Shadow Government

A front-row seat to the Republicans' debate over foreign policy, including their critique of the Biden administration.

The one-year review: It’s time to get a handle on Iran

By David J. Kramer Surprises? I have been surprised — and disappointed — by the extent to which the administration has been willing to extend a hand to rogue regimes and enemy states at the same time it seems to keep many of its friends at a distance. Praiseworthy? The president’s speeches in places like ...

By , a senior fellow at Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.
577807_091102_iranb2.jpg
577807_091102_iranb2.jpg

By David J. Kramer

Surprises?

By David J. Kramer

Surprises?

I have been surprised — and disappointed — by the extent to which the administration has been willing to extend a hand to rogue regimes and enemy states at the same time it seems to keep many of its friends at a distance.

Praiseworthy?

The president’s speeches in places like Moscow, Accra, and Cairo have, for the most part, hit the right tone and messages. His visit to Moscow in July was well done (though his policy toward Russia since then has raised some serious questions).

Constructive Criticism?

The president personally needs to make a strong and relentless push to address the challenge posed by Iran and tell Moscow that this issue more than any other will define whether the reset efforts with Russia succeed or fail. That Secretary Clinton did not push the Russians on sanctions during her recent visit was inexplicable. Hopefully, Gen. Jones last week raised this. One senior U.S. official recently admitted that the administration didn’t know what it wanted/needed to do next. With an end-of-December deadline not far away and Iran up to its usual tricks, the administration better figure out a strategy fast before Israel takes matters into its own hands.

Predictions?

Iran, more than Afghanistan and Iraq, may well be the dominant foreign policy issue next year.

Rick Gershon/Getty Images

David J. Kramer, a former assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, is a senior fellow at Florida International University’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.