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 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a New Year’s address to Russians in central Moscow on Dec. 31, 2017.

Putin Is Following the Game Plan of Other Autocrats Before Him

And moves like his Jan. 15 announcement generally work—both to secure a leader’s power and ensure a favorable transition down the road.

Members of Code Pink protest

Trump Has Made Sanctions a Path to Strikes

Economic measures can de-escalate tensions, but not if used crudely.

Protesters demonstrate against Trump’s Iran policy outside the White House on Jan. 7.

Praise for the Suleimani Strike Isn’t Based in Reality

The ideological architects of one of the United States’ most disastrous foreign-policy decisions—the 2003 invasion of Iraq—are spinning a tale to support Trump’s most dangerous move to date.

Iraqi demonstrators gather as flames consume Iran's consulate in the Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf on Nov. 27.

The United States Can Offer the People of Lebanon and Iraq Something Tehran Can’t

Protesters in Iraq and Lebanon are rising up against Iranian influence, sectarianism, and corruption. The U.S. Congress should offer conditional aid that forces governments to respond to their citizens’ grievances.

A convoy of U.S. armored vehicles patrols the northeastern town of Qahtaniyah, Syria.

A U.S. Withdrawal Will Cause a Power Struggle in the Middle East

Washington could find itself fighting its way back into the region for the first time since World War II.

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the NATO summit in London on Dec. 4.

NATO Is Struggling Under Trans-Atlantic Tensions

After this week’s summit, members must keep turmoil in the political side of the alliance from undermining its military purpose.

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.