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Fareed Zakaria GPS
Interview with Henry Kissinger; Interview with Marwan Muasher; Interview with Uber's CEO Travis Kalanick; Investing in Innovative Fuel Technologies
Aired September 14, 2014 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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 begin today's show with Henry Kissinger, the elder statesman of American diplomacy on ISIS, Ukraine, and his opinion of President Obama.
Then will the president's plan to combat ISIS work?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Last, the former foreign minister of Jordan, a country on the front lines of the battle.
Next up, GPS goes to Silicon Valley. I will talk to two of tech's top innovators, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of Uber, and Vinod Khosla, the billionaire investor who was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems.
Finally, geeks and dictators. Pitting one against the other. My money is on the geeks. I'll explain.
But first, here is my take. Here the United States goes again. America has declared war on another terrorist group. President Obama's speech Wednesday night outlined a tough, measured strategy to confront ISIS but let's make sure in the execution of this strategy that the U.S. learns something from the 13 years since September 11th, 2001, and the war against al Qaeda.
Here are a few lessons to think about. One, don't always take the bait. In one of his videotape speeches to his followers after the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden outlined his strategy.
"All that we have to do is send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda," he said, "in order to make American generals race there."
Following that script, the purpose of ISIS' gruesome execution videos was to provoke the United States. And it worked. After all, nothing has changed about ISIS and the dangers it posed in the last month other than the appearance of these videos. Yet it was those videos that moved Washington to action.
Now the United States has to act against this terror group, but it should do so at a time and manner of its choosing rather than jumping when ISIS wants it to jump.
Lesson two, don't overestimate the enemy. ISIS is a formidable foe, but the counter forces to it have only just begun and if these forces, the Iraqi army, the Kurdish Peshmerga, American air power, the Syrian Free Army, work in a coordinated fashion, it will start losing ground. Also, please keep in mind that ISIS does not actually hold as much ground as the many maps flashed on television keep showing. Large parts of those territories that ISIS supposedly controls are vacant desert.
While ISIS is much more sophisticated than al Qaeda in its operations and technology, it has one major inherent weakness. Al Qaeda was an organization that was pan Islamic, trying to appeal to all Muslims. This group is a distinctly sectarian organization. ISIS is anti- Shiite as well as deeply hostile to Kurds, Christians and many other inhabitants in the Middle East. This means that it has large numbers of foes in the region who will fight against it not because the United States wants them to but in their own interests.
Lesson number three, remember politics. ISIS is a direct outgrowth of America's invasion of Iraq and the ruinous political decisions to disband the Iraqi Army and de-Baathify its democracy. The result of those actions was a disempowered, enraged, and armed Sunni population that then started an insurgency.
The Obama administration has mapped out a smart strategy in Iraq pressing the Baghdad government to include more Sunnis. But that has yet to happen. The Shiite parties have dragged their feet over any major concessions to the Sunnis. This is a crucial issue because if the United States is seen as defending two non-Sunni regimes, Iraq and Syria against a Sunni uprising, it will not win.
And it would be hard to recruit local allies. Remember, while the Sunnis are a minority in Iraq, they make up the vast majority of the Middle East Muslims.
The Syrian aspect of the president's strategy is its weak link. It is impossible to battle ISIS and not in effect strengthen its enemy, the Assad regime. The U.S. can say it doesn't intend to do that but it doesn't change the reality on the ground.
In his speech, Obama promised to degrade ISIS. Good. He also promised to ultimately destroy it. But know that 13 years after 9/11, the United States has not been able to destroy al Qaeda, and destroying a group like ISIS requires defusing the sectarian dynamics that are fueling it.
That's not for Washington to do, but it can help make it happen by pressing the Iraqis and enlisting the Saudis and other regional powers. Obama's military intervention in the region will work only if there is an equivalent, perhaps even more intense political intervention.
For more on this go to CNN.com/fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week.
Let's get started.
Earlier this week I sat down with Henry Kissinger for a broader perspective on the two major crises of the moment -- ISIS and Ukraine. Kissinger was, of course, both National Security Adviser and Secretary of State under President Nixon. The only person ever to hold those two posts simultaneously, and he stayed on as secretary of state under President Ford. He is now the chairman of Kissinger Associates which helps American companies do business around the world. And he has just published "World Order." his 21st book.
Dr. Kissinger, thank you so much for joining me.
HENRY KISSINGER, AUTHOR, "WORLD ORDER": Always a pleasure.
ZAKARIA: You said something last week that I was struck by. You felt that it was very important for the United States to respond to the executions of Americans, but I wanted to play devil's advocate. Isn't that really what ISIS is trying to do, to goad the United States? Should -- you talk about this in the book and in your last book, should these images become the arbiter or the engine that drives American foreign policy rather than considering a our strategic interests and issues more carefully?
KISSINGER: I think the purpose of ISIS is to humiliate the United States and to demonstrate in the region that the United States is impotent, even to protect its own people much less be relevant to the situation regionally, but we should also keep in mind another thing which is not convention at this moment.
Is represents 20,000 people and a fanatic wing that even al Qaeda expelled, we shouldn't create the impression that we need the whole world and that the whole world has to unite and to get ourselves into a situation whose end it is very difficult to describe and then start again the debate in this country, so our overall strategy should be to reduce them to an insignificant international level.
But whether we can ever say that they have been completely wiped out and where it's objective will take us, we should be very careful --
ZAKARIA: So you're worried about having a kind of unending and open- ended struggle with them because it would drag us into it?
KISSINGER: Having lived through this period, I am very concerned about the fact that we've been in five wars since 1945, and only one of them, the first Iraq war and in a limited way in the Korean War did we achieve the objective that we set ourselves, and that has had a demoralizing effect on the debate on foreign policy.
ZAKARIA: And you point out in the book that what happens in these wars, we begin them -- the United States begins them with great enthusiasm and then midway --
KISSINGER: Usually with bipartisan support and then -- and then -- so I don't want this to happen here. We should be implacable.
ZAKARIA: The other great challenge to world order, to the subject of your book, has been what the Russians are doing in Ukraine and the West response. You have argued that the West in some ways provoked Russia --
KISSINGER: I do believe that.
ZAKARIA: That Russia had legitimate interests in Ukraine and that there is only a negotiated solution with Putin possible.
KISSINGER: No. I believe one has to understand that for Russia, Ukraine can never be just another country. It is believed that Ukraine is an integral part of the Russian patrimony.
ZAKARIA: So how would you deter Putin going forward if you do believe it's important to deter him. How would you do it? You met him more than any American.
KISSINGER: Well, I have believed that -- first of all, I believe that Putin does not think he is chief of a dominant country but chief of a potentially weak country. That has a frontier of 3,000 miles with China, which is a strategic nightmare and a frontier of thousands of miles with Islam which is an ideological nightmare, but he also feels that he has to restore self-respect to Russia after what he considers the humiliations of the previous period.
I'm just stating his view. I'm not justifying it. So therefore, for him to be treated as an equal partner, especially by the United States, it's psychologically more important than even practically important, and our attitude has been more condescending than creative. So I have thought from the beginning that when this started, some initiative from the White House for a quiet dialogue with Putin about where we are both trying to go might have been desirable.
ZAKARIA: You've met with I think every president since Harry Truman. What do you think of Barack Obama?
KISSINGER: I'm very ambivalent, but I have gone out of my way never to attack him personally or not to harass individual politics.
ZAKARIA: He often cites people like you and Brent Scowcroft and Bush 41 as the foreign policy makers whom he admires.
KISSINGER: Well, I appreciate that, and I don't think it's my role to appear here as a major critic. I have had concerns. I thought we withdrew too rapidly from Iraq, not just militarily but also with a political presence and I have concerns about what will happen in Afghanistan unless we create an international framework for it, but we should try to come up with nonpartisan solutions in what is going to be an extremely difficult period.
ZAKARIA: Henry Kissinger, thank you so much. Up next, a view from the region. The former foreign minister of
Jordan, a country on the front line in the battle against ISIS.
ZAKARIA: Will President Obama's plan to combat ISIS work? Let's ask a voice from the region. Marwan Muasher is the former foreign minister of Jordan and Jordan has a huge vested interest on the plan's success since it borders both Iraq and Syria.
Marwan Muasher, let me ask you, one of the questions many people have about the president's speech is will he find regional allies. So I ask you, will -- would Jordan, for example, be willing to provide some of the ground forces that might be required for this strategy?
MARWAN MUASHER, FORMER JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think he will find regional allies, Fareed, but I doubt any country, including Jordan, would commit ground troops. This is very difficult in this region. The fact of the matter is that the United States will have to take the lead in, you know, providing the military strikes.
What countries like Jordan and others can do is provide intelligence services, is provide, you know, the network they have with the Sunni tribes to try to lure them away from ISIS, and, you know, the intelligence that Jordan has on is ISIS probably second to none. It is in these areas that I think the United States will find support, but I doubt they will find support in committing ground troops.
ZAKARIA: Do you believe that other ground forces like the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish forces will suffice or do you think for the United States to conduct the strategy President Obama has outlined the United States will eventually have to send in ground forces itself?
MUASHER: No, I don't think the United States really is in a position to send ground forces. I mean public opinion is very clear on this. I do think that with the support of the Iraqi army, with the support of the Kurdish army, and also with the support of the moderate opposition in Syria, this can be done militarily. It is not going to be easy. It is going to take a long time, and it is going to have to be coupled with other issues like, for example, an inclusive Iraqi government where the Sunni forces feel they are properly represented and not just being a token force.
This thing can be done militarily over time, but it will require, like I said, also a political process, not just a military one.
ZAKARIA: Does the strategy in Syria inevitably strengthen the Assad regime?
MUASHER: Well, I think the Assad regime cannot be looked at as part of the solution. It is part of the problem. I think it is very difficult for the Assad regime to eventually remain in power with all the atrocities, with all the killing that has taken place, so on the other hand, you know, you are not going to be able to defeat ISIS if you don't strike them in Syria, and if you leave their logistical and territorial base in Syria intact. So I think the president is right in saying that he has to go after ISIS not just in Iraq but in Syria as well, but that in no means -- in no way means that this is also providing support for the Assad regime. I believe that would be a mistake.
ZAKARIA: And finally, Saudi Arabia. Do you believe that Saudi Arabia will take a lead role and be an active partner in this struggle?
MUASHER: Yes, I think the Saudis are, you know, as afraid of that as anybody else now and understand that this poses a security threat to the whole region, and so I do believe that they will take part, and if the Arab uprisings did not result in any serious wake-up call for governments of the region to understand that they have to engage in power sharing, they have to address the political and economic challenges of their own countries in a way that would prevent, you know, the development of a culture that supports such radical groups, I think that is the difficult question to be answered rather than whether countries of the region will help militarily or logistically or not. I do believe they will.
ZAKARIA: Marwan Muasher, former foreign minister of Jordan. Pleasure to have you on.
MUASHER: Same here. Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Europe has slapped new economic sanctions against Russia. Will they work? When we come back.
ZAKARIA: Time for "What in the World" segment.
The West has announced a new round of sanctions against Russia but can America and Europe craft effective sanctions?
Sure, sanctions have already hurt the Russian economy, stock prices are down, capital is fleeing the country and the Russian's ruble has take a hit, but Vladimir Putin shows no signs of moving to the off- ramp of diplomacy that President Obama has talked about.
Indeed, he's retaliating against the West by basically imposing his own set of countersanctions banning around $9 billion worth of food imports from the West despite the fact that this will mean higher food prices for Russians. And he's not changing his military strategy, which has been to encourage the Ukrainian separatists to stand firm.
So will yet another round of sanctions do the trick?
Well, here is the problem. Sanctions don't really have that great a track record. We think of sanctions as highly effective because they did bring the Iranians to the negotiating table it seems. But those are unusually comprehensive sanctions implemented by almost all countries. That's very rare. According to one study between 1945 and 2005 sanctions have only succeeded about a third of the time.
Richard Haass argued in a 1997 foreign affairs essay that sanctions had some successes, in Bosnia, in Iraq increasing compliance with U.N. resolutions, possibly in Pakistan, a few other places, but sometimes sanctions did more harm than good. In Haiti in 1990s Haass says sanctions hurt the poorest the most which led to a mass exodus of Haitians to Florida, thus burdening that state.
He says that the arms embargo in Bosnia disproportionately hurt Muslims and contributed to their suffering. And let's remember, unlike Iran, which faces the threat of an Israeli strike, Russia's sanctions are not coupled with the threat of force. Also Russia is far less isolated than Iran from the global economy. Several European countries are depending on Russia for energy. Russia supplies about a third of the European Union's gasps, which is why EU sanctions have been largely toothless.
There might be one exception that really does seem effective. I'm talking about the nuclear weapon of the sanctions arsenal, cutting Russia off from Swift. Swift is a network that allows financial institutions to send and receive information in a secure manner. It's what more than 10,500 banks use to make international money transfers in more than 200 countries. And the UK wants the European Union to block Russia from this network.
The consequences would be far reaching. Not only would it affect trade and investment but also millions of other routine financial transactions. It's exactly what the U.S. got the private network of banks to do to Iran in 2012, and it was profoundly damaging to the Iranian economy. But despite Britain's prodding, the EU is reluctant to brandish this weapon. Now it's not willing to use any real weapons. Europe is basically out of the military business. Its major country spends peanuts on defense which might change but not now.
But having drawn a red line, Europe and the United States have to use some measures that would exact a real price so that Russia and Mr. Putin are willing to negotiate a solution to the Ukrainian crisis. If not, the continent looks grim. It's mired in recession, facing a secessionist vote from Scotland with anti-European populists rising in every column. As the columnist Anne Applebaum has said, this could be the end of Europe as we know it.
Next on GPS the CEO of Silicon Valley superstar Uber on how he intends to make getting around cities all over the world like getting a glass of water.
ZAKARIA: I spent a few days this week in the San Francisco Bay area and while there had the chance to interview two men who are working to change the world in their own very different ways. First up, Travis Kalanick. You may not know his name but you are probably well aware of the company he founded and runs, Uber. The company is a tech darling with an astonishing valuation of $18 billion. The company has changed the way people get around cities from Raleigh, Durham to Rio, to Riyadh, from Stockholm to Sidney to Seoul. In all, Uber is in 200 cities and 45 countries on six continents and counting. It says it employs hundreds of thousands of drivers and adds 50,000 every month, but not everyone loves Uber or the disruption in the transportation market. Germany for one just banned Uber from operating anywhere on its soil. We sat down in Uber's war room at its San Francisco headquarters.
TRAVIS KALANICK, CEO, UBER: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: Tell me what is the goal of Uber? What are you trying to accomplish?
KALANICK: Well, look, we - you know, our mission is -- we like to say it's transportation as reliable as running water everywhere.
ZAKARIA: Meaning? Meaning?
KALANICK: Well, meaning, you know, when you turn a faucet and water just comes out, we want you to be able to push a button and a car is there in just minutes. And so you can get it right wherever you are in the world no matter who you are. So options that are, you know, very lux or high end all the way down to rickshaws in emerging markets.
ZAKARIA: So, at $18 billion your investors obviously think you can grow much bigger.
ZAKARIA: How big can you get?
KALANICK: Well, look, we've launched in San Francisco four years ago. We're a little over four years old. And when we came here, research was telling us that the total taxing spend was $120 million. Four years later our operations just in San Francisco are a healthy multiple bigger than that. And so when Uber comes to a city, it's multiplicative in terms of what it does to the sort of transportation services industry in that city, and we are growing still in San Francisco, we're growing three acts year-over-year. Globally we're growing four acts year-over-year. I think that's the kind of bets that investors are seeing. And they are looking at that growth. When you're doing billions of dollars a year and you're growing four acts year-over-year and that growth is accelerating, it's pretty unusual.
ZAKARIA: Are you going to put FedEx out of business? Are you going to start moving things, not just people?
KALANICK: We're going to move a lot of things as well as people. We're doing - We're doing some experiments. So, in Los Angeles, we're doing something called Uber Fresh, which is you push a button and you get a lunch in five minutes. All right? In D.C. we're doing Uber Corner store. So, imagine all the things you get at a corner store. In New York we're doing Uber Rush, which is messenger service and we like to think of ourselves as being in the business of moving, delivering cars in five minutes. You push button, a car comes. But once you're delivering cars in five minutes, there's a lot of things you can deliver in five minutes. You know, FedEx isn't going to your nearest pharmacy and delivering something to you in five minutes. That's not their thing. This is just very different. ZAKARIA: Now the big challenge it seems to me that you face and that
Airbnb face is that your business model bumps up against an old, regulated way of doing business. Talk about that.
KALANICK: So technology is now getting into -- it's starting to weave its way into how the city works. It's weaving its way into the physical world. I like to say our technology sort of sits right in the middle. It's sort of coordinating or connecting bits and atoms. And once you get into the physical world you are now in the realm of the mayor. You are now under the jurisdiction of the city council, and the physical world has been regulated for a really, really long time, and so there's a lot of regulations that go way back that didn't contemplate what the future was going to look like. And so I think there's a lot of situations where there's either bureaucracy, red tape, or regulatory environment or even sometimes legislation that had one thing in mind but they didn't expect you to be able to get out an app and get a car in two minutes.
ZAKARIA: Do you think you can get past the ban in Germany?
KALANICK: Well, you know, it's funny. That's made news recently, but every city we do well in, something comes up. So in Germany, for instance, we had a court ruling in Hamburg that said, hey, Uber has got to go. We appealed it, and then that ruling got suspended, and then in Frankfurt there was a ruling that said, hey, Uber has got to go, they're charging too much. It's less than a taxi but it's still too much, and we said, well, just tell us what the price is and we'll make sure that we get it to the right price, but there's no price set, and so that's on appeal. And so quite often we do well, there's a little friction like what you might see in Germany, but at the end of the day we've launched in 210 cities. There's only one city and one service that we've rolled out where we've actually rolled back, and that was Vancouver.
ZAKARIA: Why did you hire Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe?
KALANICK: Well, that's a good question. We - I'm a technologist, right? I used to be a computer engineer and I can make really good code, and we can make systems that work really well, and we can make the application a great experience, but when you have to translate bits to atoms, you need folks who are used to working with city governments, with state governments, and so I like to say we're in a political campaign. I didn't totally realize that at first, and the candidate is Uber. And our opponent is the taxi cartel. And we need to have a full-fledged campaign manager to go and make sure that this kind of progress, you know, happens in a whole bunch of cities and sort of translates those bits to atoms and works with city governments and city officials and city councils in a way that gets that progress adopted more quickly and in a more enduring fashion.
ZAKARIA: Travis, pleasure to have you on.
KALANICK: Good to see you.
ZAKARIA: Next up, the billionaire investor who is betting big to end America's oil addiction. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ZAKARIA: The crisis in Iraq and Syria fueled by oil. The crisis in Ukraine greatly complicated by natural gas. So what if we lived in a world that was powered by something other than these hydrocarbons we are so dependent on? That's a world that my next guest is betting on. Quite literally. Vinod Khosla was the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems. He now runs his own firm Khosla Ventures. And he's the 352 richest person in America, according to Forbes. In recent years most of his energy has gone into finding promising alternate energy technologies and investing in them.
Vinod Khosla, pleasure to have you on.
VINOD KHOSLA, FOUNDER & PARTNER, KHOSLA VENTURES: Happy to be here.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you about something that you know a lot about. People say that you have one of the most extensive and interesting energy portfolios. What do you see as the fundamental alternatives? Is there one? Is there a silver bullet? If not, what are the array? We hear about solar, we hear about wind. And, you know, they are still a tiny, tiny percentage of American energy usage. What is the future?
KHOSLA: So, you are right in solar and wind that they are a tiny percentage. And in fact, I have a critique of environmentalists. Though they have done a very good job of identifying the problems, the solutions they have generally proposed are naive and simplistic. So they talk about wind and solar, but who wants power only when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining? I want my power when my favorite NFL game is on. And so translating environmental problems into real solutions is non trivial.
ZAKARIA: So, what are the ones that we haven't heard of that you think are going to surprise us, that are technologies in energy? Because you've done some very experimental stuff.
KHOSLA: We do like fund experimental stuff. I very much believe in the Nassim Taleb's black swan pieces. That means our solution is not some probable path we know today. It is some improbable path, we just don't know which of a thousand different improbables.
ZAKARIA: And so maybe it's solar, maybe it's hydrogen, maybe it's biofuels, maybe it's ...
KHOSLA: Yeah. Now the most promising if I were to project 30 years unlikely to be nuclear technologies. I ...
ZAKARIA: Nuclear fusion you think?
KHOSLA: I hope so. There's a number of very creative, some relatively naive attempts at nuclear fusion, but I'm a fan of encouraging all those including the naive ones, because they almost end up having ingredients that are extremely valuable when combined with other ideas. ZAKARIA: So, you're making bets across a whole range of areas.
Almost by definition they can't all work.
KHOSLA: Absolutely. We compete against -- so we have multiple biofuels bets. If one of them succeeds then the others will necessarily fail. We have batteries, and if batteries work then biofuels will fail. If biofuels work, batteries will fail. That is the nature of innovation. It's the nature of market competitiveness and we should be attempting more of these and the only time I get disappointed is when we don't see enough such efforts.
ZAKARIA: So, the Obama administration made a very ambitious efforts in early, early on with Steven Chu as secretary of energy saying they were going to fund alternative energy? Was it - was it - did they have the right ideas, did they have the right implementation?
KHOSLA: They had the right ideas. Clearly there were some implementation mistakes, but I would say to you it is impossible to do something new without screwing up.
Innovation means risk, and risk means failure. In fact, I personally like to say my willingness to fail is what gives me the ability to succeed. So the nature of innovation is you have to take on failure. In fact, John F. Kennedy said only those who dare fail greatly can succeed greatly. Elon Musk tried Tesla. You know he almost went bankrupt a few times. He put all his personal wealth behind his conviction. He could have gone bankrupt, and that you've got to admire that kind of courage and he may have permanently changed the trajectory of electric cars. That's why he was voted the most influential car company, and now every other automaker is looking at him and changing their strategy.
ZAKARIA: So you look at Solyndra and you say this was a necessary part of a big experiment?
KHOSLA: Look at Solyndra. If there's ten solar startups, and there were probably 50, you are all going to lose on seven of the ten. There's going to be a winner. There's a win, place, and show, and everybody else in the new technology effort goes bankrupt. It is the nature of breakthroughs in innovation and competitive technology races. Even if all the Obama administration did is increase the number of competitors and increase the level of competition, I think that's a good thing. If you'd look at national issues, and climate change is misunderstood. I consider it not climate change, but climate risk. There's climate risk, there's national security risk, there's geopolitical risks. There's a series of risks which government does subsidize. National defense is all risk mitigation. Climate risk subsidization is risk mitigation.
So if you frame it in terms of risk, the question is which risk should we take and which shouldn't we. I think we've spent $7 trillion or so subsidizing oil by policing the oil lanes around the world. That's American government spending over time. If you spend $7 trillion policing oil lands, is that a subsidy? Are we -- shouldn't we be subsidizing alternatives to create a level playing field?
ZAKARIA: Vinod Khosla, pleasure to have you.
KHOSLA: Thank you.
ZAKARIA: When we come back, what Silicon Valley might teach North Korea? Really.
ZAKARIA: During last weeks' NATO summit, leaders pledged to increase military spending over the next ten years to meet the organization's spending benchmark, 2 percent of each country's GDP. The U.S. spends the most as a share of its economy and has the largest armed forces of any NATO country by far. It brings me to my question of the week, which NATO country has the second largest armed forces measured by number of troops as of last year? Is it France, Germany, Italy, or Turkey? Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is Henry Kissinger's "World Order." Written by the 91-year-old statesman, it's a highly intelligent account of the differing concepts of world order that the West, the Chinese, the Islamic world, and even the Indians have. It's not beach reading, but it is well worth it to understand the world we are moving into.
And now for the last look. Over the past few years technology and global affairs have increasingly intersected. Think about when Twitter delayed site maintenance in order to continue to carry tweets during Iran's green revolution. Or about apps like "Red Alert" created this summer to warn Israelis of incoming rocket attacks. Well, last month geeks collided with global policy once more. Hack North Korea, organized by the human rights foundation, brought 100 engineers, coders, activists, investors, and designers together in San Francisco to answer one burning question, how can we get information into and possibly out of North Korea. The attendees divided into eight groups judged by a panel that included North Korean defectors, refugees, and even a computer scientist who once trained the regime's cyber warfare unite.
The winner tiny portable satellite receivers so small and flat they could be hidden on the exteriors of North Korean homes. They would be snuggled in using balloons like this or across the Chinese border. And would pull in English and Korean language stations from a South Korean broadcaster. Think of it as air dropping a different kind of weapon, knowledge.
The correct answer to the "GPS" challenge question is D. Turkey had 494,000 armed force members in 2013. France was next followed by Italy, then Germany. When looking at spending as a percentage of GDP, however, only four countries currently meet the 2 percent recommendation. The United States, the United Kingdom, Greece, and Estonia. Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.