February 19th, 2010
03:10 PM ET

Contain Iran, don't attack it

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/meast/02/19/iran.nuclear/story.iran.reactor.afp.gi.jpg caption="Draft report from U.N. watchdog agency says Iran could secretly be working on a nuclear bomb." width=300 height=169]

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

A new report saying that Iran could be secretly working on a nuclear weapon is a major development, but not one that should lead the U.S. to consider a military strike against the Tehran regime, according to analyst Fareed Zakaria.

The draft report, obtained by CNN and not yet approved by the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors, is the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency's strongest warning yet that Iran could be aiming to build a nuclear bomb.

Zakaria told CNN the report should spur U.S. diplomacy to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons but that talk by commentators outside the U.S. government of a potential military strike against Iran was wrongheaded. "To be casually talking about military action because we're getting frustrated seems to me somewhat dangerous," he said.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Iran • Nuclear Weapons
February 19th, 2010
08:08 AM ET

Video: Iran's nuclear ambitions

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Fareed Zakaria • Iran • Nuclear Weapons
February 5th, 2010
10:51 AM ET

Budget fixes are simple - and unthinkable

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/05/t1.wallstbailout.jpg caption="" width=300 height=169]

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

The solutions to America's long-term budget deficits are surprisingly simple, but they're politically unthinkable in today's Washington, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

America's failure to deal with its growing budget deficit is hurting its image internationally, according to Zakaria. President Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget Monday, projecting a deficit of more than $1.5 trillion this year and nearly $1.3 trillion for the 2011 budget year.

Zakaria, author and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria: GPS," spoke to CNN Wednesday.

CNN: So the president released his budget this week, projecting deficits almost as far as the eye can see. What do you make of it?

Fareed Zakaria: The real problem is not the current deficits that the president has projected. These deficits are to a large extent inescapable because of the financial emergency we find ourselves in, the rescue of the financial system, the stimulus package to jump-start the American economy. But it's worth understanding why this gets us to 10 percent of GDP, the worst deficit since World War II.

And it is because, as the president points out, the budget was broken in the first place. It was broken by three decisions made during the Bush administration.

The first was to have massive tax cuts, which was a decision made in the wake of the Clinton surpluses.

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Filed under: Economy • Fareed Zakaria
January 27th, 2010
11:44 AM ET

Obama must rethink health care

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/04/obama.returns/t1larg.obama.return.jpg caption="Obama gives State of the Union address Wednesday under pressure to change direction" width=300 height=169]

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

President Obama can get his administration back on track by rethinking health care reform and putting his focus squarely on boosting the economy, says analyst Fareed Zakaria.

As the president prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address Wednesday night, many pundits are urging him to relaunch his presidency with a sharp change in direction. But Zakaria says the changes don't need to be dramatic.

Zakaria told CNN, "The big problem is that there is a sense that he lost focus on the economy and focused too much on health care. He focused too much on the spending side of the economy, that's to say, the pork in the stimulus bill, the expanded coverage in health care, and not enough on being a careful steward of the public's money.

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January 6th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Washington overreacting to air scare

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

In the wake of the failed Christmas Day airplane bombing, President Obama ordered speedy reviews of how the air security system failed and the Transportation Security Administration began enhanced screening for passengers traveling through 14 nations.

Finding the flaws in the system is needed, foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria told CNN, but he said much of the response from politicians in Washington amounts to an overreaction.

"We have to recognize that you can't have 100 percent security, that there are inevitably going to be lapses," Zakaria said. "Those lapses must be fixed, this is not an excuse for anything, but we must also be careful not to fulfill the exact intent of the terrorists by going berserk as a consequence.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Terrorism
December 21st, 2009
12:12 PM ET

In Iraq, an opening for successful diplomacy

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/25/obama.iraq/art.iraq.afp.gi.jpg caption="U.S. soldiers stand guard outside a mosque during a prisoner release in Baghdad, Iraq."]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
For the Washington Post

Remember Iraq? For months our attention has been focused on Afghanistan, and you can be sure that the surge will be covered exhaustively as it unfolds in 2010. But next year could be even more pivotal in Iraq.

The country will hold elections in March to determine its political future. Months of parliamentary horse-trading are likely to ensue, which could provoke a return to violence. The United States still has 120,000 troops stationed in Iraq, and all combat forces are scheduled to leave by August, further testing the country's ability to handle its own security. How we draw down in Iraq is just as critical as how we ramp up in Afghanistan: If handled badly, this withdrawal could be a disaster. Handled well, it could be a significant success.

Let's review some history. The surge in Iraq was a success in military terms. It defeated a nasty insurgency, reduced violence substantially and stabilized the country. But the purpose of the surge was, in President George Bush's formulation, to give Iraq's leaders a chance to resolve their major political differences. It was these differences - particularly between Sunnis and Shiites - that fueled the civil war in the first place. If they were not resolved, the war might well begin anew or take some other form that would doom Iraq to a breakup or a breakdown.


Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • Iraq
December 18th, 2009
12:06 PM ET

Obama trying to bridge global divide on climate


President Obama took a risk by heading to Copenhagen Thursday to take part in the final stage of the U.N. Climate Conference with no firm assurance of an agreement - but the trip is worth the effort, according to Fareed Zakaria, CNN foreign affairs analyst.

The conference has been hampered by tension between developed nations including the United States, and nations such as China and India, whose developing economies are reliant on carbon-intensive energy.

"It's important to get the Indians and the Chinese to take this seriously and agree on common goals," Zakaria said. "There's no better way to impress on them the seriousness of the issue than for Obama to go to the conference.

"That's leadership," he said. "You've got to take these risks. If it was worth going to pitch the Chicago Olympics, it was surely worth doing this." Obama traveled to Copenhagen in October to support Chicago, Illinois', bid for the 2016 Olympics, but the games were awarded to Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

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December 11th, 2009
10:24 PM ET

Zakaria: Obama speech idealistic and realistic

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/10/obama.nobel.ed.henry/art.obama.speech.gi.jpg caption="President Obama speaks about his Nobel award at the White House."]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor

President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday by talking about war and the limits of nonviolence.

But he also praised the peacemakers of the past and said the world can and should still strive for peace.

"Let us reach for the world that ought to be," he told the 1,000-member audience at Oslo City Hall in Norway. "Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace."

The Nobel committee's choice of Obama as this year's laureate sparked debate, in part because he is a president waging two wars abroad. Obama said force is sometimes necessary, but said that is simply "a recognition of history, the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

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December 3rd, 2009
02:29 PM ET

Obama is scaling back the war goals

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/11/23/us.afghanistan/story.obama.whitehouse.jpg caption="Fareed Zakaria says that the United States may in fact be scaling down the goals of the military operation" width=300 height=169]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor

When President Obama announced plans Tuesday to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, it appeared to be a major escalation of the war in that country. But, foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria says that the United States may in fact be "scaling down" the goals of the military operation.

In an interview with CNN, Zakaria gave the new plan a good chance of succeeding in achieving its more limited objectives. But he said Obama's idea of setting a target date for starting to draw down U.S. troops was a strategic mistake - though he suggested the president may have needed to do so for political reasons.

Zakaria, author and host of CNN's "Fareed Zakaria: GPS," spoke to CNN Wednesday.

CNN: The president outlined an intensive but short-term boost of the military resources in Afghanistan. He didn't call it a surge but is this effectively the same as the Iraq surge?

Fareed Zakaria: Actually I think this is a different surge than the Iraq surge. And not enough people have noticed that - because the president did increase the number of troops and in fact, in many ways the number of troops that he has increased in percentage terms is much larger than the Iraq surge.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • al Qaeda • Fareed Zakaria • Military • President Barack Obama • Taliban
November 27th, 2009
11:28 AM ET

Zakaria: India was reassured by Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/24/us.india.relations/story.white.house.state.dinner.pool.jpg caption="President Obama welcomed Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a state last Tuesday at the White House. " width=300 height=169]

Fareed Zakaria | BIO
CNN Anchor

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came away from talks at the White House reassured about U.S. policy in Asia, according to foreign affairs analyst Fareed Zakaria.

Singh and President Obama capped their talks with an elaborate state dinner in a tent at the White House Tuesday night, the first such occasion in Obama's presidency.

Zakaria, who attended the formal event, told CNN the dinner was a success: "My sense is there was a very warm feeling. The Indian prime minister was gushing and he's not a man who gushes."

U.S. and Indian officials spoke about the war in Afghanistan, just as Obama is expected to announce - on Tuesday - increased U.S. troop levels in the region.

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Filed under: Fareed Zakaria • India • President Barack Obama
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