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Former Central Bank Governor Ajmal Ahmady discusses Afghanistan's perilous future

Ian Bremmer speaks to exiled Afghan Central Bank Governor Ajmal Ahmady on his own harrowing escape and the perils that await the very much aid-dependent country's economy now under Taliban control.

Calamitous withdrawal from Afghanistan was a crisis of Biden’s own making

Joe Biden has been looking for a way out of Afghanistan for decades, and regardless of how ugly things get, he's not turning back. After Trump reached a deal with the Taliban in 2020 to end the war, Biden decided to stick with the arrangement, overruling his own generals. Ian Bremmer explains that while he agrees with Biden's decision to get out, he did not foresee the incompetence of the execution. In that sense, the last few weeks have constituted the greatest foreign policy crisis for President Biden to date, and one that was largely self-imposed. Ian looks at four key failures led to this disaster on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Afghanistan, 2021: Afghan & US military perspectives as the last soldier leaves

Enter China, exit policeman: How the world has changed since 9/11

The world has changed dramatically since the terrorist attacks on New York And Washington on September 11, 2001. Pop culture has evolved — significantly — as have the ways we eat, communicate, work, and get our information about the world.

Geopolitically, the past two decades have been transformative, and these developments have impacted how many observers reflect on the post-9/11 era.

Here are three examples of big geopolitical shifts over the past two decades, and how they may influence our understanding of global events today.

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Story of an escape from Afghanistan; "I wasn't supposed to be on that plane” - Ahmady

When Ajmal Ahmady saw the Taliban were about to take over Afghanistan, he knew it was time to get out — fast. The former central bank chief was lucky enough to board a flight, unlike so many of his fellow Afghans desperate to flee. "I was not supposed to be on that plane," Ahmady tells Ian Bremmer about his harrowing escape on this episode of GZERO World.

Watch the episode: Afghanistan, 2021: Three perspectives on the brutal close of a 20-year war

Afghanistan’s next generation: a student shares her perspective on the US withdrawal

Shaista is a 22-year-old university student in Kabul, Afghanistan, and since she was two years old, her country has been occupied by American forces. Although she was fortunate to grow up in a relatively privileged situation with the ability to get an education, she says that nevertheless "the fear of losing my life has always been there." She shares her thoughts on the US troop withdrawal announcement and how worried she is about a Taliban takeover of her country.

Watch the GZERO World with Ian Bremmer episode.

What We're Watching: Johnson's political mess, carnage in Kabul, Algerian plot twist

Boris Johnson's hot mess: Analysts across the British political spectrum seem to agree on one word to describe UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's pandemic response: chaotic. After recently saying there would not be another nationwide lockdown in England, Johnson reversed course on Saturday after the UK recorded over 1 million COVID-19 cases and neared 47,000 deaths. (Around 1 in 100 people in England were infected with COVID-19 in the week between 17 and 23 October, according to the UK's Office for National Statistics.) Public health experts say that these new measures come too late, having recommended weeks ago that the government introduce new nationwide restrictions to tackle the country's soaring caseload and surging rate of hospital admissions. While offering support for the lockdown, Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer accused the Johnson government of gross incompetence due to its inconsistent messaging. Johnson has also faced opposition from inside his own Conservative party, with some MPs saying that another lockdown will be ruinous for England's economy. (A leaked memo Friday caused Johnson to make an ad-hoc announcement about the planned lockdown, blindsiding some members of his own party.) Meanwhile, pro-Brexit warrior Nigel Farage is also capitalizing on the chaos and outrage, saying he will change his Brexit Party's name to Reform UK, switching focus to fight the government's COVID lockdown: "Building immunity" would be a more effective strategy, Farage said.

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A tenuous deal in Afghanistan

It's the decision that could kickstart intra-Afghan dialogue, and pave the way to ending the US occupation in Afghanistan after 20 bloody years.

On Sunday, after days of deliberations that involved thousands of Afghan delegates packing into one tent (what's COVID again), President Ashraf Ghani agreed to release hundreds of Taliban prisoners from government jails. The move opens the way to intra-Afghan dialogue under a deal that the US brokered directly with the Taliban earlier this year.

The Trump administration has touted this development as a major step towards peace, but after nearly two decades of war, the relevant players are still miles apart when it comes to laying out a common vision for the conflict-ridden country. What do they all want?

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