama has promised no boots on the ground, there is one hardened force in the field doing battle well. It’s not the U.S. military – or the Iraqi military. It’s the Kurds. Fareed will ask a top Kurdish politician if his people are ready for the long fight.

Also, Fareed convenes a panel of top commentators to grade the Obama administration on how it did with this week's major challenges: ISIS, Ebola and an insider attack – from Leon Panetta. Francis Fukuyama, the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka, Foreign Affairs Editor Gideon Rose, and Walter Russell Mead, a professor of international affairs at Bard College, will be offering their takes on these issues.

Then, why it is that the American economy is looking up, but most American's are very down about it? GPS will explain what has been happening.

Also, if you think you know who invented the light bulb, think again. Author Steven Johnson will explain how innovation really happens – and why Thomas Edison shouldn't get all the credit.

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Topics: GPS Show
October 7th, 2014
06:25 PM ET

Mexico's president talks reform and the immigration debate

Fareed speaks with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto about the legalization marijuana in parts of the United States, structural reforms in Mexico and the immigration debate in the United States. Watch the video for the full interview.

You know, in the United States, when people think about Mexico, still it is immigration that dominates the way they think about it. What do you think when you hear the debate about immigration in Washington?

First of all, I think that the relationship between Mexico and the United States is a lot broader, and sometimes it would be surprising to know the many details of the relationship – the number of daily crossings, legal crossings, every day. About a million people every day, people coming and going from one country to the other, because of work and trade and the trade level that we have, which is so broad, which we will probably talk about.

But when you hear some of the anti-immigrant language, the rhetoric, do you think it's racist?

I think it's discriminatory, yes. And I think it's unfortunate for a country whose formation and historic origin relies so much on the migration flows of many parts of Europe, Asia, for instance. I think this is a country whose origin, to a great extent, is one of migration. And that's why it's unfortunate to hear this exclusionary and discriminatory tone regarding the migration flows into the United States.

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Topics: GPS Show • Latin America
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