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Do Euro warriors need Captain America?

Should Europe depend on the United States for its defense, as it has done since the end of World War II? Or do changing times demand that Europe develop an independent military capability? In other words, does Europe need "strategic autonomy?"

This debate, which began in the Cold War's early days, is now heating up again across Europe.

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The Graphic Truth: Whose troops are still in Afghanistan?

As the Biden administration scrambles to get US troops and nationals, as well as some Afghans, out of the Taliban-controlled country by August 31, other countries with troops under NATO command — including close US allies like Germany and the UK — are feeling extremely jilted. Forces from 36 countries remain in Afghanistan, and are relying on the US military — which controls the interior of Kabul's airport — to safely get out. As the clock ticks down, we take a look at which foreign nations have boots on the ground in Afghanistan.

Biden alone on Afghanistan? 5 key reasons

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here opening your week, and of course, yes, we're still talking about Afghanistan. I really wanted to talk about the international angle. It's been so much criticism of the United States from outside the US, including most disturbingly, from core US coalition allies in NATO that had been of course, have been fighting with the Americans on the ground in Afghanistan. Why did we get that wrong?

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Afghanistan: Four key failures

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Ian Bremmer here, and the unceremonious end to the longest military adventure, longest war in American history. Plenty of blame to go around for how this war started, was pursued, the money that was spent, the human lives that were cost, and certainly many, many books will be written about that. But for today, we have to look at the close, at the staggering incompetence of execution, to bring this war to a close, to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan. A policy that I agree with, the actual strategy, that you have to either expand the presence or you have to pull out because the Taliban were gaining and were likely to take over with the status quo ante. But the execution has been an extraordinary failure. This is by far the most consequential foreign policy crisis that we have witnessed, I would say, since the Iranian hostage crisis and then the failed rescue. So, it's quite something. We've seen bigger domestic policy crises in the United States, heck, on January 6th. But from a foreign policy crisis, this is an extraordinarily big deal.

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Is the US forcing Brazil to go against China or not?

We don't get it: Does the US expect its allies to choose between the US and China or not?

Just a few months ago, US Secretary of State Tony Blinken promised that, although the two countries are in a deepening rivalry over trade, technology and values, Washington "won't force allies into an 'us-or-them' choice with China."

But as we noted yesterday, it seems that during a recent trip to Brasilia, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan gave the impression that if Brazil were to ban Huawei from its national 5G auctions later this year, there could be a NATO partnership in it for Brasilia.

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The Graphic Truth: Who partners with NATO?

The US has reportedly offered Brazil a NATO partnership in exchange for banning Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G networks. NATO helps those non-members designated as "partners" build their defense capacity, better manage crises, and benefit from NATO's expertise on counter-terrorism and non-traditional security threats like cyber warfare and piracy. In exchange, partners might be expected to join NATO-led military missions and exchange intelligence. Still, only NATO member countries are entitled to mutual defense by the alliance. We take a look at NATO's partnership tentacles with 40 non-member nations around the world.

Europe's "clear vision" for relations with China is one-sided

Does the European Union have a better plan for dealing with China than the US does, as Bruno Maçães argues in his latest op-ed for Politico Europe? While there are differences in how the EU and US are approaching Beijing, the EU's plan to separate politics from economics isn't quite working out the the way Maçães describes. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to take the other side.

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A short history of the G7

President Biden's first G7 Summit as America's President also marks the first time those world leaders have gathered in person since the start of the COVID pandemic. Want to know a little more about the group, and why it exists in the first place? You came to the right place. We're called GZERO, after all!

The G7 actually began as the G6, when the leaders of France, West Germany, the USA, Japan, the UK and Italy met in a Chateau outside of Paris to squabble their way out of an oil shock and financial crisis. They had so much fun they agreed to do it every year. They even let Canada join the party in 1976, making it the G7.

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