Elephants in the Room

About Elephants in the Room

Elephants in the Room is a blog about U.S. foreign policy in the age of Trump, written by experienced GOP policymakers, scholars, and others not currently working in the new administration. It is curated by co-editors Peter D. Feaver and William Inboden.

Sudanese protesters arrive to the town of Atbara from Khartoum on Dec. 19, 2019, to mark the first anniversary of the beginning of the uprising that toppled former President Omar al-Bashir.

Sudan Is Remaking Its Relationship With the Rest of the World

From meeting with Netanyahu to working with the ICC, the new government is reversing the foreign policy of the Bashir era.

A woman uses her phone as she walks past an ATM for the digital currency bitcoin in Hong Kong on Dec. 18, 2017.

The Greenback Needs a Digital Makeover

To preserve the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, the United States can’t let China get ahead on cryptocurrency.

A World Trade Organization sign is seen at WTO headquarters in Geneva on Sept. 21, 2018.

Trump’s Real Trade War Is Being Waged on the WTO

By undermining the organization’s dispute resolution body, the administration is undoing decades of rules-based economic cooperation—to the United States’ own peril.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks with West Point cadets

Trump Battled the Navy. Here Are the Casualties.

Ten takeaways from the biggest civil-military crisis (so far) of the Trump administration.

A convoy of U.S. armored vehicles in northeastern Syria on Nov. 3. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Realists Are Wrong About Syria

Neither Trump nor the international relations experts who cheered his choice to withdraw U.S. troops have wrestled adequately with the costs of departure.

Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Turki bin Saleh al-Malki displays materials recovered from an attack targetting a Saudi Aramco facility during a press conference in Riyadh on Sept. 18.

U.S. Deterrence in the Middle East Is Collapsing

The withdrawal from Syria is part of a broader pattern of weakness, especially in response to Iran.

Galleries

A group of migrants travel on board a rescue boat on Feb. 10, one day after their rescue off the Libyan coast. Ninety-three migrants from Mali, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon were rescued by the Spanish NGO Maydayterraneo in the central Mediterranean. PABLO GARCIA/AFP via Getty Images

A Week in World Photos

Migrants in the Mediterranean, a mass masked wedding in South Korea, and a melting glacier in the French Alps.

People in traditional Korean hanbok dresses wear face masks as they jump for a souvenir picture at Gyeongbokgung palace in Seoul on Feb. 3. JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images

A Week in World Photos

Rebel fighters in Syria, protesters at the U.S.-Mexico border, and migrants in Greece.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

Dan Saelinger illustration for Foreign Policy

Can Social Democrats Save the World (Again)?

Communism and democratic socialism won’t heal today’s political divisions. But social democracy—which helped ward off extremism following World War II—could.

socialism-why-it-wont-work-allison-schraeger-daniel-brokstad-illustration-foreign-policy-homepage

Why Socialism Won’t Work

Capitalism is still the best way to handle risk and boost innovation and productivity.

How Climate Change Has Supercharged the Left

Global warming could launch socialists to unprecedented power—and expose their movement’s deepest contradictions.

Why the Berlin Wall Still Matters

Fragments of the wall have become museum pieces. But with the rise of extremist parties in Germany, the debate over the barrier’s legacy is anything but history.