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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

Afghanistan: the potential pitfalls of an unconditional US troop withdrawal

For two decades we've wondered how and when America's longest war would end. Now Joe Biden has announced that all US troops will be out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. While it's a political victory with obvious benefits, there are real risks involved in President Biden's decision. Afghanistan could quickly fall back into the hands of the Taliban, which would be a disaster for the citizens of that country and a danger to the US.

Watch the GZERO World with Ian Bremmer episode.

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.

Trump's military exit ramp

CNN and the New York Times reported on Monday that before he leaves office on January 20, President Trump will order the withdrawal of nearly half the US troops still serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, and nearly all who remain in Somalia.

If he follows through, this will be the president's final step toward ending the costly US commitment to fight terrorism and bolstering the stability of fragile governments in these countries.

The plan has drawn plenty of fire from within the US government. Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper not long after Esper had informed the White House that he and Pentagon top brass believed that security conditions had not been met for a troop drawdown.

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Trump's foreign policy report card

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump presented his vision for an "America First" foreign policy, which symbolized a radical departure from the US' longtime approach to international politics and diplomacy.

In electing Donald Trump, a political outsider, to the top job, American voters essentially gave him a mandate to follow through on these promises. So, has he?

Trade

"A continuing rape of our country."

On the 2016 campaign trail, candidate Trump said that the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a 12 country trade deal pushed by the Obama administration — would "rape" America's economy by imperiling the manufacturing sector, closing factories, and taking more jobs overseas.

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What does a US troop withdrawal mean for Iraq?

Earlier this year, in response to diplomatic confusion over reports of an abrupt US withdrawal from Iraq, Mark Esper, the US Secretary of Defense, said decisively: "We have no plans to leave Iraq."

Now, eight months later, the Trump administration says it will reduce the number of US forces in the country to 3,000 in the coming weeks — a reduction from the 5,200 currently there. What does the US troop drawdown — and potential eventual full withdrawal — mean for Iraq, the region, and the US?

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