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What's Macron's game plan?

Betrayal. Treason. Duplicity. These are some of the words used by the French government to describe the US' recent decision to freeze Paris out of a new security pact with the UK and Australia in the Indo-Pacific, which nixed a contract for Australia to buy French submarines.

Macron's subsequent tough stance against one of its oldest and closest allies is unusual, including his decision to briefly recall the French ambassador from Washington, the first time a French president has done so. But this headstrong strategy is also a deliberate diplomatic choice.

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The US-EU honeymoon is over

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi everybody. Happy Monday. Ian Bremmer here with your Quick Take. Plenty going on between the United States and its allies. You have seen the fallout from the US announcement of this new defense pact with the Australians and the United Kingdom called AUKUS. That's great, always like USMCA, we take the acronyms, and we try to find a way to make it comprehensible. And of course, the Chinese are not enormously happy about this, because it is a military plan to put more American material in their backyard. And the day after the Chinese announced formerly that they wanted to apply to the CPTPP, which is the major trade deal that the Americans initially were the architect of and then under Obama said, "No, we can't get it done." And then Trump pulled out. That's unfortunate and long-standing and not surprising. And China won't be able to get in, in all likelihood, because it's a heavy lift, even though Vietnam did make it, but state capitalism and TPP doesn't really work very well together.

But the more interesting and salient point for the headlines is that the French government was absolutely incensed. So, what's going on here? Why are the allies having such difficulty?

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Political transformation 20 years after 9/11

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

Two decades later, in what ways has 9/11 shaped US politics?

Well, I think if you can go back in time from today to late 2001 and early 2002, people then would be surprised to learn three things. The first is that the Taliban were back in charge of Afghanistan. The second is that Iraq can transition to a relatively stable democracy. And the third is that after 9/11, there were no future foreign-planned major terrorist attacks against the United States. This last piece of information will particularly surprise people, and they'd also be surprised to learn that the major threats facing the US were largely domestic political instability and a rising geopolitical conflict with China, which had just become an open trading partner of the US just before the 9/11 attacks happened.

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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

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

Two decades of war in Afghanistan came to a tragic close on August 31 as President Joe Biden announced from the White House that the last US troops had left the country. "I was not going to extend this forever war," Biden said, "and I was not extending a forever exit." On GZERO World, we hear from three people whose lives have been forever changed by the conflict. First, a women's education activist hiding from the Taliban inside Afghanistan, moving every night for her own safety. Then, the former Afghan Central Bank governor, now in exile who barely made it out (and lost a shoe in the process). And finally, a former US Army Captain and CIA intelligence officer whose life was saved by his Afghan interpreter and who is now in a desperate race to help Afghans and their families get out of the country.

Biden's mistakes in Afghanistan were not "dereliction of duty"

In his latest Washington Post op-ed, Marc Thiessen makes strong statements about how and why the Taliban came to take control of Kabul. There have been big mistakes in executing this exit. But "dereliction of duty?" Not in our view. Ian Bremmer and Eurasia Group analyst Charles Dunst explain why in this edition of The Red Pen.

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The US is out of Afghanistan, but the war on terror isn't over

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at Afghanistan post-US withdrawal, how ISIS-K will complicate a Taliban-led Afghanistan, and EU travel recommendations.

What are your thoughts now that America's 20-year war in Afghanistan has officially ended?

Ongoing, it means much less coverage of Afghanistan in American media, something certainly President Biden is happy to hear and see. In part, we're going to continue to watch what happens with the couple of hundred Americans that are still on the ground. There is every intention to get them out, but I wouldn't say there is yet a plan.

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