FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: And there is a way to have predicted the rise of both ISIS and Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama, you’re fired.
ZAKARIA: Joshua Cooper Ramo explains how some people can see through the flood of data that we all get hit with every day and see the patterns. How we can all learn how to have a seventh sense.
But first here is my take. While Americans have been obsessing about the presidential election, half way around the world, Iraq is collapsing as a country.
This week’s bombings in Baghdad killing scores of people were just one more reminder that the place remains deeply unstable and violent. And as Iraq has spiraled downward, policymakers in Washington have offered all kinds of advice on how to salvage it. But perhaps it’s worth stepping back from Iraq and looking at another country where America has been involved: Afghanistan.
The United States has been engaged in Afghanistan militarily, politically and economically for 15 years. It has had many surges of troops. It has spent more than $1 trillion on the war and counterinsurgency there by some estimates and it still pays a large portion of Afghanistan’s Defense budget. And yet last October the United Nations concluded that the insurgency had spread to more places in the country than at any point since 2001. Some argue in Washington that 15 years is not enough. They point to South Korea and Germany and say the United States should simply stay in Afghanistan unendingly.
The more appropriate analogy is Vietnam. Much has been made recently of a pair of interviews on American foreign policy: one by President Obama and the other with one of his closest aides, Ben Rhodes. Both men have been described as arrogant, self-serving, and brimming with contempt for the foreign policy establishment.
Certainly, as most administrations would, Obama and Rhodes sought to present their actions in a positive light so Obama congratulates himself for stepping back from the edge of military invention in Syria. He never grapples with the fact that it was his own careless rhetoric about Assad’s fate and red lines that produced the crisis in the first place.
Can anyone seriously argue that a few more troops here or a slightly different strategy there would have created stability and peace when you have instability in all three?
Most of Obama’s critics want a quick plan to defeat ISIS or more troops or greater U.S. intervention. They are blind to this dominant lesson of almost two decades,
Having led the fight of course Washington would then be forced to assert control over these territories, set up prisons to house thousands of ISIS fighters, provide security and economic assistance for the population. All the while fighting the inevitable insurgency.
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and read my “Washington Post” column this week. And let’s get started. [10:05:17] On Friday I sat down with Susan Rice at the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House grounds. It was an important time to talk to the national security adviser as President Obama is about to head out to Japan and Vietnam as ISIS continues to wreak havoc in the world, especially the Arab world, and just days after Ambassador Rice made controversial remarks about the lack of diversity in her own cohort: the U.S. foreign policy community.
ZAKARIA: Ambassador Rice, pleasure to have you on.
RICE: It’s great to be back.
ZAKARIA: The news reports suggest that the battle against ISIS is not going as well as it was initially thought because it is proven more difficult to get the Turks and the Kurds and the Iraqi army to work together, and most importantly that the Iraqi army, when it goes into places, is viewed by a lot of the Sunnis on the ground there, the locals, as an army of occupation.
Are these political, regional problems slowing down the fight against ISIS?
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