U.S. Foreign Policy

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.

Candidate portraits by uli knörzer for Foreign Policy

For the 2020 Democrats, It’s America First, Too

The slate of Democratic candidates includes two Rhodes scholars, two ex-soldiers, and a former chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But don’t count on them to resurrect a Pax Americana.

Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Unio

How Impeachment Forced Foreign Policy Back Into the 2020 Race

The Democratic candidates didn’t really want to talk about the rest of the world. But the devastating testimony on Capitol Hill this week—however it ends up—ensures they will.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Environmental Justice Presidential Candidate Forum at South Carolina State University on November 8, 2019 in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Warren’s Plan to Rebuild the State Department Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Adding 8,000 foreign service officers won’t solve America’s diplomatic problems. State needs to prioritize data science, expand strategic planning, and encourage mid-career training, too.

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir arrives at Juba international airpor

South Sudan’s Proposed Unity Government Is Still Divided

Another delay won’t help achieve lasting peace. What the world’s youngest country needs is an exit strategy for its old-guard leaders.

The U.S. State Department in Washington.

Praising U.S. Diplomats for Their Testimony Is Not Enough

State Department officials who find themselves wrapped up in the Trump impeachment inquiry will need public support for years to come.

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.

James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement (center); Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right); former National Security Advisor John Bolton (left); and Joel Rayburn, the U.S. special envoy for Syria (bottom left).

How the Iran Hawks Botched Trump’s Syria Withdrawal

Beginning with special representative James Jeffrey, U.S. officials consistently misread the threat from Turkey.

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order imposing new sanctions on Iran as Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin look on, in the White House on June 24.

To Make Maximum Pressure Work, Washington Should Cancel Iran Nuclear Waivers

Iran is flouting and bypassing its nonproliferation promises. If Trump is serious about stopping an Iranian bomb, he should cancel or suspend nuclear waivers for the Fordow and Arak facilities.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters evacuate a wounded comrade near the Syrian border.

If We Have to Choose Between Compromise and Genocide, We Will Choose Our People

The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin.

U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on June 24, 2019, imposing sanctions on Iran.

Trump’s Use of Sanctions Is Nothing Like Obama’s

The White House’s aggressive deployment of coercive economic tools has given rise to a growing geopolitical backlash.

Displayed on a monitor, U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24.

Trump’s Globalism Is a Caricature of Multilateralism

When it comes to international cooperation, the White House is repeating the mistakes of the past.

Staff at the Prince of Wales hospital in Hong Kong wear face masks to protect themselves from SARS on March 14, 2003.

What Terrorism Experts Can Learn From Public Health Experts

National security professionals have a duty to use their influence to fight hyperbole.

Susan Rice, former U.S. national security advisor, and Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

The Women Who Shaped Obama’s Foreign Policy

Two new memoirs by Samantha Power and Susan Rice show how idealists became insiders—and what was lost along the way.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin from the White House on Jan. 28, 2017.

Our Top Weekend Reads

Impeachment overshadows UNGA, Afghanistan goes to the polls, and Egyptians take to the streets.

Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga reviews an honor guard during a ceremonial reception in New Delhi on Sept. 20.

The United States Should Help Mongolia Stand Up to China

On Beijing’s doorstep, Ulaanbaatar continues to defy the geopolitical odds.

U.S. President Donald Trump exits after speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 24.

Trump’s Iran Policy Is a Failure

Blame U.S. blunders for the worsening crisis in the region.