Vice President Joe Biden said the world is "literally fraying at the seams" during a speech to students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Thursday.
Biden chronicled recent international crises including unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East and the potential Ebola epidemic.
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He underscored America’s commitment to combatting these challenges by priority or the "wolves closest to the door."
"This has all led to a number of immediate crises that demand our attention from ISIL to Ebola to Ukraine–just to name a few that are on our front door–as someone said to me earlier this week, the wolves closest to the door," Biden said.
"The international order that we painstakingly built after World War II and defended over the past several decades is literally fraying at the seams right now."
The vice president slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for stifling the sovereignty of Ukraine and sparking further chaos.
While much of Biden’s speech focused on the negative, Biden said he is committed to leaving a better world behind for future generations.
"I’m optimistic because I know the history of the journey of this country," he said. "And I have never been more optimistic about America’s future than I am today, and that is not hyperbole."