Instability arcs along Europe’s periphery from the Middle East and North Africa up the Black Sea and into the Arctic, while transnational security challenges (climate change, cyber threats, etc.) challenge our future. At the same time, the bonds of Cold War transatlantic solidarity have weakened as new generations arise and isolationist/nativist movements reemerge on both continents. Yet now is exactly the wrong moment for the United States and Europe—particularly Germany—to turn inward or mistrust each other. Today’s crises require transatlantic leadership and solidarity as revanchist-minded powers such as Russia and China stand ready to take advantage of any retrenchment to set new terms for the 21st century order.

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"To those from outside, [the fighting in Ukraine] may seem like a regional conflict, but that's really not the case," said Archbishop Zoria Yevstratiy of Chernihiv of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church's Kyiv Patriarchate. 

In an interview at the Atlantic Council on May 19, Yevstratiy described the situation in Ukraine as unique and of global significance.

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Analysts and journalists have begun to ask where the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine will go next now that the second ceasefire agreement has failed. Skirmishes on the frontline in Shyrokyne, less than ten miles from Mariupol's city limits, have raised concerns that Mariupol will be the next target. Geographically and commercially speaking, Mariupol makes sense. It's the busiest commercial marine hub on the Azov Sea and considered a must-have for Russia if a land corridor to Crimea is ever to be realized. Mariupol would also be a symbolic coup for the separatists. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko named the city the provisional capital of the Donetsk region in 2014. The separatists have also threatened to take the city. Alexander Zakharchenko, head of the Donetsk People's Republic, warned that separatists will take Mariupol if Ukrainian forces continue their "aggression."

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Analysts discuss the humanitarian, security, and political crises emanating from a country in chaos

 The chaos in Libya that has prevailed since the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 has placed both a humanitarian as well as a security crisis on Europe’s doorstep.

Libya today has two governments—one in Tripoli and the other in Tobruk. Only the latter is internationally recognized. Its borders are porous. Its security in the hands of groups that often have no more than local control.

An illicit network of traffickers has thrived amid this chaos. Thousands of migrants daily risk deadly voyages across the Mediterranean Sea to flee desperate conditions in their homes in Africa and the Middle East.

The traffickers are not the only ones exploiting the instability. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State (IS), has put down roots in Libya prompting concern that the terrorists are now at striking distance from Europe.

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Ukraine bleeds, but reforms impressively, while the West ignores it. The Minsk ceasefire agreement does not hold, though the intensity of the fighting has faded. In mid-March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) doubled Ukraine's international reserves, but the country's finances remain fragile. Europe's central banks should provide a large swap credit with minimum risks to shore up Ukraine's economy.

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Head of US Southern Command says terrorists could one day use criminal networks

A demand in the United States for drugs—specifically cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamines—is devastating communities across Latin America, says Marine Corps Gen John F. Kelly, Commander of US Southern Command.

Illegal trafficking networks pose not just a security threat, they also have corrosive effects on governance and the rule of law countries in which they operate. In fact, cocaine-related corruption is a significant problem in the police and judiciaries in Central America, Kelly said at the Atlantic Council May 19.

“The reason these countries have these problems is because of drug consumption in the United States,” he said. In every drug deal “there are hundreds of people who have lost their lives in the process of that cocaine being … dealt into the United States.”

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Poland and the Baltic states intend to ask NATO to station a battalion or even larger units on their territory. The Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—want a brigade so that each country can host a battalion or permanent rotational forces. Poland's Foreign Minister, Grzegorz Schetyna, indicated that his government would request the permanent stationing of two heavy brigades, a formation that normally numbers up to 5,000 troops, on Polish soil. Poland is also seeking military bases with heavy equipment in preparation for the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw.

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Every Memorial Day, friends leave small bottles of Jack Daniel's and an American flag on Roman Kupchinsky's gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery.

Kupchinsky was a warrior, both on and off the battlefield. A man of passion who fought for his ideals with a singular determination, he devoted his life to seeing Ukraine become free. He came of age on the battlefields of Vietnam, but most of his fighting was done not with violence, but with words.

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Atlantic Council’s Montanino faults creditors for not adopting a forward-looking approach in negotiations with Athens

The Greek government and its creditors—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—have made mistakes over the course of three months of negotiations aimed at securing a commitment from Greece to undertake economic reforms before the latest €7.2 billion ($8.15 billion) tranche of the country’s bailout fund is released, says the Atlantic Council’s Andrea Montanino.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants to roll back some reforms implemented by his predecessor arguing that it would boost the GDP. Greece’s creditors say such a move would further undermine Greece’s ability to repay its debts.

“At the end of the day, I stand on the creditors’ side because Greece needs to assure the markets that it is moving on a sustainable path,” said Montanino, Director, Global Business and Economics Program at the Atlantic Council.

“But I don’t stand on the creditors’ side in them having such a short-term approach, instead of trying to build a consensus in Greece for a reform path. I am not so sure that is the right way of approaching this issue,” he added, while advocating for a more forward-looking process.

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Officials of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), wrapping up a May 14 summit at Camp David, endorsed US President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran saying a “comprehensive, verifiable” accord is in their security interests.

But in reality, the much-publicized gathering turned out to be “much ado about very little”—and Gulf states are actually deeply disappointed—said Dov Zakheim, Senior Fellow at CNA Corp. and a former US Undersecretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration. 

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