September 10th, 2010
03:13 PM ET

Did the U.S. overreact to 9/11?

Editor's note: Fareed Zakaria is an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN U.S. on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET and CNN International at 2 and 10 p.m. Central European Time/5 p.m. Abu Dhabi/9 p.m. Hong Kong.

New York (CNN) - The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, prompted the U.S. to take sensible security measures and launch a justified counterattack against al Qaeda, says analyst Fareed Zakaria. But he says they also led to an overreaction that continues today.

Zakaria argues the organization behind the attacks, al Qaeda, has been greatly diminished by the U.S. response to 9/11 and by growing opposition to the group in the Muslim world:

"All these trends have worked to further diminish the threat al Qaeda poses to us. We're in a strange situation where the right doesn't want to acknowledge it because it would suggest we don't need to be in quite this much of a war footing and ... the left seems reluctant to accept some of this because it suggests that, God forbid, George W. Bush might have done something right.

"As a result of our political dysfunction, we have lost the ability to have a rational conversation about 9/11," Zakaria said.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Fareed Zakaria • Terrorism
July 22nd, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Washington's 'media firestorm' over Libya

Fareed Zakaria

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/22/zakaria.libya.cameron/t1larg.megrahi.en.route.plane.gi.jpg caption="Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi boards a plane last August after being released from a prison in Scotland." width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: Fareed Zakaria is an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN U.S. on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET and CNN International at 2 and 10 p.m. Central European Time/5 p.m. Abu Dhabi/9 p.m. Hong Kong.
New York

(CNN) - The eruption of new controversy over the release last August of a Libyan man convicted in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, is a "media firestorm" that threatens to distract Washington from more pressing issues, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Controversy over the move cast a shadow over British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit this week and was a topic at the press conference Cameron and President Obama held.

Zakaria told CNN there are still legitimate questions to be explored on the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, including the role of BP in lobbying the British government for the resolution of issues with Libya.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria
July 5th, 2010
04:59 PM ET

Video: How much does Afghan War cost the U.S.?

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

Filed under: Afghanistan • Fareed Zakaria
June 24th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

Obama's choice of Petraeus a 'masterstroke'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/23/zakaria.mcchrystal.petraeus/tzleft.fareed.zakaria.cnn.jpg caption="Zakaria says Petraeus showed in Iraq the importance of working with civilians to carry out strategy" width=300 height=169]

President Obama's decision to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus is "a masterstroke," says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

The president announced Wednesday that he had accepted McChrystal's resignation after the publication of a Rolling Stone article that contained disparaging remarks by the general and his staff about officials in the Obama administration. Obama chose Petraeus, the head of the U.S. Central Command, to replace McChrystal.

Zakaria said the controversy over McChrystal's comments raised questions about how effectively he was doing his job, and Petraeus is superbly equipped for the role of leading the NATO force in Afghanistan.

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June 10th, 2010
12:01 PM ET

Opinion: Obama caves in to media frenzy over BP

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/10/zakaria.obama.media.frenzy/tzleft.fareed.zakaria.cnn.jpg caption="Fareed Zakaria says Obama is feeding a media frenzy that risks damage to the presidency" width=300 height=169]

Editor's note: Fareed Zakaria is an author and foreign affairs analyst who hosts "Fareed Zakaria GPS" on CNN U.S. on Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET and CNN International at 2 and 10 p.m. Central European Time / 5 p.m. Abu Dhabi / 9 p.m. Hong Kong.

President Obama's stepped-up focus on the Gulf oil disaster and his hardline rhetoric against BP are accomplishing little and risk distracting the White House from other urgent responsibilities, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Obama, responding to critics of the government's handling of the spill, has made a point of emphasizing the time he's devoted to the crisis and has used blunt language to express outrage about it. In an interview with NBC, he said he met with experts "because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

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May 5th, 2010
11:07 AM ET

Pakistan is 'epicenter of Islamic terrorism'

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/05/05/zakaria.pakistan.terror/tzleft.fareed.zakaria.cnn.jpg caption="Zakaria: Pakistan has encouraged Islamic terrorist groups for decades" width=300 height=169]

The suspect in the Times Square bombing attempt was caught as he was seeking to flee to Pakistan, a nation that analyst Fareed Zakaria calls the "epicenter of Islamic terrorism."

"It's worth noting that even the terrorism that's often attributed to the war in Afghanistan tends to come out of Pakistan, to be planned by Pakistanis, to be funded from Pakistan or in some other way to be traced to Pakistan," said Zakaria. He added that Pakistan's connection with terrorist groups goes back decades and has often been encouraged by that nation's military for strategic reasons.

Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old naturalized citizen of Pakistani descent, had recently been trained in bomb making in Pakistan's Waziristan province, according to a federal complaint filed in court Tuesday. CNN reported Tuesday that Faisal Shahzad's father is a retired vice-marshal in the Pakistani Air Force.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Pakistan • Terrorism
April 22nd, 2010
11:37 AM ET

Case against Goldman is 'very weak'

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/art.wallstreet5.gi.jpg]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

Federal regulators have filed a "very weak" case against the Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, relying on hindsight to bolster the charges at a politically sensitive time, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

The complaint, filed last week, accuses Goldman of defrauding investors in a complex financial instrument that was designed to allow one of the firm's clients to bet against securities tied to mortgages for U.S. homes.

SEC officials, who denied any political motivation in bringing the case, filed the charges as Congress was debating new regulations to rein in Wall Street excesses. President Obama is speaking on the subject in New York on Thursday.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Wall St.
March 25th, 2010
12:16 PM ET

Danger ahead for health care law?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/25/t1.flags.jpg caption="Fareed Zakaria says extending health coverage to millions of Americans is a good thing." width=300 height=169]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

The health care law signed Tuesday by President Obama is designed to provide health insurance coverage for tens of millions of uninsured Americans but it carries a big risk, according to analyst Fareed Zakaria.

"Most Americans like the idea of expanding access and giving people universal coverage," Zakaria said in an interview with CNN.com.

"It seems like the right thing to do in a rich country. But everyone feels the health care system is broken, and expanding this health care system seems fraught with danger - the danger being that you will have an even more out-of-control system with costs that will just multiply."

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March 5th, 2010
10:52 PM ET

Iraq's big test could reshape Middle East

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/01/27/iraq.elections/art.square.jpg caption="Election posters, like these in central Baghdad, are plentiful as the voting nears." width=300 height=169]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

This weekend's Iraqi election is testing the strength of the nation's young democracy and could be a turning point in the history of the Middle East, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

In the March 7 election, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's coalition in the Iraqi parliament is seeking to win enough votes to keep him in office for another term. On Thursday, a series of insurgent attacks led to the deaths of 29 people in the city of Baquba.

Zakaria said the election could have a lasting impact: "It might be the turning point in the rise of Iraq in the Middle East. Iraq is one of the largest, most important countries in the Arab world. It has the third or fourth largest petroleum reserves in the world. Even now it has $40 billion in oil revenues every year; it has a well-trained army thanks to the Americans.

"It is perhaps the beginning of a return to prominence in the Middle East. It is possible that 10 years from now we'll look back and say, while everyone was obsessing about the rise of Iran, the real story in the Middle East in these years was the rise of Iraq."

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Filed under: Arab Affairs • Fareed Zakaria • Iraq
February 26th, 2010
03:04 PM ET

Afghan leader Karzai is playing games

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/20/afghanistan.election.fraud/art.karzai.afp.gi.jpg caption=" Afghan President Hamid Karzai, here in the photo, has long been considered by his brother Ahmed Wali Karzai to be an American puppet."]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor, “Fareed Zakaria – GPS”

Coalition forces have scored gains on the Afghan battlefield. Taliban leaders are on the run in neighboring Pakistan. But there's no sign of political progress in Afghanistan, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

He said Afghan President Hamid Karzai's assertion of control this week over a watchdog group that seeks to ensure fair elections is "just one more reminder that we have a very difficult alliance with Karzai."

Zakaria said, "You notice that even though the coalition gave Karzai enormous control over the military operations in Marjah, he has yet to publicly endorse them. He has twice publicly criticized them for civilian casualties without pointing out that the Taliban makes conscious use of civilians as human shields. So overall his recent actions have all reminded us that he is playing political games rather than providing real leadership."

NATO-led and Afghan troops have gained ground in a major offensive in the southern province of Helmand, but also have stirred protests about civilian casualties that are believed to have claimed more than 50 lives in two weeks. U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal apologized for an airstrike in which 27 civilians were killed.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Fareed Zakaria
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