January 18th, 2015
12:31 AM ET

Military intervention not solution to terrorist threat

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

The Paris terror attacks were barbaric but also startling, leading many to ask what could be done to prevent this kind of terrorism in the future.

Well, one man has a clear answer. "That attack you saw in Paris? You'll see an attack in the United States," Senator John McCain told the New York Times. Elaborating on how to stop this from happening, he explained to the Times and to CNN that it would require a more aggressive American military strategy across the greater Middle East, with a no-fly zone and ground troops in Syria and more troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This theory was sometimes described during the Iraq war as, "We fight them there so we don't have to fight them here."

It was wrong then and it's wrong now.

Watch the video for the full Take or read the Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (1,827 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Chrissy's daughter passed away last night.
    RIP, Melissa.

    April 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm |
  2. bobcat2u

    Three men were at a bar discussing coincidences.

    The first man said, "My wife was reading a 'Tale of Two Cities' and she gave birth to twins!"

    "That's funny," the second man remarked, "my wife was reading 'The Three Musketeers' and she gave birth to triplets!"

    The third man shouted, "Good God, I have to rush home!"

    When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, "When I left the house, my wife was reading Ali baba and the forty Thieves!!!"

    April 5, 2015 at 1:26 pm |
  3. Kevin Ventura

    Hard to remember Bill Maher ever being so outclassed in a discussion as he was here.

    Fareed Zakaria educates Bill Maher – Intelligence over willful ignorance
    Fareed Zakaria made so many consecutive intelligent points that unlike other guests on the same subject, Bill Maher was unable to interrupt.
    Unlike · Comment · Share · 73886120
    Most Relevant
    You and 737 others like this.
    Kevin Ventura

    Write a comment...

    Kevin Ventura I agree with both Fareed AND Bill. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with Islam, but I also think Bill's approach to the situation is, in fact, misguided.
    Like · Reply · 18 mins

    Kevin Ventura http://www.theatlantic.com/.../what-isis-really.../384980/

    What ISIS Really Wants
    The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with...
    Like · Remove Preview · 16 mins · Edited

    Kevin Ventura http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm

    TheReligionofPeace – Myths of Islam
    Ignorance of Islam has become Islam's...
    Like · Remove Preview · 17 mins

    Kevin Ventura I believe that, though he never expressed it in words, Joseph Campbell held a similar view of Islam. If one watches the Mythos series especially when he was talking about the Silk Road, one can sense a slight reticent distaste to how the Islamists, destroyed the road "raping and pillaging" along the way. As I said, Joseph Campbell never verbalized this, but let us not forget that he mentored George Lucas, while Lucas was creating Star Wars, and the Tusken Raiders (sand people) certainly seems to be a jab at Islam, or at least of Arabic Islam. Now, I take issue with all the Abrahamic religions, because I personally find that they are extremely dogmatic. There are fundamentalists in all of them, but I think the most dogmatic of all is indeed Islam. Nevertheless, I believe that most people of the Islamic faith are indeed peace-loving moderates as in all religions, and Bill Maher's tactics will not solve a thing, but I do believe that people of all faith should engage in some critical thinking in regards to their religion – particularly those of the Islamic faith. I would tell Bill Maher this: Don't let the Tusken Raiders turn us into Darth Vaders!

    April 13, 2015 at 10:40 am |
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    April 18, 2015 at 11:55 am |
  5. carnasso

    Fareed ~ we always watch your program with great interest and almost irrational favourable bias. Your topics are interesting, you are passionate, and you always look like you're trying to be objective. I'm a professor in various business schools, and I also teach applied Geopolitics (business oriented), so know how difficult (and important) it is to separate one's public speech from one's "inner" dialogue. I always make sure my personal thoughts or positions don't interfere with my education program. Bit I also will never deliberately lie, unless I get a really, really good financial compensation. So I wonder how much is yours, when you slander president Putin while comparing him to the turkish impostor? Because if you aren't getting at least a couple millions for each airing, you must have a terrible entourage.

    April 19, 2015 at 9:15 am |


      April 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm |
      • carnasso

        Thank for demonstrating my point: redneck? 😎

        April 22, 2015 at 5:28 am |


        May 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm |
    • carnasso


      The slaughter of livestock and foul for commercial purposes is unacceptable.

      You MUST EXPOSE this to the public. ASAP!

      May 23, 2015 at 11:49 am |
    • Dan

      I don't know what they are paying you to teach but you should give the money back. The history provided by S. Cohen in his recent book on Russia : Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives(C)2011 pretty much distinguishes Gorbachev from Yeltsin and Putin.

      July 6, 2015 at 11:51 pm |
  6. Philip


    May 7, 2015 at 10:23 pm |
  7. Bryant

    Fareed, I'm not with you on this one. It's not just ONE more military intervention that could be the tipping point towards positive change in the Middle East but rather just one with the right focus, scope, goals and execution. I do keep going back to the fact that President Obama had a chance several summers ago to DO MORE to support groups inside of Syria fighting the government. Bottomline: Our Commander-in-Chief failed to act when he had the chance and, as a result, Assad is still VERY MUCH in control. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSBRk10E5R8 I truly believe this formula when it comes to dealing with politically bankrupt states: All Talk + NO Action = Assad (or Saddam, Gaddofi, Pol Pot, Charles Taylor in Liberia, Baby Doc in Haiti, etc, etc.) remain in control and in power. The world essentially has no framework in place to process politically bankrupt regimes.

    May 10, 2015 at 11:39 am |
  8. rupert

    Philip Eugene Douglas does not exist
    Philip Eugene Douglas does not exist
    Philip Eugene Douglas does not exist

    May 23, 2015 at 11:51 am |
  9. Philip, The


    May 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm |
  10. Philip, The

    rupert is on meds.

    May 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm |
  11. olurotimi orekoya

    The Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka were defeated by coercive physical force not negotiation. That is the missing example of how force can defeat entrenched "terrorism". It was not a negotiated ending, that one.

    July 12, 2015 at 10:30 am |
  12. Eddie Fonseca

    Steve Jobs a Syrian American a hard working inventor who created Apple computers and products, which can be enjoyed by Americans and people across the world such the citizens of France and Europe. So do we call Steve Jobs a terrorist and his family that are responsible for bombing France, and call hard working Syrians who are seeking a better life in America and Europe all terrorists? Yes I do understand that we should support France in these difficult times, and no country should have to suffer what France went threw by having home grown terrorism in their own backyard. As Americans including myself when we watch television in our living rooms at home, and see Syrian terrorists we must separate them from the regular college or university educated Syrians trying to make America and France the two best countries to live and raise their families. America and France also Europe has been always welcoming to immigrants, who seek what all Americans take for granted the right to work and be educated in country which respects all religions to a point, and want to make the west and Europe strong in terms of economic growth. Without having more educated Syrians coming to France or America could we as Americans be shooting ourselves, in the foot in terms of not having the next Steve Jobs create a product which can be enjoyed by the free world for years to come.

    November 19, 2015 at 11:03 pm |
  13. Ihab F. Riad

    Hi Fareed,
    I watched your program aired today. I had many unanswered questions and I expected it to be asked by you today as you looking into how to defeat ISIS.

    1- How did the super powers Europe and the US missed that ISIS is going to change into something that bad and they would be a threat to everyone.
    2- Did the EU expected this to be the problem of the Arabs world and they have nothing to do with it.
    3- Did the US felt the same and it is a problem far away from their shores and let some one else deal with it.
    4- Why wasn't ISIS dealt with while they were just emerging in 2013.
    5- How did thousands of western managed to move through Turkey and cross to Syria, unless the Turks allowed them.
    6- Who is buying ISIS oil.
    7- If Iran, Saudia Arabia, the EU, the US, Russia, and the other Gulf countries are fighting ISIS, then who is giving them arms and ammunition.
    8- A couple month's ago Toyota was to be inquired on how ISIS had acquired Toyota pick-up tucks. How?

    An IDEA.

    Cheers Ihab

    November 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm |
  14. Eddie Fonseca

    When we think of terrorists in America and in Europe, what does come across our minds the crazy Middle East Arab man or woman shouting at the top of her lungs, holding an rifle and yelling death to America or Europe in Arabic when we see them on the television. Now picture this a young well educated woman who was educated in the West let's just say for augment's sake either America or England, and during those years of being homesick from either being born in either Egypt or Syria. Sometimes being away from your home country can take a toll on you mental health, and feel you must spill the blood of your enemy's to solve the injustice that is happening in your home country, so by joining a radical terrorism group is the way to achieve this goal so this what is called the twenty first century terrorist someone who can blend into American and European society without being noticed by the authorities. This is the secret war America must fight if we have any hope in wining the war in our great nation or in the Middle East, is by educating young Arab men and women with multiculturalism programs that make them feel welcome in America, and not outcasts they will lead them to killing innocent Americans. The reason French authorities failed to contain the situation because they decided to ignore the warning signs, when young educated French Muslim men were turning to become terrorists which killed innocent French people which should have never have happened. As Americans we have reached a crossroads, should we accept the fact that terrorism will always be apart our lives like getting a soy latte tea from Starbucks, or let's damn well do something about the situation by combating the twenty first century terrorist by rooting out radical Islam in America and in Europe for years to come.

    February 17, 2016 at 10:48 pm |
  15. Kate

    Fareed said the Amercans are afraid of Foreigners. Shame on you, Fareed. This is another of your slanted comments, Wake up!! We want to thoroughly investigate Syrians which is smart si nce terrorists do use war refugees as a means to enter this country, We also do not want illegal immigrants from anywhere, legal immgrants are welcme, Fared! You came from I dia? Would Indians allw Pakistanis to flood ther country try with their welfare refugees. Mexico is the biggest law breaker. ...keyword: "illegal"! Why should we pay to support illegals? Mexico would never allow Amercans to flock to their country without legal papers which they wouldn't issue anyway. Americans ARE immigrants.....think: Ellis Island. We do not fear them, but they must be safe and LEGAL. We are reasonable and generous people, and your hyperbole that we fear immigrants just infuriates me. You are anti-American! There...how do you like THAT hyperbole?

    April 17, 2016 at 11:06 am |
    • Andy Stull

      100 percent correct. Great post.

      Fareed – your show has become a personal soapbox for your own Globalist agenda with so called experts that are stacked in favor of the view your are trying to push. The less objective you become the more viewership you will lose.

      June 26, 2016 at 7:40 pm |
  16. Robert soto

    The Isis problem is nothing compared to the potential problem from Nigeria .

    With a population expected in 35 years to reach 400 million with an average age in the twenties Nigeria will be a hot bed of extremists if we don't address the poverty corruption and global inequality that currently exist there.

    Such a large population with disaffected youth can lead to extremism that will make Isis look like the true junior varsity team.

    The real problem with extremism is the global economic inequality which makes those disaffected lash out.

    Don't ignore 400 million young people with hatred in their hearts from extreme inequality.

    May 15, 2016 at 10:46 am |
  17. Bill B

    I think Fareed's "Why They Hate Us" completely missed the key reason why the radical jihadist movement against the West has been so successful. If we go back and look at the history of the Middle East, we would find that the creation of Israel by the West in 1948 sowed the seeds of anger and hatred in the Middle East against the West. Right or wrong, Israel was created by taking a large swath of land that the Arabs/Palestinians regarded as theirs. The West then guaranteed Israel's security, and the U.S. continues to maintain that it is Israel's best ally, friend and protector. In the meantime, Israel continues with impunity to build settlements on Palestinian land. I don't condone the terrorist acts of the Palestinians against Israel, but not having tanks and aircraft to fight who they view as the aggressor, they fight back in ways they can. The extremists among the mostly peaceful Arab/Muslim world have taken advantage of this situation to foment hatred against the U.S. and the West.

    May 24, 2016 at 10:55 am |
  18. John Prusha

    On Fareed'S 8/14 program Trump'S economic plan was discussed but not Clinton's. I am not in favor of Trump; however, in all fairness, Clinton'S equally unrealistic plan should have been discussed. We watch his program since there are usually those who have different views as participants. I hope the last program is not an indication of an anti Trump trend.

    August 14, 2016 at 1:13 pm |
  19. Naser

    Hi , very good post , I am read this post .
    کرکره برقی
    درب ضد سرقت
    دستگاه یو پی وی سی

    October 14, 2016 at 3:58 pm |
  20. Vahid

    Very good and Nice

    October 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm |
  21. Lance Morrow

    Fareed your show today, Oct. 30, 2016, proves that once once again, you are in the tank for Hillary Clinton. What a disgrace of an so call journalist you are. 20 minutes into the program, and virtually nothing your 2 guests ahem said is ten, including the fact that Mr. Trump does not have any connection or tie to Russia, the way Bill Clinton does. You should be ashamed of yourself. ...unless the second half of your program is going to have opposing view and people aho support Trump.

    October 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm |
  22. Lance Morrow

    ....pardon the typos but looks like my word correct took control of certain words...

    October 30, 2016 at 1:22 pm |
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    November 28, 2016 at 11:06 pm |
  24. Barbara Mark

    We are great fans of Fareed Zakaria and GPS. The show wasn't broadcast March 26. What happened?

    April 1, 2017 at 5:28 pm |
  25. Robin Nichols

    Hi Fareed, i love it when you have unbiased guests who do objective analysis. David Fromm is not one of them. I did not vote for Trump, but he is our president and as such should be respected. His comment on your Easter show that "if it were good foreign policy, Donald Trump would not be doing it". That is disrespectful , biased, and uncalled for. CNN is becoming less and less a source of reliable news. Please dont let your show fall unto thos

    April 16, 2017 at 11:05 am |
  26. aliel

    I love this post, content of great quality, continue like this

    کانال تلگرام
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    April 25, 2017 at 5:16 pm |
  27. aliel



    April 25, 2017 at 5:17 pm |
  28. kunlebans

    Force can't be used to tackle terrorist threat...sense should be applied in dealing with such situation.

    May 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm |
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    July 31, 2017 at 4:04 pm |
  30. Faith

    Force can’t be used to tackle terrorist threat…sense should be applied in dealing with such situation.

    August 11, 2017 at 5:39 pm |
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