Why (this time) Obama must lead

By Fareed Zakaria The crisis in Ukraine was produced by two sets of blunders, neither emanating from Washington. The European Union’s vacillations and — most significantly, of course — Russia’s aggression created the problem. But it will be up to President Obama to show the strength and skill to resolve it. For years, the European … Continue reading

America plays its role in a changing world right

By Fareed Zakaria As America navigates a changing world, the people who seem to be having the greatest difficulty with the adjustment are the country’s pundits. Over the past few weeks, a new conventional wisdom has congealed on the op-ed pages: The United States is in retreat, and this is having terrible consequences around the … Continue reading

The party of gridlock

By Fareed Zakaria I have been described as a centrist. And I freely admit to believing that neither side of the political spectrum has a monopoly on wisdom or virtue. But sometimes, reality points firmly in one direction. Watching the machinations in Washington over the past two weeks, it is now impossible to talk about … Continue reading

On Iran, compromise is needed

By Fareed Zakaria After Iran and the major powers signed onto an interim deal on Tehran’s nuclear program, expectations were high. Over the past week, they have fallen sharply as Iranian officials have made tough public comments and Israel’s prime minister has reaffirmed his oppositionto almost any conceivable deal, a skepticism shared by several influential … Continue reading

Making things worse in the Middle East

By Fareed Zakaria Over the past few months, the Middle East has become an even more violent place than usual. Iraq is now once again home to one of the most bloody civil wars in the world, after Syria of course, which is the worst. Watching these horrors unfold, many in the United States are … Continue reading

The ‘defining challenge’ of helping the poor

By Fareed Zakaria Is income inequality the “defining challenge” of our time? President Obama’s Dec. 4 speech on the topic has produced a lively debate, with some supporting him and others — including The Post’s Ezra Klein — arguing that unemployment should be the main focus. In fact, Obama said, it is the combination of “a lack of upward … Continue reading

Is the U.S. making the grade in education?

By Fareed Zakaria The latest international student evaluations, the PISA test results, are out, and one thing is clear: The United States has not done well. Beyond that, the exams have become, professor Jay Greene points out, a Rorschach test. People read into them pretty much whatever they want. So Randi Weingarten of the American … Continue reading

Why Americans hate their government

By Fareed Zakaria Washington is having one of its odd debates as to whether the Obama administration’s rollout of HealthCare.gov was worse than the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. But whatever the answer, if there is one, the real story is that both are examples of a major, and depressing, trend: the declining competence … Continue reading

China’s coming challenges

By Fareed Zakaria BEIJING “We are all struck by the contrast between Beijing and Washington,” said George Yeo, the former foreign minister of Singapore. He was referring to the quality of governance in the two capitals — in particular, the sense pervasive in Asia that the United States has lost its ability to execute public … Continue reading

Southeast Asia ponders what is going on in China

By Fareed Zakaria KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia Visiting Malaysia this week, I was expecting a volley of complaints. The country was one stop on President Obama’s planned trip to Asia this month that was canceled because of Washington’s manufactured budget crisis. “We were disappointed, but we understood the situation,” Prime Minister Najib Razak told me. Others … Continue reading


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