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US most unequal, least vaccinated in G7

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here. Welcome to your week, happy to be back in the offices, of course, in New York City. And by the way, and what do I have at my desk here? A fan sent me a Moose the dog cookie, which how does one eat that? You can't eat that because it's Moose, you just keep it! But that's pretty awesome, a Norfolk Terrier in a cookie right there, very talented. Thank you so much.

And let's get started. So what I was thinking about as I saw over this weekend, today. Not only is the United States today the most economically-unequal of the G7 advanced industrial democracies, and the most politically divided, but we're also now in terms of first jabs of the COVID vaccine, we are the least vaccinated of the G7, which is annoying because we were the most vaccinated of the G7 months ago. And of course, all of this speaks to the fact that the United States is enormously wealthy, enormously powerful, there are so many great things about this country, but the politics are deeply, deeply screwed up. And the problems we have are self-inflicted.

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20 years since 9/11 attacks

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. It's the 20th anniversary of 9/11 coming up real soon, and I thought I'd give you a few thoughts about it. I was here in New York, like so many of us, when the planes flew into the towers. It was shocking. I was in our offices in Midtown at the time. At first, of course, everyone thought it was an accident. And then suddenly it became quite apparent it was not. And it was a gut punch. It was a feeling that the world had changed inextricably even if you didn't know exactly how.

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Clashes in Brazil as Bolsonaro's support plummets

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here with the Quick Take. Back in the office, we are functioning and open after a year and a half which is absolutely insane. 80 new employees since the pandemic who haven't met each other in person, most of the time. So God, we're happy to be back here. And wanted to kick it off by talking about Brazil.

Haven't talked about Brazil in a while, but it is their Independence Day. And wow, what an Independence Day it is. President Bolsonaro, who is in the cellar, popularity wise, the lowest popularity he's had since he's been president. And for lots of reasons, mishandling of COVID, economic problems, energy shortages, even a little bit of corruption scandals. Seen as not an effective president of the country and presidential elections next year. So, a combination of things that are setting him off individually. And has said quite famously in the past few days, that in upcoming elections, he's either going to win, or be arrested, or be killed. That those are the only three options.

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The US no longer wants to be the world's policeman

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Now that the war in Afghanistan is just about concluded, less than 24 hours before all of the remaining American troops wrap up their mission in Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, after over 100,000, mostly Afghan civilians, as well as American and coalition partners evacuated from the country. One thing to point to is just how much the United States and the American people have changed in interests, in what presence, what the role, what the mission of the United States globally is and should be.

As everyone now is very keenly aware, this war became very, very unpopular among Democrats, among Republicans. If there was anything you could find people agreeing on in foreign policy, it's, "We're angry at China, we want to end the wars. The war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, why are we doing all this stuff?" In other words, the idea that the United States is the global policeman. A role that the Americans had accepted to a great degree during the cold war, accepted to a significant degree after 9/11, really doesn't accept any more. And so, I think one of the reasons why people give such a hard time to this America is back idea of Joe Biden is that, there are many things about America's history that a lot of Americans increasingly aren't up for. The idea of being the global policeman. The idea of being the architect of global trade. The idea of being the promoter of common values, of an open society and rule of law and human rights.

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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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Why Afghanistan is collapsing

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody, Ian Bremmer here. Before we head off to the weekend I thought, given all of the news happening very quickly around Afghanistan and the imminent Taliban takeover of the country, the collapse of the existing government and the impact that's going to have on the United States Biden administration, certainly the biggest foreign policy crisis they will have experienced to date under their administration, worth a few moments from me on what the hell is going on.

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Will politics destroy the planet?

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Ian Bremmer here and a happy week to you all. I want to talk about the latest report, a very significant one from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. They release them every few years as sort of the state of the world on climate, on global warming, on sea level rise, on changes, and extreme storms, and droughts, and precipitation levels. And no one should be surprised that this is not a particularly happy piece of news. I mean, of course, so many headlines around major wildfires in California, and Oregon, and Turkey, and Greece, and others around the world and major flooding challenges.

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COVID hypocrisy & misinformation

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here from sunny Nantucket and going to be here for a little bit. Thought we would talk about the latest on COVID. Certainly, we had hoped we'd be talking less about it at this point, at least in terms of the developed world. A combination of the transmissibility of Delta variant and the extraordinary misinformation around vaccines and COVID treatment means that we are not in the position that many certainly had hoped we would be today.

The United States is the biggest problem on this front. We are awash in vaccines. Operation Warp Speed was an enormous success. The best vaccines in the world, the most effective mRNA, the United States doing everything it can to get secure doses for the entire country quick, more quickly than any other major economy in the world, and now we're having a hard time convincing people to take them. The politics around this are nasty and as divided as the country, absolutely not what you want to see in response to a health crisis.

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