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 

Rex Tillerson departs after speaking to employees at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 2, 2017.  (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A Requiem for Rex’s Redesign

Rex Tillerson's biggest failure — his disastrous bid to reorganize the State Department — can't be blamed on anyone else.

U.S. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo at Trump's Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey on Aug. 10, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Get Ready for Secretary of State Mini-Trump

The world will miss Rex Tillerson now that he's gone.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 13. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Clock Is Already Ticking on Mike Pompeo

The new secretary of state corrects for his predecessor's weaknesses — but will soon face the same problems.

HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the White House, on January 12, 2018 in Washington, DC.
 (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Making American Bureaucracy Terrible Again

The Trump administration's petty corruption will have a clear legacy: more red tape for years to come.

U.S. President Donald Trump, right, speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Bibi Needs Trump’s Help Countering Iran in Syria

Restraining Tehran is in the interest of both Israel and the United States.

Former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush stand side by side after Obama was sworn in as the 44th president in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009. (Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images)

Foreign Officials See Bush and Obama in Trump

From an international perspective, the 45th president doesn't seem like a bolt from the blue.


Antifascist activists protect themselves from water cannon used by police officers during a rally against an election campaign meeting organized by far-right movement CasaPound in Turin on Feb. 22. (Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images)

The World in Photos This Week

Students in the Philippines protest “rising dictatorship,” phallic statues in South Korea, and police violence in Zimbabwe.

TOPSHOT - The French Renaissance Chateau de Chambord is pictured as snow falls on February 13, 2018 in Chambord, northwestern France.  / AFP PHOTO / GUILLAUME SOUVANT        (Photo credit should read GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images)

The World in Photos This Week

The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics; storms in Europe; and Lunar New Year festivities around the world.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine


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?

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.

A Liberal Defense of Tribalism

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