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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.

Is China "winning"? Ian Bremmer debates with Bill Maher on Real Time

Ian Bremmer and Bill Maher discussed the global leadership of the United States compared to that of China on a recent episode of Real Time. "The level of corruption in China, the level of corruption in China, even the buildings and the rails you talk about - the average building the Chinese build lasts for 20, 25 years. In the United States, it lasts for 40 to 50. There's a reason why we are still the world's most powerful country," Ian argued. "I'm just saying China's not eating our lunch - that's all."

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What We're Watching: "Apocalyptic" unrest in Senegal, Biden's Afghanistan plan, post-COVID tourism

"Apocalyptic" protests in Senegal: At least five people have been killed in clashes with police as protests over poverty, unemployment, and the jailing of a popular politician rock the West African nation of Senegal. Ousmane Sonko, who heads the opposition Movement to Defend Democracy (M2D) and is considered the most viable challenger to current president Mackie Sall, was accused of rape in February and arrested last week. Sonko says the charges are a politically motivated attempt to remove him from politics before the 2024 presidential election. His supporters immediately hit the streets, voicing a range of grievances including joblessness and poverty. Though youth unemployment has fallen over the past decade, it still exceeds eight percent and close to two-thirds of the country's 16 million people are under the age of 25. As Sonko supporters pledge to continue protests this week, Senegal's head of conflict resolution says the country is "on the verge of apocalypse."

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What We're Watching: Ethiopia's opposition crackdown, Cuba's food crisis, US beefs up presence in Syria

Ethiopian PM cracks down on opposition: Ethiopia's most prominent opposition leader, Jawar Mohammed, was one of 24 political opponents charged with a series of crimes in Ethiopia in recent days, including terrorism-related offenses. The charges relate to civil unrest that erupted this past summer in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, as well as the Oromia region that left at least 160 people dead. While ethnic tensions have intensified in the country in recent years, violence surged in late June after the killing of Hachalu Hundessa, a popular singer and activist whose songs called for the liberation and empowerment of the Oromo, the country's largest ethnic group. Jawar Mohammed, a former ally of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is a hero to many disaffected Oromo, and his jailing since July has raised concerns about an intensifying crackdown by the government. Critics say that while Abiy, who won a Nobel peace prize for making peace with neighboring Eritrea, has spearheaded ambitious political and economic reforms since coming to power in 2018, he has not done enough to alleviate ethnic violence and tensions in the fractious country.

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Europe is in solidarity with BLM, not with Trump's troop withdrawal

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, provides his perspective:

What do the solidarity manifestations across Europe show about how the Black Lives Matter movement is seen in Europe?

There have been quite extensive solidarity manifestations throughout Europe for Black Lives Matter. They show sympathy, solidarity and understanding that there are deep social fissures in American society that needs to be dealt with. It shows a certain closeness of our societies.

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