World of conflict: Israel & Syria, Abiy's Ethiopia, Peru's presidents, US in Afghanistan

Watch as Ian Bremmer discusses the world in (more than) 60 seconds:

Number one: what do you make of Israeli airstrikes in Syria?

The relationship between Israel and Trump has very little to do with the way the Israeli government defends their perceived national security in the region. This was not just strikes in Syria, it was strikes against Iranian target in Syria, and a lot of them, in response to apparently some improvised explosive devices in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel of course has said it's their territory.


The Trump administration has also said it's their territory. Israel has vast superiority, both in terms of military cyber capabilities and intelligence compared to every other country in the region, and they're willing to use it. And that creates more deterrence. So, the fact that we've seen this before, we'll see it again. And the transition to a Biden administration is going to matter not one wit in terms of that.

Number two: more US troops are leaving Afghanistan, what does that mean for the incoming Biden administration?

Not that much. We're going down from 4,500 to 2,500 troops. That's different from taking all of the American troops out. So, the US is still fighting this forever war that started after 9/11 and is obviously not going to be concluding successfully anytime soon. Let's also keep in mind that there are well over 10,000 US contractors on the ground, many of which are military advisers helping with infrastructure, things like that and working with the Afghan government.

They're not going away. So much of American force is through drone strikes, which has nothing to do with the number of troops on the ground. Those drones coordinated from outside of Afghanistan. Then of course, you've got all the satellite imagery, which not only informs those drone strikes, but also providing real-time intelligence to the Afghan government and other forces on the ground, including from other countries. That's not changing. I mean, I know there's an enormous amount of how possibly could Trump make this announcement. We do need to recognize that Trump lies about all sorts of things. And when he promised that he was going to drain the swamp, of course he did not. And indeed, if you look at his cabinet, you're talking about a bunch of policies that are really awesome for the 0.1% and not so awesome for the average working stiff in the United States.

But if you look about other promises that he made, like trying to end these forever wars, bring the troops back, and reducing immigration into the United States, both of those things, which are also popular with Trump's base, he has actually persisted with and he's persisted with despite an enormous amount of opposition from inside his own administration and from inside the US bureaucracy. And this is one of those places. I've got to say in terms of trying to bring the Afghan war to a close, I'm probably closer to where Trump has been and where Biden is probably going to be than where Obama was or where Hillary Clinton was. In this regard, I think that Biden is not so upset with the idea that there are fewer US troops on the ground in Afghanistan when he takes over.

What's going on in Ethiopia?

A big fight happening between the Tigray who are a small part of the Ethiopian population, less than 10%, but used to basically run the government and the new Ethiopian government run by Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy. He wants to end ethnic federalism. He's gotten rid of these tribal or ethnically driven political parties in favor of his own broader party. He's an ethnic Oromo, that's the largest group in Ethiopia, but they're not getting to run as Oromo. It's trying to create a democracy that's based on the popular will as opposed to us versus them of all of these different ethnic groups that are regionally based and tend to subvert the interests of the other. Remember, representative democracy is very different than majoritarianism or minoritarism, which tends to really be bad for the out group. Problem is that the Tigray are really angry about this and so they've launched military strikes, perhaps more importantly, they decided to hold their own elections and now are saying that they've got their own Tigray government in their own Republic. That's leading to a big fight. We've already seen tens of thousands Tigray refugees streaming into Sudan. There is a difficulty getting humanitarian aid getting in, which has largely been blocked. There's been hundreds dead, probably over a thousand at this point. And the entire effort of Prime Minister Abiy, remember he won the Nobel peace prize, but his ability to make Ethiopia a functional democracy is facing existential challenges right now.

Finally, Peru has had three presidents in a week, what's going on?

Lots of corruption charges, massive economic crisis. Their economy is going to contract by about 20% this year. Congress has gotten rid of a popularly supported president and brought in their own, this impeachment that was driven by Congress, not by the people. That was that's how Vizcarra was forced out. Then you had a very short term, a few days, a new president that was appointed, and was enormously unpopular, and had favored the impeachment, big demonstrations, including a few Peruvians getting killed by the military. That made things worse. So, that president's out. Now we have a new caretaker president who probably won't last very long, but at least opposed the impeachment. So, it makes it more popular on the ground, on the street. Peru's an enormous mess, not just economically - over 50% in majority of Peruvians serving in Congress right now are under some form of investigation. If you think the United States has it bad, you've seen nothing until you go to like Peru, worse than Brazil, worse than the UK, worse than any major democratic government, in terms of governance right now that we can find in the world. That's saying something, it can always get worse.

Meet Zoe Marshall, grandmother, fishmonger, and thriving business owner.

https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/trackimp/N6024.4218512GZEROMEDIA/B26379324.311531246;dc_trk_aid=504469522;dc_trk_cid=156468981;ord=[timestamp];dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;tfua=;gdpr=${GDPR};gdpr_consent=${GDPR_CONSENT_755};ltd=

When Zoe Marshall decided to switch careers in her forties and become a fishmonger, she was scared. After leaving her job of 23 years, Zoe was forced to pivot in order to keep her family's home. Despite challenges, she forged ahead, opening Sea-Licious. Accepting Visa payments in her fishmonger shop, this access to commerce helps Zoe provide convenience to her customers and confidence in their transactions. Though she's one of the only women in the fish market each morning, her business and its place in the local community are flourishing with Visa's help.

Learn more about Zoe and her story.

Listen: Can Big Government still rein in Big Tech or has it already lost control? Never before have just a few companies exerted such an outsized influence on humanity. Today's digital space, where we live so much of our daily lives, has increasingly become an area that national governments are unable to control. It may be time to start thinking of these corporations as nation-states in their own rights. Ian Bremmer speaks with Nicholas Thompson, CEO of the Atlantic and former WIRED editor-in-chief, about how to police the digital world.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

In the lead-up to this year's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, much of the attention has been focused on last summer's wildfires across the US and Europe, and more recently skyrocketing European energy prices. But what about Asia, the world's biggest and most populated region, which also has the highest share of global carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming? Asia has unique climate risks but also many opportunities for solutions, and whatever happens at COP26, Asian countries led by China and India are primed to lead the world in the struggle to make the planet greener before it's too late. In a live discussion moderated by Shari Friedman, Eurasia Group's Managing Director of Climate and Sustainability, global experts discussed these and other topics during the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit sponsored by Suntory.

More Show less

We're just days away from COP26, the landmark global climate conference that's been dubbed the last chance to get the climate crisis in check. In the lead-up to the event in Glasgow, dozens of countries have released new ambitions to reduce their future carbon footprints. For years, climate activists and experts have called on governments to introduce carbon pricing schemes – either through taxes or emissions-trading schemes. So who's heeded the warning? We take a look at the top ten carbon emitters' share of global emissions and details about their respective national carbon pricing schemes.

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Do cryptocurrencies make it harder to enforce foreign policy sanctions?

Well, that is exactly what the Biden administration worries about. As part of growing concerns of whether unregulated currencies undermine a whole host of policies, sanctions and foreign or trade policy should be a priority area. And just like others who wish to evade tracing of their wealth or transactions, the very states or their sanctioned entities should be assumed to resort to all options to evade restrictions while continuing to do business. So having cryptocurrencies undermining the ability to enforce strategic goals logically raises eyebrows in Washington.

More Show less

Back in August, when the Taliban took over, we asked whether anyone in the international community would recognize them. Now it looks like things are heading that way.

This week, the Kremlin hosted a summit with the Taliban that was attended by China, India and Pakistan, as well as all five Central Asian Republics.

The domestically-focused US, however, wasn't there. The US continues to maintain that the Taliban can't be trusted. But does it matter? In 2021 does a Taliban-led government even need American recognition to function and thrive?

More Show less

For Kevin Rudd, former Australian PM and now CEO of the Asia Society, the science on climate change is pretty much done, so the only unresolved issues are tech and — more importantly — lack of political leadership. He can't think of a single national political leader who can fill the role, and says the only way to get political action on climate is to mobilize public opinion.

Rudd joined for the first of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory. Watch here and register here to watch part two Friday 10/22 at 8 am ET.

Taking place on October 21 and 22, the Sustainability Leaders Summit will go beyond preexisting narratives and debate priorities for governments and industries ahead of COP26. Placing the spotlight on Asia's role in the global sustainability agenda, the event will address whether Asian countries and companies can achieve shared sustainability goals, and what is needed to help get them there. The summit will be co-hosted by Tak Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, and Ian Bremmer, founder and president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. We will address three key questions: How can Asian countries, with the help of the private sector, achieve shared Sustainability Goals? Why does this matter? And what are the policy changes needed to bring it about?

Attendance is free and open to the public. Register to attend.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal