On GPS this week, Fareed had an exclusive interview with the top-ranking military officer in the U.S., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey. Here's an additional, web-only excerpt with Dempsey's thoughts on the Taliban and closing Guantanamo Bay:
Fareed Zakaria: You said in Congressional testimony this week that you had some doubts about the reconciliation process in Afghanistan with the Taliban. Elaborate on that. Why do you have doubts at it? Everyone says we should be trying to get some kind of political deal with the Taliban so that we can stabilize the country and draw down forces.
Martin Dempsey: Well, I concede and am supportive of the effort because I concede that most every conflict that anyone has ever been involved with ends with some kind of political settlement.
I think there's no one Taliban. You know, there's big T and little T.
So to the extent that we can separate...the reconcilable aspects of the Taliban, with those who are irreconcilable, I think it's effort well taken.
If I'm worried about the immediate idea, it's because we might be addressing the ideological side of the Taliban before we get to those that might be a little bit less ideological. It's just not clear to me.
So it's not that I'm reluctant to try this. But it's pretty hard to be optimistic about it. FULL POST
Editor's note: Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was appointed by President George W. Bush as CIA director in 2006 and served until February 2009, is a principal with the Chertoff Group, a security consulting firm. He serves on the boards of several defense firms and is a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University. Hayden is an adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. He held senior staff positions at the Pentagon and, from 1999 to 2005, was director of the National Security Agency.
By Michael V. Hayden - Special to CNN
The recent smartphone video of Marines urinating on the bodies of slain Taliban should trouble all Americans.
It is troubling even if allowances are made for young men - recently released from the high pressures of combat and in the euphoria of being successful and still being alive - doing dumb things. It should trouble us even allowing for the inevitable dehumanization of the enemy that often accompanies conflict.
Keeping the human aspect of an enemy in mind is more than just a moral imperative, though. It makes good operational and strategic sense. And in this, intelligence has a special role.
Editor's Note: The following is reprinted with the permission of the Council on Foreign Relations.
U.S. and Afghan officials have begun three-way talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told theWall Street Journal on Wednesday. Karzai insisted the Taliban was committed to reaching a peace settlement. The negotiations follow a recent Taliban decision to open a diplomatic office in Qatar, which paved the way for preliminary talks with the United States. The talks also come amid efforts by the Obama administration to wind down the U.S. war in Afghanistan and begin withdrawing troops. Karzai, who arrived in Pakistan today, indicatedIslamabad's cooperation (NYT) would be crucial in securing a peace deal with the Taliban. FULL POST
Editor's Note: Candace Rondeaux is Crisis Group’s senior analyst based in Kabul, focusing on the ongoing conflict and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan. Before joining Crisis Group in 2009 she was the Islamabad/Kabul bureau chief for The Washington Post.
What is the current security situation in Afghanistan? Has it improved as top U.S. officials have claimed in recent weeks?
Candace Rondeaux: Since Osama bin Laden’s death in Pakistan, not very much has changed. The tempo of operations, as far as the Taliban and others associated with them is concerned, continues on. As it happens, when Osama was killed, the Taliban had just announced the opening of its spring offensive, so we all expect in Kabul and across Afghanistan that the tempo, the aggressiveness, will pick up as the summer months push on here.
I think that there is some anticipation that in the east, and also in the areas around Kabul, we’ll see a lot more insurgent activity in large part because some of those associated with al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network in particular, are moving across the border — in large part because they are being forced out by the drones, along with some other political reasons. We now expect that these fighters will enter the center of the country, which could cause real problems for security. FULL POST
Two weeks after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the rift between Pakistan and the United States is as wide as ever. What can be done to stabilize the relationship? And what should be done to rein in the military's dominant role in Pakistan? Fareed weighs in with his take on how to right Pakistani ship.
Then, it’s a GPS tour of the world. A panel of experts weighs in on how the rest of world sees the death of Osama bin Laden, the state of America’s leadership, the U.S.economy and much more. Joining Fareed this week:
- Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and former Director of Policy Planning for the United States Department of State
There is a silly debate taking place in Washington about who deserves credit for Osama bin Laden's assassination - President Obama or President Bush.
John F. Kennedy once said that victory has a thousand fathers, so can we admit that lots of people - thousands beyond those two people - deserve credit?
The outcome is the culmination of years of intelligence and action, but this specific operation was obviously conceived, planned and executed by the Obama administration, which deserves genuine respect for handling it well.
But the real lesson that we should be drawing from it is that counterterrorism works. Counterterrorism is our most important and effective strategy in the war on terror. FULL POST
Nearly 10 years after 9/11, a U.S. Special Forces team killed Osama bin Laden. Notably, bin Laden was found and shot in Pakistan, not in the remote mountains of neighboring Afghanistan. What does this mean for the battle against violent extremism? What about for U.S.-Pakistani relations? GPS breaks it down for you with an all-star show, including two guests who helped spearhead the hunt for bin Laden over the last decade.
Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, sits down with Fareed to talk about her administration’s efforts to capture the 9/11 mastermind and just what bin Laden's death means to her personally. FULL POST
- Syrian opposition vows to break the regime; the UK says Bashar al-Assad can redeem himself while sanctions on Syria are being prepped
- Leon Panetta will likely be the new U.S. Secretary of Defense and David Petreaus is likely to be the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
- Standard and Poor’s sounds a fresh alarm on Japan’s debt
- Pakistan urges Afghanistan to look East for support rebuilding
- Anthony Faiola explains why in Britain, Prince William threatens to eclipse his father, Prince Charles:
Editor's note: Peter Bergen is the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation in Washington, a fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security and CNN's national security analyst. He is the author of the new book, "The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda."
By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst
In late February I posted a piece on CNN.com titled "Al Qaeda the loser in Arab revolutions" making the point that Osama bin Laden must be watching the events in the Middle East unfold with a mixture of glee and despair.
Glee, because overthrowing the dictatorships and monarchies of the Middle East has long been his central goal. Despair, because none of the Arab revolutions has anything to do with him….
The assertion that al Qaeda is a marginal player in the current events in the Middle East has provoked a furious response from the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is playing a leadership role in "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula."
Fareed’s been saying for years that we need to talk to the Taliban. And now the Afghan government is in supposedly “secret” negotiations with them. Will this be the path to peace for Afghanistan? Fareed’s take: maybe, but don’t expect any miracles.
Then, Americans are gearing up to go the polls. The Tea Party is causing much tumult in the mid-term elections. But just what IS the Tea Party all about? And just what political tradition is it “steeped” in? A GPS panel of great historians and thinkers puts it in all context.
And if you think unemployment in the U.S. is bad then you won’t believe what is going on in South Africa. The World Cup was its coming out party but now that the party is over, will rampant unemployment and massive labor strikes cripple the country? And just who is to blame?
Next up, America’s “car czar”, Steven Rattner, with a behind the scenes look at the bailout of the automotive industry and the goings-on inside the White House. Were the car companies really worth saving at all?
And finally a last look at a politician topping the pop charts. You’ll be surprised to see who it is.
Read the full transcript here.
Two years ago, the collapse of Lehman Brothers could have been the start of a huge meltdown in the nation’s financial system. But that was averted. Fareed looks at how the U.S. government’s bank bailout worked and managed to do something maybe even more incredible than save Wall St.: it got democrats and republicans in Washington to actually work together.
This week, an incredible GPS exclusive: we bring you face-to-face with one of Osama bin Laden’s comrade-in-arms – a man who says he said “No” to Bin Laden, not once but twice. He takes us inside the meeting in 2000 in Bin Laden’s hut in Kandahar when he told his host NOT to attack the U.S. And he tells us why just this week he wrote a letter to tell the Al Qaeda leader to lay down his arms once and for all.
Then, a look at all of the hot topics at home and abroad with an all-star panel featuring CNN’s newest prime time co-host, Kathleen Parker, French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland and Dan Senor of the Council on Foreign Relations. They tackle everything from the squeeze on the U.S. middle class to the potential of the Middle East peace talks.
Also, what in the world is going on in Cuba? Are we seeing the end of “la revolucion”? What one man has the power to change the Cuban economic system? It might not be who you think.
And finally, a last look at perhaps the most unlikely to be tapped with fighting poverty. She’s taking it one step at a time.
Read the full transcript here.