One missile strike is not a strategy

By Fareed Zakaria Friday, Apr. 7, 2017 There is much to applaud in President Trump’s decision to attack the Bashar al-Assad regime this week. It punished a regime that has engaged in war crimes against its own people. It upheld an international norm against chemical weapons. It ended Trump’s strange flirtation with Vladimir Putin on … Continue reading

President flip-flop, I hope

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, November 24, 2016 So Donald Trump now says, in an interview with the New York Times, that he believes there is some connection between human activity and climate change, that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted, and that, after one conversation with retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, he might be … 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

Lessons from the war against al-Qaeda

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, November 19, 2015 Henry Kissinger has noted that in his adult lifetime, the United States has fought five major wars and began each one with great enthusiasm and public support. But in each of them, Americans soon began to ask, “How quickly can you withdraw?” In three of these conflicts, he … Continue reading

The dangers of incrementalism

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, November 5, 2015 It is difficult to find anyone in the Obama administration who believes that putting up to 50 Special Operations soldiers on the ground in Syria will make much of a difference in the raging civil war there. And yet, the president has authorized this expansion of America’s military … Continue reading

A voice of hope in the Muslim world

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, October 29, 2015 “The most important contest in the world right now is between the ISIS model and the Tunisian model,” said Rachid Ghannouchi, who was visiting New York this week. “It’s not between Islam and the West. It’s between ISIS and us.” Ghannouchi is the intellectual leader of Ennahda, Tunisia’s … Continue reading

Obama’s optimism is vindicated by history

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, August 6, 2015 Many critics of the nuclear deal with Iran believe that the problem lies in the disposition of the president. “A very, very naive man who does not know how the world works,” said Rick Perry of President Obama. “Dangerously naive,” noted Lindsey Graham. In fact, Obama is not … 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

How to fight an ideological war

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, February 26, 2015 AMMAN, Jordan — Washington is getting enthusiastic about an ideological war these days: not between Democrats and Republicans — that’s old news — but rather between Americans and radical Islam. Many of those who spent the past several weeks insisting that we label jihadi terrorists “Islamic” now urge … Continue reading