The cancer of Islamist extremism spreads around the world

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 SINGAPORE This week’s tragic terrorist attack in New York was the kind of isolated incident by one troubled man that should not lead to generalizations. In the 16 years since 9/11, the city has proved astonishingly safe from jihadist groups and individuals. And yet, speaking about it to … 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

How to win the war on terror

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, September 8, 2016 On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was driving on the Long Island Expressway, heading out to a friend’s house to spend a few weeks working on a book. An hour into my drive, I switched from music to news and listened with horror to reports that … 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

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

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

The limits of the ‘Islamic’ label

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, February 19, 2015 President Obama stands accused of political correctness for his unwillingness to accuse groups such as the Islamic State of “Islamic extremism,” choosing a more generic term, “violent extremism.” His critics say that you cannot fight an enemy you will not name. Even his supporters feel that his approach … Continue reading

Deny the Islamic State what it wants

By Fareed Zakaria Thursday, February 5, 2015 Once again, an Islamic State killing leads to fears that it is winning and calls to do more. Fox News’s Bret Baier captured the mood when he said of the latest video: “Horrific and barbaric, as well as calculating and skilled at high-tech propaganda.” The general feeling is … 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