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The US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff

In his New York Times op-ed, David Brooks says the US is facing an identity crisis — protecting liberal and progressive values at home while doing little to stop autocrats elsewhere. But has the US really abandoned its values abroad just because it's withdrawing from Afghanistan? Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst take out the Red Pen to argue that the US can advance democracy without being the world's sheriff.

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Hong Kong a year after the National Security Law; US-UK travel corridor

Ian Bremmer shares his perspective on global politics this week:

A year after the National Security Law, how has Hong Kong changed?

More integrated into mainland China. Virtually no Western companies have pulled out. A fair number of Hong Kong citizens are leaving, and of course no more democratic opposition, no more free media. The full incorporation of Hong Kong into mainland China. One country, one system is happening very fast.

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The Graphic Truth: The US can't buy Pakistanis' love

The longstanding US-Pakistan relationship is not an easy one. Despite the billions of dollars the US doles out to Islamabad in economic and military assistance, Pakistanis hold extremely unfavorable views of America and its leadership. After 9/11, Pakistanis held more positive views of the US, but that changed in the 2010s, when the killing of bin Laden inside Pakistan's territory and deadly US drone strikes that killed Pakistani civilians sparked deep animosity against Washington. President Trump then made things worse by playing favorites with India, Pakistan's nemesis. We compare US aid flows to Pakistan with Pakistani views on American leadership over the past two decades.

Has the “war on drugs” been won yet?

It's been fifty years since the United States declared one of the costliest wars in its history — a trillion-dollar campaign waged at home and abroad, which continues to grind on today.

In June of 1971, President Richard Nixon, alarmed by the rise of permissive hippy culture and drug use, unleashed what would become known as the "war on drugs," a tough-on-crime approach that melded law enforcement, military action, and a public messaging campaign that both scared and scolded.

Aiming to reduce American drug use, it severely criminalized consumption in the US, while attacking international cartels' capacity to produce and export illicit narcotics, in particular from Latin America.

Did it work? We take a look at three of the war's major "battlefields" today.

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Will China become the world’s dominant military power?

America's chief adversary on the global stage is no longer Russia. It's China—a country that has experienced astronomical growth in the last few decades, with an economy that's expanded by $12 trillion dollars in the last fifteen years alone. Much of that economic growth is going straight into military spending, with a defense budget that's seen a nearly seven-fold increase over the past twenty years. And yet, its military spending still pales in comparison to that of the United States. But despite all the money that both nations have pumped into fancy new battleships and armored tanks, they also understand that a key paradigm shift in 21st century warfare is already well underway: The decisive battles of the future will largely be fought—and won or lost—in cyberspace. Ian Bremmer explains where the US stands in this competition.

Watch the GZERO World episode: What could spark a US-China war?

How China plans to achieve global military dominance

The US still enjoys military superiority over China, but for how long? Retired admiral James Stavridis believes it's important to understand how determined China is to establish global dominance. The Chinese defense budget is focused on strategic initiatives including offensive cyber, militarizing space and quantum computing. Furthermore, China's approach to education is intended to secure an advantage. "They're pumping out huge numbers of people with advanced degrees. They're investing government resources into the kind of R&D that we should be doing more of here in the United States," Stavridis tells Ian Bremmer in a GZERO World interview.

Watch the episode: What could spark a US-China war?

Why ‘America first’ means “America involved”

What's the biggest foreign policy misconception that Americans have about the US's role in the world? According to international relations expert Tom Nichols, too few Americans believe that the US, in fact, has a critical role in the world, and that the things Americans enjoy, from cheap goods to safe streets, are made possible because of American global leadership. "Americans have become so spoiled and inured to the idea that the world is a dangerous place that they don't understand that the seas are navigable because someone makes them that way. They don't understand that peace between the great powers is not simply like the weather, that just happens," Nichols tells Ian Bremmer. Their conversation is featured on an episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television – check local listings.

Watch the episode: Make politics "boring" again: Joe Biden's first 100 Days

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