Shadow Gov’t

About Shadow Government

Shadow Government is a blog about U.S. foreign policy in the age of Trump, written by experienced policymakers, scholars, and practitioners from the loyal Democrat opposition. It is co-edited by Derek Chollet, Colin Kahl, and Julie Smith.

Meet the contributors 

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, left, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence listen as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the press before a meeting at the Pentagon on Jan. 18, in Washington. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Pence’s Visit to the Middle East Serves No Purpose

The vice president should stay home rather than inflame an already bad situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the auditorium of Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 16. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Trump Doesn’t Believe in His Own Foreign Policy. Does That Matter?

The president's policies often deviate from his dangerous preferences. But these divergences present their own problems.

Sen. Bob Corker (left) and Sen. Ben Cardin prepare to listen to testimony at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the U.S.-Russia relationship, on Feb. 9, 2017. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Republicans Are AWOL on Russian Election Meddling

The GOP's absence from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's report on Russian interference is sad and abnormal.

Iranian students scuffle with police at the University of Tehran during a demonstration on Dec. 30, 2017.(Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump’s Disingenuous Support for Iranian Protestors Has Backfired

A selective approach to human rights is even more harmful than “America first.”

Rep. Ed Royce speaks during a conference on countering violent extremism, in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 23, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Rep. Ed Royce’s Failure to Hold Trump Accountable Is a Dereliction of Duty

The chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee should use his last year in office to reverse the unprincipled silence and moral weakness of Republicans in Congress.

President Donald Trump and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen meet in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, on Jan. 4. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

If You Thought 2017 Was Bad, Just Wait for 2018

Last year, Trump corroded U.S. foreign policy, but avoided disaster. This year, there are powerful reasons to think that matters will worsen.

An activists hold up flares during an anti-corruption protest in front of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev, on July 11, 2017. (Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images)

Ukraine Needs U.S. Help to Fight Corruption

Domestic reforms are just as important as defending against Russian aggression.

The Latest

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) seal is displayed in the lobby of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, on August 14, 2008. (Getty/AFP/Saul Loeb)

Financier Is Top Choice to Advise President on Intelligence Matters

Trump has finally picked members for a key intelligence advisory board, and billionaire Stephen Feinberg is slated to head it.

An Iranian woman raises her fist amid tear gas smoke during a protest at the University of Tehran on Dec. 30, 2017. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Sanctions Abet Iranian Internet Censorship

If the United States wants to stand behind the next #IranProtests, it should liberalize rules that impede access to cutting-edge tools against repression.

A military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung on April 15, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Limited Strikes on North Korea Would Be an Unlimited Disaster

There’s no clear upside — and plenty of potential downsides — to punching Pyongyang in the nose.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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The Answers Are Out There

Contrary to conventional wisdom, solutions to many of the world’s toughest problems already exist—you just need to know where to look for them.

The view from Lelu Island toward Kitson Island and the Pacific Ocean in July 2017.

Fantasy Island

Exporting British Columbia’s abundant energy resources should have been a slam dunk. How did a multibillion-dollar dream go up in smoke?

A Liberal Defense of Tribalism

There’s nothing wrong with political tribes that can’t be fixed by what’s right with them.

Twilight of the Kurds

Kurdish officials once dreamed of forging their own state out of the ashes of the war against the Islamic State. Now they are fighting for their very survival.

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Global Thinkers 2015 Issue Cover