Return to Transcripts main page


The Real Threat against the U.S.; The Battle to Defeat ISIS; Inside the Islamic State. Aired 10-11:00a ET

Aired April 26, 2015 - 10:00   ET


FAREED ZAKARIA, HOST: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.

We'll start today's show with something Americans see as a bigger threat than Iran -- Russia, North Korea, or China. ISIS. We'll help you sort fact from fiction on the rise of these terrorists, their aspirations, and their true power today. And we'll give you a rare glimpse deep inside ISIS-held territory.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you must know your enemy if you want to defeat him.


ZAKARIA: What is it like to live in the so-called Islamic State? You'll find out.

Also, the Supreme Court is about to hear arguments on gay marriage, so we'll look at some global lessons on the subject. Does the institution of marriage crumble because gay people want in? We now have evidence instead of hot air with which to analyze the claim.

Then there are lots of people telling you how to build up your resume, but how do you build your character? David Brooks has written a book that debuted at the number one spot on "The New York Times" best- seller list. He will tell you how to be good.

Also, how the biggest hedge fund manager in the world runs his business every day.

Finally, an extraordinary birthday party in space.

But first, here is my take. The discussion of Hillary Clinton's candidacy has so far thoroughly explored her video announcement, restaurant choices, clothes, health, ethics, and of course, her husband. Relatively little attention has been devoted to her ideas or the ones that should animate her campaign. The easiest way for Clinton to change the conversation would be to put out some big policy proposals, and it would be good for the country as well.

There are two broad themes up for grabs for the next election, reform and investment. Marco Rubio has staked out his claim as the champion of reform. In his latest book and other places, Rubio has argued intelligently for a revamping or replacement of old systems that don't address today's needs. Some of his ideas are standard fare Republican rhetoric, others are fresh and even surprising.

America, like most advanced industrial countries, needs reform and restructuring. Regulations pile up and lobbies fight hard to keep benefits for established industries. The tax code is a corrupt mess.

But is this the greatest and most urgent problem facing the U.S. today?

When you compare America to the rest of the world, it does not seem to be hobbled by inefficiencies. In the World Economic Forum's latest global competiveness report, the United States ranks third. This is why America has outperformed almost every other advanced economy since the global crisis of 2008. On the other hand, America is in dire need of investment in physical and human capital.

In the same World Economic Forum report, the United States ranks 12th in overall infrastructure, 24th in the quality of its electricity supply, and a stunning 101st in mobile telephone subscriptions.

The American Society of Civil Engineers details the dangers. Let me paraphrase from its most recent report card for America's infrastructure. The average age of the country's 84,000 dams is 52 years, and of its 607,000 odd bridges, 42 years. 42 percent of the country's major urban highways are congested, which costs the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel every year.

The need for investment in human capital is less visible but, in fact, more urgent. Social mobility, the ability to rise out of the economic class you were born into, has stalled in America in large measure because poor children have inadequate nutrition, child care, and education.

[10:05:08] As "The New York Times" columnist Eduardo Porter has noted, the United States is virtually alone among rich countries in that it spends substantially less on educating poor children compared to privileged ones. In New York, for example, local government spends about $26,000 per child in the richest neighborhoods compared with just $13,000 in the poorest neighborhoods.

Another crucial investment should be in science and research. The federal government is spending less as a percentage of GDP in these areas than it did in the 1970s. This has things backwards. In that era America still had a large industrial economy with tens of millions of jobs available for people with only high school degrees. Today those jobs in manufacturing and steel and automobiles are all in China.

The United States needs to create jobs in sectors and industries of the future. We should really be investing much more, not less, in science at this point. Even Newt Gingrich has suggested doubling the budget of the National Institutes of Health.

I would propose more broadly that Washington set a goal to double the percent that the federal government spends on basic research.

Now if Hillary Clinton starts talking relentlessly about investing in America, maybe the press will stop asking her what kind of burrito she ordered.

For more, go to and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started.

Terror was once again atop the news this week. On Thursday the president announced the deaths of two American al Qaeda leaders as well as two Western hostages in airstrikes in the AF/PAC border region. And Yemen's chaos continues to attract jihadi groups from around the Middle East including ISIS.

Let's talk about it all with a couple of terrific guests. Philip Mudd was deputy director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center. He is now a CNN counterterrorism analyst and he's the author of a new book "The Head Game." And Emma Sky arrived in Iraq in 2003 and finally left in 2010. Her last role was as political adviser to Ray Odierno when he was the commanding general of U.S. and allied forces there. She is the author of a new book about her experiences in that country, "The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq."

So, Phil, first talk about this strike and about the hostages. We forget that al Qaeda is still around. What did you make of this operation?

PHILIP MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, tragic, but inevitable. What you have here is what we call a signature strike. That is 10 years ago you might have looked at a specific individual and used a drone to strike that individual. There is a transition to say if we see a pattern of activity where we think there are al Qaeda fighters in a compound, you can surveil that compound for potentially, in this case, several hundred hours, determine if there are women or children present, and hit a target that might include dozens of people.

The tragedy in this case is no matter how long you surveil that compound, you're not going to know if there are hostages inside. This is a tragedy of war.

ZAKARIA: Because the hostages will not be moving around.

MUDD: That's correct.

ZAKARIA: They'll be hidden in some basement or something.

MUDD: That's correct. You're going to spend a lot of time ensuring that you limit the number of innocents who are killed. But if you're going to have hostages inside a building there's no way you have a drone that can look inside that building and determine what's in there. So this is tragic but I'm not sure it's avoidable.

ZAKARIA: Let's talk about other American military operations. The ones against ISIS in Iraq. What is your sense? The United States has staked its anti-ISIS campaign really on Iraq much more than Syria. How is it going?

EMMA SKY, AUTHOR, "THE UNRAVELING": In the last few weeks you can see there've been good gains made against ISIS. When you look at the summer, ISIS was storming across Iraq. Now ISIS has lost 20 percent to 30 percent of the territory it had gained. It has lost 10,000 of its fighters. Recently the battle of Tikrit, U.S. air power made the difference there and ISIS has been pushed out of Tikrit. However, it's still able to launch operations as we have seen in Ramadi and in Irbil.

ZAKARIA: What do you make of ISIS' ability to govern these territories? Because that's the -- that's to me the interesting thing is. They take over these places. What happens when they start to trying to govern them?

MUDD: Very limited capabilities. We've seen this since the 1990s when you had Egyptian and Algerian groups trying to take over in those countries. No capability to transition from intimidating a population to governing a population. The problem we have in America in assessing movements like this is we want to look at what happened over the past week, whether they took Tikrit, whether they took Ramadi.

The real question is over the course of years, once they take bits of territory, can they provide schooling, can they provide medicine? And the answer over time is no. The problem is that takes a lot of blood and lot of time to figure that out.

[10:10:07] ZAKARIA: And ISIS is not any better because people keep -- you know, the argument is they're better than al Qaeda at this stuff.


MUDD: I don't think so. I think a lot of these groups have a motivation that says, look, we're motivated by god, by a book, to proceed along the line we've taken, and therefore there is no compromise. I think what you'd find even among some Sunni villagers today in Iraq is while these guys might be better initially than a Shia government but over the course of months or years they do not provide a future or solution.

ZAKARIA: So that's the interesting question. Better than a Shia government. Because a lot of the -- you know, maybe not attraction to ISIS but the reason ISIS has been able to make gains in Iraq certainly and also in Syria is the Sunnis don't like being ruled by the Shiites in one case, the Alawites in another. That Sunni rage that's fueling it. Is that changing you think?

SKY: I think it's not just about being ruled by Shia. It's about the type of government. When you look at 2007 to 2009, violence came down dramatically due to the surge. Everybody in Iraq and ourselves thought Iraq was moving in the right direction. People believed in the political process.

Unfortunately, what happened in 2010 was the party that won the election didn't have (INAUDIBLE) trying to form the government. Maliki stayed in power. Many had a -- you know, a series of discriminatory policy that pushed Sunnis away from the political process. He went after their elites. He went after their politicians. Did mass arrests of Sunnis. He jailed or didn't commit to the tribal fighters who had helped push back al Qaeda.

So a series of his policies pushed Sunnis away and you see this symbiotic relationship between corrupted leads and terrorists. So Sunnis looked at ISIS and they thought it's no worse than Maliki and they chose ISIS, many of them, instead of Maliki.

ZAKARIA: See, we always think there's a technocratic fix. If we give the Iraqi army more weapons when there's usually a political fix which is hard for us to do.

Do you think, Phil, we can defeat ISIS?

MUDD: I don't. I think there's an interesting conversation nationally led by the president that says that has to be our goal. I look around the world as a counterterrorism guy from the CIA and say, where have we won? Pakistan? Afghanistan? Have we won in Yemen? Have we won in Somalia yet? Have we won in places like -- the answer is we can win against segments of groups that conduct acts of terrorism. We can't win against an Islamic idea.

That's for local populations, regional populations to win. So our objective, frankly, shouldn't be winning. That's an American concept. Our objective should be ensuring that people in America stay safe, meanwhile enabling governments overseas to carry the political message, the religious message that can lead to peace but I don't think we can win again these groups.

ZAKARIA: And when you look at the widening regional dimension, so if you look at what's going on in Yemen where Saudi Arabia has intervened, really essentially invaded Yemen, intervened into a foreign country, what is going on there you think?

SKY: I think this is all another outcome of the Iraq war, the war and the way in which Obama administration left Iraq, left Iraq as a very weak state and changed the balance of the power in the region in Iran's favor. And this has set off this geopolitical competition between Iran and the Gulf States and turns local grievances into this regional proxy war that we're seeing in Yemen.

ZAKARIA: Bottom line, Phil, are Americans threatened by all this? Should we care?

MUDD: I think we should care about the small segments of these groups that might send people to New York or Washington. We should enable governments to go against the major players on the ground like ISIS, but most -- 98 percent of ISIS, not a problem in New York or Washington.

ZAKARIA: Fascinating conversation and two terrific books, "The Unraveling" and "The Head Game." We're going to have you on, Phil, to talk about -- this is about making decisions.

MUDD: Yes. ZAKARIA: We've got to talk about that.

Next on GPS, an extraordinary chance to witness life inside ISIS territory. A German journalist dared to go there even after the beheadings. The footage he brought out is chilling. You won't want to miss this.


[10:18:35] ZAKARIA: The rise of ISIS has fascinated me, and the GPS team and I spent the last few months digging into it trying to understand how did it happen.

To many the terror group seems to have come out of nowhere, but in reality you can draw a straight line from 9/11 to the rise of ISIS. And there were many missed signals along the way.

We'll show you how it happened in a documentary that will air here on CNN at 9:00 on Monday night. It's called "BLINDSIDED: HOW ISIS SHOOK THE WORLD."

I'd like to show you a clip from the show that will startle you. It's a rare look inside a major city that is under ISIS control. What is it like? Well, watch.


ZAKARIA (voice-over): We begin with an extraordinary chance to look into the Islamic State. Not a single reporter has dared to venture there since the gruesome beheadings of journalists began last year. Imagine seeing this.

JOHN CANTLIE, BRITISH JOURNALIST: I'm John Cantlie, the British citizen, abandoned by my own government.

ZAKARIA: And this.

KENJI GOTO, JAPANESE JOURNALIST: These could be my last hours in this world.

ZAKARIA: And then heading straight into the heart of darkness. But that is precisely what this man did.

JURGEN TODENHOFER, GERMAN JOURNALIST: During the months I was preparing the trip, every night I felt a knife on my throat. I felt it physically.

[10:20:10] ZAKARIA: Jurgen Todenhofer is a German journalist. Last year he crossed the border into ISIS territory.

TODENHOFER: I think you must know your enemy if you want to defeat it.

ZAKARIA: He went to Mosul, an Iraqi city about the size of Philadelphia. Population around 1.5 million. It's the biggest prize ISIS has captured. This extraordinary video gives us a rare look into everyday life under

ISIS. It brings to mind the writer Hannah Arendt's concept, the "Banality of Evil." ISIS has its own license plates and traffic cops who give parking tickets. And there are friendly shopkeepers.

TODENHOFER: Completely brainwashed. I have never in my life met people like this.

ZAKARIA: This, of course, is the Mosul ISIS officials wanted Todenhofer to see. They gave him written permission to come to the city and he believes they let him leave alive to make a point.

TODENHOFER: They wanted to show me that they are a state, and that this state is working. It's not a perfect state, it's not like the United States, but it's a state.

ZAKARIA: And it's getting bigger. Todenhofer saw new recruits pouring in every day.

TODENHOFER: In this recruitment center we had every day more than 50 new fighters. They can lose fighters. They don't care. The amazing thing is that they're completely enthusiastic. They think it's the time of their life. They think that they're part of a historical event, changing the whole Middle East.

ZAKARIA: Among them were Americans.

TODENHOFER: I met many Americans. I met many Germans and French people and English people, but many Americans. Guys from New Jersey.


ZAKARIA: How did we get to a place where guys from New Jersey are signing up for ISIS? Well, make sure to watch our new documentary, "BLINDSIDED: HOW ISIS SHOOK THE WORLD."

We'll take you inside the mind of a radical. We'll ask the White House for its side of the story, we explain those propaganda videos and much more. Don't miss it.

Next on GPS where once America was the front-runner now it's lagging behind. What happened to America's leadership on liberty? We'll explore when we come back.


[10:25:03] ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. When I was growing up in India in the 1970s, we all knew that America was where the future lay, especially in the realm of the rights of individuals. Every expansion of liberty, of individual autonomy, seemed to take place in America first. The rest of the world would at first think it was crazy, but then years later it would become the new normal.

But these days America does not seem to be in the forefront of expanding liberty. Far from it. Consider same-sex marriage. This week the Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against it as Adam Lipdeck of the "New York Times" has pointed out, the court may consider legal lessons from abroad, as it should.

Seven countries plus England, Scotland, and Wales have already legalized same-sex marriage throughout their territories. Europe leads the charge with 11 countries including the Netherlands which was the first country to allow same-sex marriage all the way back in 2001.

In South America, Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay have led the way and South Africa is the only African country where gay weddings are legally recognized.

No nation in Asia allows same-sex marriage but interestingly Taiwan has made impressive strides. At the end of the last year a committee in parliament considered an amendment that would make same-sex marriage legal and Taiwan already offers legal protections for gays, including from workplace discrimination.

Even heavily Catholic Ireland could be on the cusp of same-sex marriage. A nationwide referendum will be held on May 22nd that would allow for gay marriage and a recent poll shows over 70 percent support for the measure.

In the United States polls have ranged recently from 50 percent to 60 percent support for same-sex marriage. There is one advantage to America being a laggard on this issue. It can evaluate some actual data.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You may kiss the bride.

ZAKARIA: The argument against gay marriage has been that if you allow it, it will undermine the institution of marriage. Now how exactly the institution of marriage is undermined because lots more people want to embrace it has always struck me as a bizarre claim, but anyway, what do the numbers show in those places where same-sex marriage has been legal in some cases for over a decade?

As Dana Milbank reported recently in "The Washington Post", gay marriage opponents in the U.S. have marriage rates have gone down in states that now allow gays to marry while remaining stable elsewhere but that's a misreading of the data. Massachusetts has seen marriage rates declined since they allowed same-sex marriage, but marriage has been on the decline everywhere in the United States over that time as Milbank points out. And when you look at Texas and Utah, states that didn't allow same-sex marriage during that period, their marriage rates went down, too.

What about marriage rates in other countries where same-sex marriage is legal? It's a similar story. Since the Netherlands allowed same- sex marriage in 2001 it's marriage rate has declined but so has the Eurozone's marriage rate in general. The same goes for Belgium after it legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. Legalizing same-sex marriage clearly does no harm to the institution of marriage. What it does do is give the same right to gay people to marry that straight people already enjoy. It is far more likely that the general decline of marriage has something to do with broader social trends as well as the rise of no-fault divorce laws, alimony, and other such legal changes that have emancipated women and given couples an easy way to end unhappy marriages. But don't expect social conservatives to run on a platform decrying no-fault divorce and women's lib. It's much easier to demonize gays.

Next on "GPS" do you spend hour after hour agonizing over how to get ahead in business, how to get a bigger paycheck, a fancier title? Well, how much time do you spend trying to live a better life? David Brooks on our priorities and how they could use a shift when we come back.


ZAKARIA: Last week we brought you David Brooks' thoughts on the 2016 presidential candidates. This week David Brooks' thoughts on you. Brooks is, of course, a "New York Times" columnist who is best known perhaps for writing about politics, but his books take a different tack and this new one is called "The Road to Character." It's the kind of book that makes people re-examine their lives and how they choose to live them. Listen in.

David, pleasure to have you on.

DAVID BROOKS, AUTHOR: Good to be on, Fareed.

ZAKARIA: So you talk about a central difference in your book is between eulogy virtues and resume virtues and you say we're all obsessed with resume virtues. What are they?

BROOKS: Yes, so the resume virtues are the stuff you take to the marketplace whether you're good at journalism, whether you're good at accounting, whether you're a good teacher. The eulogy virtues are the things they say about you after you're dead, whether you're honest, whether you're brave, whether you're courageous, whether you're capable of deep love. And we all know the eulogy virtues are just much more important. We all want to have those more than the other. And yet we live in a culture that praises the resume virtues and lives the eulogy virtues out to dry.

And so even an educational system, when we raise our kids. And so, a lot of us including myself, are just a lot clearer about how to build the career than how to build a rich character and a strong inner life. And so, this book is an attempt to figure out and help people find a road map for that for the eulogy virtues. How do you build a strong inner life, how have other people done it through history, what are the techniques, what are the methods, what does it look like?

ZAKARIA: And you have these characters through history whom you study. Do you find that there were some who started out with the resume virtues and discovered that they wanted a stronger inner life?

BROOKS: Yeah, all of my characters started out as sort of basket cases, emotional basket cases, but then they built themselves and the lesson is no matter how old you are, no matter how young you are, there is still a lot to do inside. You might have retired from your career, but moral education is an obligation we have to do every single day. And so, these characters start out - you know, Bayard Rustin, the great civil rights leader, was an egomaniac. George Eliot, the great novelist, she was emotionally needy. Dorothy Day, the great community worker, she was just fragmented and all over the place. Dwight Eisenhower, he had the terrible temper problem and what they all did was they said what is my core sin? What is my deepest problem? How does that problem lead to behavior?

ZAKARIA: Consciously.

BROOKS: Consciously and then day by day -- and they regarded the inner confrontation with themselves as the central drama of their lives. And day by day they worked on it, they worked on it, and they built themselves in all cases into something magical, and what you get when you see people who have done that, who have conquered themselves, is they end up with this tranquility and this inner light, the self- respect which is different than the self-esteem. It's being better than you used to be.

ZAKARIA: Central to the premises seems to be the idea that we are sinners. That there's a certain sense of humility about yourself. Why does that change in your view? I mean the 19th century you point out there was generally accepted this view that human beings are flawed. No matter what kind of fancy job you may have, ultimately you're, you know, you are born in sin. How does that change?

BROOKS: That changes in my view after World War II. They had been through the horror of the war, they'd been - the deprivation of the recession. And then right at the end of the World War II there is a whole bunch of books and a bunch of psychologists, Karl Rogers. They said all that stuff about sin, that's for the birds. You have to love yourself, you have to think proudly of yourself. You are wonderful and beautiful, and so that leads to all the commencement cliches. We know trust yourself, be true to yourself, march to the beat of your own drummer.

It's all self, and so the idea that we had a self that we have to focus on, that goes we have a self that's just wonderful. Year all wonderful inside and that leads to the self-esteem movement and then it leads to changes in how people see each other. So, in 1950 the Gallup organization asked high school seniors, are you a very important person? In 1950 12 percent of high school seniors said yes, I'm very important. They asked the same question in 2005 80 percent say, yes I'm very important.

ZAKARIA: Is some of America's extraordinary success in the last 30 or 40 years, precisely because of this individualism? You have people who believe they can start new companies from scratch? You have people who believe they can reinvent music. You know, that some of this audacious narcissism is what is required to be an entrepreneur?

BROOKS: Yeah. Now, I totally buy that. I mean if you are LeBron James, a little self-confident helps - goes a long way. He deserves it. He's pretty good.

ZAKARIA: Well, and anyone who believes that he can start a company, I mean a lot of people tell you, that idea has been done. You know, you need that almost that belief in yourself.

BROOKS: Yeah. So this is not about getting rid of the ambitious side of your nature.


BROOKS: This is about balance. And so my argument is if you're only that side -- you should be really self-confident as you're going out in the career and you should take risks and be really self-confident, but if you're only that, and I'm not accepting myself from this, too. If you're only that you turn into a shrewd animal, you become morally mediocre. You are not really aware what's going on inside. A gap opens up from between the person you want to be and the person you end up being. And you grade yourself on a forgiving curve. If you are - people don't like me. I must be good inside. But you are not really as good as you could be. And so, I'm not against outward ambition but I'm for a balance between the two, understanding that these two things are in tension, sometimes, but you need them both.

ZAKARIA: To the young today, where the beginning of -- almost the beginning of commencement season, I mean there's this little parts in your book where you talk about how the young kind of materialistic and, you know, I looked at some of the same research for my book. And what I am struck by is actually - they've been - people have wanted to make a good living for a while now, for 30 or 40 years. The big shifts are actually that they do want to do good. Amazingly industrious, bourgeois, they want to be good people.

BROOKS: Totally good. One of my students said to me, we're so hungry, we're so hungry. They want to be good, they want to do good. You know, I asked my kids what you are doing for spring break. It's like, you know, I'm unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers. You know, they're all doing this amazing stuff. I think what they're lacking, we cannot - giving them, is moral vocabulary. And then moral ecology. So, these resume students. You grow up in an ecology and you inherit a certain tradition, a certain gift from the dead of how to be good. And so, there are a whole bunch of things you can believe in. There's a Greek tradition, a classical one, which emphasizes honor and courage and glory. There's a Jewish one, that emphasizes obedience to law. There's a Christian on salvation and grace. There's a scientific one, rational thought and thinking your way to a good life.

So there are all these different traditions. They have all been handed down to us, and I'm not going to tell a young person which one to believe, but pick one. Because we tell them we'll come up with your own world view. Well, if your name is Aristotle, maybe - with your own real view. The rest of us, we have to learn from somebody else. So, the dead have given us this great gifts and I just lay them out for the students and for the readers of the book and I say pick one. It will help you out to inherit a tradition, a full integration that greater minds on your own who know you better than you know yourself have left for us as presents.

ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," how would you make investment decisions if you had $160 billion to invest? Yes, that's billion with a "b." Well, that is exactly what my next guest is confronted with every day at the office. Ray Dalio runs the biggest hedge fund in the world. How does he do it? When we come back.


ZAKARIA: $169 billion. That is how much money a hedge fund called Bridgewater Associates manages. In reality it's not just a hedge fund, it is the hedge fund. The biggest such fund in the world by far. Ray Dalio founded that firm and is currently its co-chief investment officer. I asked him to come in to talk about how he makes investment decisions, what he thinks of the American economy, and much more.

ZAKARIA: Pleasure to have you on, Ray.


ZAKARIA: So you run the largest hedge fund in the world, a fund so large people can't even believe the size of it, and you have been incredibly successful, and you have weathered and thrived through the economic downturn and the financial crisis. What is it you think that you see that other people don't?

DALIO: I think I think more about how the machine -- economic machine works. I think the same things happen all over and over again through history, so -- and then I'm in the middle of it. You know, like I get banged around every day and then you learn. I think it requires a stepping back, an equanimity, stubbing your toes and learning from that. I think -- and it requires I think great humility, great fear. I have great fear. People think that my success is due because of what I know. It's not. It's due more to how I deal with not knowing. In other words, how I go look for where I might be wrong. If I can find people who disagree with me, I love to find people who could disagree with me and see it through their eyes. Smart, believable people, and I could see it through their eyes and I can consider, is that right? Is that wrong? That learning experience helps me learn more, and it also helps me make better decisions. So it's the dealing with what one doesn't know that's more effective than knowing.

ZAKARIA: Are you bullish about the American economy?

DALIO: I'm very bullish on the productivity of the American economy, the innovation. I think that big data, big processing data, that is the greatest American asset and the greatest world asset. We're now living in a global world. I think that that's going to create a fabulous, fabulous movement. I am -- where I think it's terrible is the quality of the decision making in government and how the government works. I think that that's largely a dysfunctional problem, and I think that, you know, the stepping back and seeing things on that higher level becomes a challenge. But when I look at the American position vis-a-vis the rest of the world, many of the things that we take for granted, a legal system that works, capital markets that work, all of those competitive advantages and a culture of innovation which came from immigrants, all people of all different types who come together and understand each other and tolerate each other, that's uniquely American, and so I think I'm very bullish for the development of productivity. The tailwind that we're going to have to deal with is the tailwind of the debt situation. It's going to require a lot of thoughtfulness, calm, reflective thoughtfulness, exchanges of ideas, and communication really to deal with that risk well.


ZAKARIA: Do you think when you look out at the prospects for China, do you think it will be -- it will be able to compete with the United States as a peer competitor economically?

DALIO: Right now China's richer than the United States if you take assets and liabilities, not per capita but the aggregate of that, and China's growth rate will certainly be faster than the United States' growth rate over the next number of years, so I think they have to go through a big restructuring, a big adjustment. The average growth rate over the last ten years in China was 10.3 percent. Seven percent of that is not sustainable. That type of an economy can't operate that way, and they have a debt issue. The leadership in China I'm extremely impressed with, and because I'm impressed with the leadership, I think that it's likely that it will be well managed. There will be a hiccup and there will be a restructuring but they make decisions. We're going into the 13th, 13 five-year plan. They have plans that they set out and they actually implement. We don't have plans. So I think that, you know, I'm not trying to comment on the pros and cons of the American system. I am saying that the economics, they have less debt. They have a lot of potential because capital hasn't flowed to a lot of parts of their economy. It's been stuck with state-owned enterprises, local governments. As it flows to that other part and they innovate, I think that they have a lot of potential. So, I remain bullish longer term on China.

ZAKARIA: Ray Dalio, pleasure to have you on.

DALIO: Thank you for having me.

ZAKARIA: If you want to learn more about his worldview, Ray Dalio has an explainer about how - what he calls the economic machine works. It's on his website Economic

Up next, the Hubble telescope turns 25 years old this week issuing this stunning birthday image. Hubble has been really busy this last quarter century. What have you been doing? Stay with us.



Um: Space shuttle discovery --


ZAKARIA: On April 24th, 1990, 25 years ago this week, the Hubble telescope lifted off from Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery. The next day it was released into space where it's been traveling around the Earth at an astonishing 17,500 miles per hour ever since. It brings me to my question of the week. How many miles has Hubble traveled in its 25 years aloft? More than 30 million? More than 300 million? More than 3 billion? Or more than 30 billion? We'll give you the answer in a moment. You can try to calculate it, but not using your phones or computers.

This week's book of the week is Joseph Nye's, "Is the American Century Over?" Exactly 25 years ago Joe Nye published a book debunking those who believe that Japan was about to become the world's greatest power. He's now done the same regarding China. But the book is mostly about America's enduring strengths and a clear-eyed recollection that even in the past Washington always had to persuade to lead. Lots of intelligence in this 152-page book.

And now for "The Last Look." When the Hubble telescope launched into space a quarter of a century ago, the world it left behind was very different than the one it orbits today. That year something called the World Wide Web was in its infancy of development. Today Hubble has its own Twitter account. Nelson Mandela was released from prison also in 1990. The human genome project was launched. "Driving Miss Daisy" won best picture at the Oscar's that year. Iraq invaded Kuwait leading to the first Gulf War. Margaret Thatcher resigned after more than 11 years as prime minister. Mikhail Gorbachev, then president of the Soviet Union, won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hold On" by Wilson Phillips topped the billboard charts.

And all of that was in just the very same year that Hubble took to the sky. As the Earth rotated more than 9,100 times, Hubble looked outward into the universe capturing truly magnificent images and videos. Once thought to have become nothing more than a piece of space junk, Hubble has turned out to be one of the greatest scientific instruments of all time transmitting back 120 gigabytes of science data every week. For now NASA says that the Hubble is operating beautifully, but without a space shuttle program, it can never be repaired again. Its more powerful successor, the James Webb space telescope, a joint project between the United States, European, and Canadian space agencies will launch in October of 2018. It's truly awe inspiring to think of all it will see, all we will learn, and all that will change here on Earth as it peers billions of light years back into the depths of the universe.

The correct answer to the GPS challenge question was "C." Hubble has traveled more than 3 billion miles. Just to put that into context, that means it circled the Earth more than 135,000 times. NASA tells us it will let Hubble keep circling until it's time to put it out of commission either by moving it higher into space or gently guiding it into the ocean.

Thankfully we should have years of these beautiful images to see until that happens. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. Don't forget to tune into CNN tomorrow night at 9:00 p.m. For our in-depth look inside ISIS, "Blindsided: How ISIS Shook the World."


ZAKARIA: And I will see all of you next week.