There’s a lot to be optimistic about these days. And then there’s the Middle East.

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018 There’s a lot to be optimistic about today. In almost every part of the world, economies are growing and war, poverty and disease are receding. But then there is the Middle East. Syria remains a collapsed country; more than 5 million of its people have already fled. Yemen … Continue reading

Why surprise attacks won’t defeat the Islamic State

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, October 20, 2016 The battle for Mosul will soon demonstrate that the key to success against the Islamic State is not that Washington should have surprised it or “bombed the hell” out of it. About 100,000 coalition forces are involved in helping to liberate the city, backed by formidable U.S. air … Continue reading

The failures of success

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, May 12, 2016 Iraq is collapsing as a country. This week’s bombings in Baghdad, which killed more than 90 people, are just further reminders that the place remains deeply unstable and violent. There is a lesson to be drawn from this, one that many powerful people in Washington are still resisting. … Continue reading

The consequences of the oil bust

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, August 20, 2015 While we have been watching the Islamic State and discussing Iran, something much bigger is happening in the world. We are witnessing a historic fall in the price of oil, down more than 50 percent in less than a year. When a similar drop happened in the 1980s, the Soviet Union … Continue reading

Don’t expect Iran to change overnight

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, July 16, 2015 In selling the nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration has been careful to point out that it is just an agreement on nuclear issues. “[The deal] solves one particular problem,” President Obama explained in his news conference on Wednesday. And supporters and critics alike are quick to … Continue reading

Talking to terrorists is the only way to defeat them

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, July 9, 2015 A meeting this past Tuesday near Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad could possibly mark the beginning of the end of the United States’ longest war — the conflict in Afghanistan, which will enter its 15th year this fall. A delegation from the Afghan government met with members of … Continue reading

Iraq exists only as an idea, not a nation

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, May 28, 2015 Defense Secretary Ashton Carter did misspeak last week with remarks that caused a firestorm in both Washington and Baghdad. He explained the Islamic State’s takeover of Ramadi by saying Iraqi forces “showed no will to fight.” He just forgot to complete the sentence by adding the words, “for … Continue reading

Obama needs to dial back his Syria strategy

By Fareed Zakaria From the start, President Obama’s Syria policy has foundered because of a gap between words and deeds. And he’s done it again. Having declared that the aim of U.S. policy is to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State, Obama now finds himself pressured to escalate military action in Syria. This is … Continue reading

Can we defeat the Islamic State?

By Fareed Zakaria Here we go again. The United States has declared war on another terrorist group. President Obama’s speech Wednesday night outlined a tough, measured strategy to confront the Islamic State — which is a threat to the region and beyond. But let’s make sure in the execution of this strategy that we learn … Continue reading

Why they still hate us, 13 years later

By Fareed Zakaria/The Washington Post Watching the gruesome execution videos, I felt some of the same emotions I did after 9/11. Barbarism is designed to provoke anger, and it succeeded. But in September 2001, it also made me ask, “Why do they hate us?” I tried to answer that question in an essay for Newsweek … Continue reading