US readiness for coronavirus; US-Taliban peace & Afghanistan's future
Ian Bremmer's perspective on what's happening in geopolitics:
Separating the politics from policy, is the US ready for a coronavirus pandemic?
The answer is clearly no. Because so much of the medical supplies and the pharmaceuticals, the supply chain comes from China. The country that was hit hardest by coronavirus. Their supply chain has been radically disrupted, which means as this comes to United States and expands as it almost surely will, you're going to see shortages. Add that to fake news and the potential for panic buying and stockpiling and a bigger economic hit is greater than we would like it to be.
How real is the US-Taliban peace agreement and what is the road ahead in Afghanistan?
Two very different questions. It's very real in the sense the Americans are looking to engage with the Taliban. A very good conversation, as President Trump said, to get the Americans out of Afghanistan after 20 years of fighting, nearly. The longest war in American history. Those troops are starting to withdraw. And I think that there's a good chance that you're going to get most, if not all of them out over the course of the next year, plus. But that doesn't mean peace on the ground. The Taliban certainly not disarming. And the engagement between the Americans and the Afghanis has not involved the Afghan government. That's a serious problem for the people that are going to end up getting governed, a lot of them, at least by the Taliban. Last time that happened, it was one of the most repressive regimes of the world. That's kind of what we're heading back to.