The view from the Republican sideline.
This is Foreign Policy’s forum for Republican policymakers and experts to analyze U.S. foreign policy under the Biden administration. FP’s Shadow Government channel dates back to 2008, switching between Democratic and Republican critiques of the sitting U.S. administration. Today, with a Democratic administration in the White House, Shadow Government is an insider’s guide to the debate among Republicans over the future of their party’s national security policies.
What Could a Republican Foreign Policy Look Like?
Republicans may disagree on policy, but their principles will help the United States navigate a fragmenting world.
A Republican Midterm Win Will Boost U.S. China Strategy
Divided government could be just what is needed to unite Americans around the administration’s China policies.
Biden’s New National Security Strategy: A Lot of Trump, Very Little Obama
A renewed focus on great-power rivalry ratifies a sea change in U.S. thinking.
On 9/11 Anniversary, End the Self-Delusion About America’s Enemies
Al Qaeda once again has a safe haven in Afghanistan, endangering Americans.
Biden’s Indifference Has Given Iran the Upper Hand in Iraq
The country’s fragile postwar democracy is threatened like never before.
Afghanistan Was a Predictable, Preventable Disaster
On the sad anniversary of the chaotic U.S. pullout, Afghanistan is once again primed for terror.
Beijing Eyes Pacific Islands, Exploiting U.S. Strategic Vacuum
The newly contested region needs serious U.S. attention.
U.S. Restraint Has Created an Unstable and Dangerous World
Decades of ignoring the menaces posed by Russia and China has led the West to a precipice.
Biden Sidelines Venezuelan Democracy at Summit of the Americas
The administration wants to support human rights, but it doesn’t have the courage of its convictions.
Egypt’s Remilitarized Sinai Is a Future Powder Keg
Egypt and Israel are undermining their peace treaty—and it needs to be stopped.
Putin’s War Has Middle Eastern Countries Hedging Their Bets
Washington’s security guarantees now seem worth even less.
Putin’s Invasion Could Be a Strategic Opportunity
There are two ways Washington could exploit this window.
Diplomats Can’t Wait for the Sky to Fall
The Ukraine crisis is a reminder of how farsighted diplomacy can resolve conflicts before they spiral out of control.
Biden Must Do Better Than Obama on Ukraine
Russia’s 2014 invasion distracted Washington and delayed the Asia pivot—something the West cannot afford to repeat.
A ‘New Cold War’ to Decide the Future of Europe—and the World
Trump’s ambassador to the OSCE says a Russian invasion of Ukraine is an attack on “all of America’s allies.”
Biden Can No Longer Ignore Growing Iran-China Ties
Washington may be tired of the Middle East, but Beijing is just getting started.
The Biden Team Knows Its Iran Policy Is Failing
Tehran’s march toward the bomb has been enabled by the administration’s refusal to impose consequences.
Use Climate and Trade Policy to Counter Putin’s Playbook
Joint U.S.-EU carbon border fees could be much more damaging to Russia than sanctions.
Biden’s Climate Diplomacy Is a Gift to China
The administration is paying for vain hopes with dangerous concessions.
Biden Needs a Plan B for Yemen If Houthis Win
An end to the war will generate a new set of problems.
It’s Time to Formalize an Alliance With India
A U.S.-India alliance would allow both countries to expand their global strength.
Israel Needs Weapons to Stop Iran’s Bomb
Jerusalem needs help from Washington to prevail in a terrible conflict.
Biden Must Move Fast to Replace WHO’s Tedros
It will take an all-out diplomatic blitz to block the director-general’s impending reelection.
Biden Is Running a Hostage Negotiation With the Taliban
Making concessions now will only encourage terrorism.
Ending the Forever Wars Was Never Up to Us
Leaving Afghanistan will not stop terrorism or leave the threats the United States faces behind.
After the Debacle: Six Concrete Steps to Restore U.S. Credibility
Each has bipartisan support and could be taken in short order.
No Matter What Biden Calls U.S. Troops in Iraq, Iran Is Gunning for Them
Relabeling U.S. soldiers as “noncombat” won’t spare them from militia attacks.
Biden’s Surrender to Merkel on Nord Stream 2
His support for the pipeline abandoned a bipartisan consensus, got nothing in return, and made the world less secure.
The World Bank Is Missing U.S. Leadership
Biden’s sacking of Trump appointees at international financial institutions has left a vacuum.
To Win Friends and Influence People, America Should Learn From the CCP
Beijing’s development projects are flashy, fast, and relevant. Why aren’t Washington’s?
In Lebanon, the Wheels of Justice Do Not Grind
The Hariri tribunal hasn’t led to a single arrest. Biden should let it expire and help Lebanon in better ways.
Donald Rumsfeld Freed the World From ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’
His thinking on arms control proved prescient—but the howls reverberate to this day.
Biden Is Falling Into the Same Trap With Europe as Obama
Washington’s myopic focus on Berlin and Brussels is a grave mistake. The rest of Europe shouldn’t be flyover country.
Biden Needs an International Organizations Strategy
A U.S. State Department czar should lead a campaign to stop China and Russia from gaining control of multilateral agencies.
Beijing Is Trolling Biden Over Gaza
China’s wolf warrior diplomacy has discovered the Middle East, catching Washington unprepared.
The Military Revolt Against Joe Biden
An open letter by former officers calling the president a “Marxist” dictator is a greater threat to U.S. democracy than the ouster of Liz Cheney.
Biden’s ‘America First’ Policies Are Spreading Global Pain
Like its blatant vaccine nationalism, the administration’s unchecked stimulus policies are hurting the world—especially the global poor.
The Countdown to an Israeli War With Iran Has Begun
If Biden returns to the Iran nuclear deal, don't be surprised if Israel takes matters into its own hands.
Biden Can’t Avoid Getting Tough on Europe Much Longer
The fuzzy goodwill between Washington and Europe has lulled the continent into a false comfort.
Stop Giving Erdogan a Veto Over U.S. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
Biden can do the right thing because Turkey has lost strategic significance.
‘Bring the Troops Home’ Is a Dream, Not a Strategy
A full withdrawal from Afghanistan is a costly blunder and failure of leadership.
Biden Faces His First Disasters in Yemen and Afghanistan
Unless it changes tack, the administration is about to make bad situations even worse.
A Global Minimum Corporate Tax Is a Bad Idea Whose Time Hasn’t Come
Janet Yellen’s proposal has all but zero chance of success.
Biden Needs to End His Staff Travel Ban Now
Only three top State Department officials have been allowed to travel abroad. That’s no way to preserve U.S. interests.
Biden Team’s Embrace of Europe Falls Short on Content
Outcomes, not optics, should be the measure of U.S. policy in Europe.
Biden Must Follow the Law and Sanction Nord Stream Now
Why has the administration been so half-hearted on a malign Russian influence project?
To Face Off Against China, Copy Its Playbook
Biden should unite allies with a giant “Made in the Free World” project.
Can Biden Fix the U.N. Human Rights Council?
The administration insists it can succeed where two U.S. presidents already tried and failed.
A Fight Over a Trump Official Could Block Aid to Latin America
The largest provider of urgently needed aid is up for a bigger budget, but some Democrats first want to remove its Trump-nominated head.
Trump’s Worst 2 Military Mistakes for Biden to Fix
Some policies may be worth keeping, but Trump’s handling of allies and withdrawals from conflict zones are not among them.
Was George Shultz America’s Best Secretary of State?
Reagan’s top diplomat ended the Cold War and reshaped the world.
Key Republican Lessons for Biden’s Global Agenda
Five former officials from the Trump and George W. Bush administrations share their foreign-policy advice for the new team.
The EU Tries and Fails Again on Venezuela
Instead of issuing limp statements, Europe should join Washington to get Maduro’s regime to negotiate with the democratic opposition.
The Myanmar Coup Is the First Test for Biden’s Democracy Agenda
Washington’s response should be swift if Biden expects the world to take his commitment seriously.
Congress Will Make It Tough for Biden on Iran
Biden’s nominees will face trouble in the Senate unless they prove they learned the lessons of the failed 2015 nuclear agreement.
Beijing’s Welcome Gift to Biden: More Threats and Tensions
If China is seeking a reset of relations, it has a strange way of showing it.
Advice to National-Security Republicans as Biden Takes Office
Republicans should start off on the right foot as we transition into the opposition.