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On GeopoliticsSep 25, 2020 | 10:00 GMT
A damaged EU flag is seen in Brenzone, Italy, on Aug. 14, 2019. 
The Quest for European Unity: No End of History
Europe faces a challenge of identity and international role over the next decade. For nearly 500 years, Europe sat at the center of the international system, its internal competitions rippling out across the globe. But the relative balance of global power and influence has shifted. And rather than being the driving force of global dynamics, Europe is increasingly caught between major powers: the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and now the United States and China. Internally, Europe still strives for the creation of a continental union, though those dreams have been eroded by financial crises, Brexit and a resurgence of nationalism in recent years. Externally, Europe remains fragmented in its foreign policy and prioritization. The shifting patterns of global competition will compel Europe to rethink its internal structures and to come to grips with defining its interests abroad. Otherwise, it will find itself drifting further
AssessmentsSep 11, 2020 | 15:40 GMT
An external view of the building of the European Union in Brussels, Belgium.
What the Fading Promise of EU Accession Means for the Balkans
The European Union will not accept any new member states for the foreseeable future, which will erode the promise of EU accession that has made the bloc an influential political and economic force in the Western Balkans. As the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis forces the European Union to remain focused on recovering (and not enlarging) its economy, candidate countries risk veering off from the reforms they had been pursuing to earn their place in the bloc. Non-EU players such as the United States, Russia and China, meanwhile, will likely become more active in the region, seeing European Union's waning presence as an opportunity to assert their own influence in the Balkans.
SnapshotsJul 28, 2020 | 15:46 GMT
Europe Braces for Another Round of COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Amid rising COVID-19 cases, the reintroduction of travel warnings and quarantine measures in Europe will undermine economic activity, especially in tourism-dependent countries, leading to a slower recovery in the third quarter. These dynamics will probably force governments to introduce additional stimulus measures, which would further worsen their deficit and debt situations. 
SITUATION REPORTJun 25, 2020 | 18:30 GMT
Serbia, Kosovo: War Crime Accusations Prompt Kosovo to Pull Out of U.S.-Sponsored Summit
Kosovo’s government announced it would not attend a summit with Serbian leaders in the United States, which was scheduled for June 27, after a special international prosecutor in The Hague accused Kosovo politicians, including President Hashim Thaci, of war crimes during the country’s push for independence in the late 1990s, Reuters reported June 25.
AssessmentsMar 6, 2020 | 19:28 GMT
A photo of refugees and migrants waiting in line to receive blankets and food near the Greek border in Edirne, Turkey, on March 5, 2020.
Is Europe on the Cusp of Another Migration Crisis?
On March 1, Turkey announced it would no longer enforce an agreement with the European Union to prevent migrants from entering the Continental bloc. Since then, tens of thousands of migrants have been trying to enter Greece from Turkey, fueling fears of another looming migration crisis in Europe. In response, the Greek government has increased security at its borders and announced that no asylum requests would be accepted for a month -- though it's far from certain whether Greece will be able to contain a continued flood of migrants at its doorstep. Unless Turkey changes its position in the coming weeks, there's a good chance Greece's sea and land borders will once again become the hottest access point for Europe-bound migrants. But unlike the crisis in 2015, Athens will find even fewer EU countries willing to help lift the load this time around.
On GeopoliticsNov 28, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Migrants seeking asylum in the United States wait near the U.S.-Mexico border at the El Chaparral crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.
The Geopolitics of Immigration
The U.S.-Mexican border is in some fundamental ways arbitrary. The line of demarcation defines political and military relationships, but does not define economic or cultural relationships. The borderlands -- and they run hundreds of miles deep into the United States at some points -- have extremely close cultural and economic links with Mexico. Where there are economic links, there always are movements of population. It is inherent.
AssessmentsNov 11, 2019 | 09:45 GMT
The European Commission's president-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, talks to the media during the unveiling of her new team for the 2019-2024 term. A graphic showing the specific commissioners is displayed on a large screen behind her.
What a New Commission Means for EU Policy
A new European Commission led by President Ursula von der Leyen is slated to take over in December after the European Parliament approves her team later this month. In preparation for her new post, von der Leyen has outlined a bold "geopolitical" vision that focuses on defending the European Union's interests amid growing competition among global powers like the United States and China. But whether the president-elect's commissioners will actually be able to follow through on her big plans once they take office next month will prove a far different story, as they'll be forced to work within the confines of the continent's increasingly divisive political climate and gloomy economic forecast. 
On SecurityOct 8, 2019 | 09:00 GMT
Methamphetamine crystals
The Cartel Connection to the Meth on America's Streets
On its own, it was an impressive haul, but in the wider picture, it was just a drop in the bucket: On Sept. 26 at a checkpoint in Sarita, Texas, U.S. Border Patrol agents seized 64 kilograms (142 pounds) of methamphetamine with a street value of $4.5 million. A methamphetamine seizure of this size is not surprising or unusual, especially in this location, given that cartels in Mexico manufacture the drug at home before smuggling it into the United States. Indeed, 97 percent of the methamphetamine seized by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) occurs along the U.S.-Mexican border, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's 2018 National Drug Threat Assessment. So what exactly is driving this record-setting production of methamphetamine? For me, two main factors are responsible: economics and cartel dynamics. Ultimately, a combination of high-quality drugs, record-low prices and the massive competition among ever-splintering cartels is flooding the hungry U.S. market
On SecurityJul 23, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Mexican drug trafficker Joaquin Guzman Loera, aka "el Chapo Guzman" (C), is presented to the press on Feb. 22, 2014 in Mexico City.
'El Chapo' Is Done, But Mexico's Cartel Wars Certainly Aren’t
And so the curtain falls on the career of a criminal mastermind. On July 17, Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was sentenced to serve life plus 30 years in prison following a February conviction on 10 counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, drug trafficking and firearms charges. Shortly after the sentencing hearing, Guzman was sent to the U.S. administrative maximum (ADX) penitentiary in Florence, Colorado. Guzman has a long history of shenanigans in -- and escapes from -- Mexican penitentiaries, but the book is now officially closed on him. Guzman has never been incarcerated in a facility like the ADX in Florence, which is home to some of the most dangerous criminals and terrorists in the world, meaning he has zero chance of either continuing to run his criminal enterprise from the prison or escaping from it. The end to Guzman's illicit activities, however, does
On SecurityJul 16, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
A kit is seen next to the sink of a Walmart bathroom in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Feb. 10, 2019, after a woman was caught trying to shoot either heroin or fentanyl.
The Fentanyl Epidemic Will Spread Far Beyond America's Shores
For many, fentanyl is a uniquely American problem -- one that primarily stems from the over-prescription of opioids to treat pain symptoms. Others may consider it to be a North American issue, as Canada has also been hit hard by the scourge. Indeed, powerful organized crime groups, especially ones in Mexico, have recognized the potential for vast profits in the fentanyl trade in the two countries. But closer inspection reveals a growing ripple in the use of fentanyl (a term I use generically to refer not only to fentanyl itself but also to carfentanyl and other fentanyl-related substances) across the globe. At present, the phenomenon outside the United States and Canada remains tied to sales on the dark web and supplies that arrive by mail, but the same factors that have made fentanyl attractive to Mexican cartels will also make it appealing to other organized crime groups around the world,
AssessmentsJul 15, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
An anti-government protester shouts at supporters of Romania's Social Democratic Party (PSD) coming to attend an EU elections rally in Targoviste on May 19, 2019.
Eastern Europe Witnesses a Quiet Revolution
A quiet revolution is sweeping Eastern Europe. From the Czech Republic to Albania and from Slovakia to Romania, people are taking to the streets to demand greater transparency from their governments. So far, the results have been modest, but it's a trend that will play an important role in the region for years to come, as well as one that will influence future government decisions and election outcomes. At a time when the European Union is harboring growing worries about the state of democracy and rule of law in its eastern members and candidate countries, voters are sending the message that they want their governments to become more transparent -- something that might ultimately help mend the growing rift between the Continent's western and eastern halves.
AssessmentsJun 6, 2019 | 16:29 GMT
The national flag of Greece.
Greece's Economic Past Will Haunt Its Political Future
For the first time in a decade, Greek voters will elect a government without their country being part of an economic rescue program. Markets have reacted positively in anticipation of the July 7 vote since opinion polls have the conservative New Democracy party securing another victory, after squarely defeating the ruling Syriza party in the recent EU parliamentary elections. But despite the opposition party's campaign promises to accelerate Greece's recovery through pro-business policies, if elected, its leaders will soon find that the complicated issues underpinning Athens' economic malaise and geopolitical constraints will not be solved in one term -- or several, for that matter.
Contributor PerspectivesMay 22, 2019 | 11:00 GMT
British soldiers from the Public Schools Battalions during the 1916 Battle of the Somme in France.
From the Somme to the Persian Gulf, Lessons on Shows of Force
Wars rarely turn out as their authors predict. For the United States, this has been true of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The same may be said one day of Iran if U.S. President Donald Trump's deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln with a strike group of warships and bombers to the Persian Gulf leads to violent confrontations. The objective of the exercise, in the words of national security adviser John Bolton, is to "send a message" to Iran. Czar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who happened to be cousins, sent similar messages to each other in the summer of 1914 through the mobilization of their armies. That show of force did not prevent war. It started it.
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