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.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum reinstating sanctions on Iran after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal at the White House in Washington on May 8, 2018.

Why Biden’s Plan to Rejoin the Iran Deal Makes No Sense

This week’s escalation of tensions by Tehran looks like blackmail to force Biden to abandon sanctions—and give up leverage over the regime.

U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door broken by pro-Trump extremists during a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6.

The Military Stayed Out of the Insurrection, but It Isn’t Over Yet

Trump failed because key Republicans backed down and the military stayed out—yet critical questions remain.

U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door broken by pro-Trump extremists during a joint session of Congress in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6.

The Military Stayed Out of the Insurrection, but It Isn’t Over Yet

Trump failed because key Republicans backed down and the military stayed out—yet critical questions remain.

The U.S. and Moroccan and flags beside a State Department-authorized map of Morocco, including disputed Western Sahara, in Rabat on Dec. 12.

Biden Must Reverse Course on Western Sahara

Trump’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty dangerously undermines decades of carefully crafted U.S. policy.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his way to a meeting with Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia in Algiers on Dec. 2, 2018.

Note to Mohammed bin Salman: Stop Digging Yourself Deeper

The Saudis need to get on Biden’s good side. Obvious places to start include releasing women’s rights activists.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden after receiving a briefing from the COVID-19 transition advisory board in Wilmington, Delaware, on Nov. 9.

The National Security Risks of Trump’s Temper Tantrum

Refusing to concede and start the transition creates mostly hindrances, not disasters. But on key issues, obstructing Biden puts America in danger.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the signing of the Abraham Accords at the White House in Washington, DC, on Sept. 15.

Trump’s Parting Gift to Biden: A More Stable Middle East

He was successful because only an iconoclastic president could have rejected false assumptions and failed strategies.

Galleries

Protesters—many of them armed—try to enter the Michigan House of Representatives chamber and are stopped by state police during a protest April 30 demanding that businesses be reopened. An “American Patriot Rally” organized by Michigan United for Liberty was held earlier in the day on the steps of the state Capitol in Lansing. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

Global protests against government-imposed lockdowns, gang violence in El Salvador, and hat tips to medical staff.

Muslims offer prayers on April 23, the first night of Ramadan, in Bireuen, Indonesia. AMANDA JUFRIAN/AFP via Getty Images

The Week in World Photos

A prayerful start to Ramadan, medical workers on the front lines of a pandemic, and the annual Lyrids meteor shower.

In the Magazine

In the Magazine

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How to Save Global Capitalism From Itself

Decentralizing decision-making can help left-behind regions get back on track.

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Britain’s Post-Brexit Identity Crisis

Boris Johnson has contradictory ideas for his country’s future—and no clear paths for getting there.

The Ugly End of Chimerica

The coronavirus pandemic has turned a conscious uncoupling into a messy breakup.

The 3 Most Polarizing Words in India

“Jai Shri Ram” was meant to be a celebration of a Hindu deity. But the phrase is turning into hate speech—and a dog whistle for attacks on Muslims.