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A US Military Vet Reckons with America's Failures in Afghanistan | Elliot Ackerman | GZERO World

A US military vet reckons with America's failures in Afghanistan

On Aug. 15, 2021, the Taliban swept back to power in Afghanistan, after the US departed following two decades of war. Ian Bremmer speaks to former Marine and author Elliot Ackerman on GZERO World. According to Ackerman, when it comes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US had a degree of objectivity it had lost after 20 years in Afghanistan. The war, he explained, had come to define our military thinking and intelligence capability because the US was involved there for such a long time.

The US could have done a better job getting out of Afghanistan, according to Ackerman. Requests for an evacuation plan fell on deaf ears in the Pentagon and the White House, especially when it came to securing visas for Afghans who had helped the US military effort.

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Ian Explains: The Taliban Surprise & Ongoing Afghan Agony | GZERO World

The Taliban surprise & ongoing Afghan agony

On Aug. 15, 2021, the Taliban swept back to power in Afghanistan. By the end of the month, US forces had departed after two decades of war.

President Joe Biden made good on his promise to bring the troops home before the 20th anniversary of 9/11. But the withdrawal was very messy, and Afghan institutions and army were not ready to resist the Taliban.

A year on, the country remains in shambles, Ian Bremmer explains on GZERO World.

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US Afghanistan Withdrawal: a “Digital Dunkirk” | GZERO World

US Afghanistan withdrawal: a “digital Dunkirk”

Could the US have done a better job at getting out of Afghanistan?

Certainly, says former US marine and CIA officer Elliot Ackerman, who recalls how calls for an evacuation plan fell on deaf ears in the Pentagon and the White House. Expediting the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghan allies could have been handled better as well.

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Vet Compares Us Intel on Afghanistan Withdrawal vs. Ukraine Invasion | GZERO World

NATO's darkest chapter: Afghanistan withdrawal (in contrast to unity supporting Ukraine)

The intelligence may have been there - but the ability to draw conclusions unbiased by what Americans needed to believe was not, says Elliot Ackerman, a former US marine who served four tours in Afghanistan and has just come out with a book on the American pullout from Afghanistan called "The Fifth Act."

America's chaotic withdrawal a year ago stands in stark contrast to the highly coordinated US and NATO response to Russia's war. On GZERO World, Ackerman tells Ian Bremmer that when it comes to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US had a degree of objectivity it had lost after 20 years in Afghanistan. The war, he explained, had come to define our military thinking and intelligence capability because the US was involved there for such a long time.

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Podcast: How the US underestimated the Taliban - and who's paying for it one year later

Listen: The anniversary of the end of America’s war in Afghanistan is a reminder of what many see as a staggering US defeat. It was also a victory for a long-time US adversary, the Taliban, who remain in control as the country faces a humanitarian crisis and a crumbling economy. Their brutal rule has also led to worsening conditions for women and girls in the country. Ian Bremmer speaks to former Marine and author Elliot Ackerman on the GZERO World podcast about his view of the war and his new book “The Fifth Act: America's End in Afghanistan.”

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China & US Economic Interdependence Hasn't Lessened | World In :60 | GZERO Media

China and US economic interdependence hasn't lessened

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week with a look at the China-US economic relationship, North Korea's missiles tests, and the New York Times' investigation of the US drone strike in Afghanistan.

China owns more than $1 trillion US debt, but how much leverage do they actually have?

I mean, the leverage is mutual and it comes from the enormous interdependence in the economic relationship of the United States and China. And it's about debt. And it's about trade. It's about tourism. It's about sort of mutual investment. Now. There is some decoupling happening in terms of labor, increasingly moving domestic in terms of the China five-year plan, dual circulation focusing more on domestic economy, and in terms of data systems breaking up, the internet of things, being Chinese or American, but not both. And indebtedness is part of that. But I don't see that unwinding anytime soon. And certainly, the Chinese knows if they're going to get rid of a whole bunch of American debt, they wouldn't be as diversified in global portfolio. Not as great, it's much riskier. And also, the price of those holdings, as they start selling them down would go down. So, I don't think there's a lot of leverage there, frankly. I think the leverage is interdependent.

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TITLE PLACEHOLDER | The Red Pen | GZERO Media

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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Europe Fears Afghan Refugees Will Cause Political Crisis | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Europe fears Afghan refugees will cause a political crisis

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What are the fears in Europe stemming out of what is happening in Afghanistan?

Well, there are of course, a lot fears coming, long-term security and other issues, the effect on global politics of this. But more immediate, of course, there is the refugee issue. There's enormous generosity when it comes to full accepting all of those that we've been able to evacuate that have been working with us in force over the years in Afghanistan. But there's also a fear that there will be a repetition of 2015. There are elections coming up in September in Norway and primarily in Germany and in the beginning of next year in France. And you can see the EU internal interior ministers meeting and you can see what President Macron is saying. And I think the reaction is going to be an enormous will to have humanitarian efforts in the region, the hope that the United Nations can stay in Afghanistan and can help in the region. And that is important. But then we also see, of course, that the walls are coming up. The Turks are building a wall on the border with Iran. Greece is building a wall on the border with Turkey. And add to that, of course, we have the problem of the weaponization of refugees. Lukashenko of Belarus is sort of deliberately, a sort of importing, smuggling, and paying for refugees to come to Minsk, and then he is hovering them over the border to Lithuania and Poland and Latvia in order to pressure those particular countries. That has to be reacted to. So, issues are going to be complex when it comes to Afghanistan. We're going to live with the Afghanistan issue for a very long time.

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