U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. President Donald Trump sits in the cabinet room at the White House on July 9 in Washington, DC.

Present at the Destruction of U.S. Power and Influence

Four years of neglect, unilateralism, and failed diplomacy have left America’s alliances in tatters. It’s time to rebuild them.

Members of the Broadway cast of 'Hamilton,' perform music from the production for President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and other guests in the East Room of the White House on March 14, 2016 in Washington.

Does ‘Hamilton’ Have All the Answers for U.S. Foreign Policy?

The Broadway musical offers lessons on everything from regime change to balancing ideals and interests.

Bekhzod Tashkenbaev of Uzbekistan participates in the first World High Wire Championships, over the Han River in Seoul, on May 3, 2007.

The United States Forgot Its Strategy for Winning Cold Wars

The plan that worked to defeat the Soviet Union can work today against China—it’s just not what you think.

Former President Bill Clinton, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama arrive at the funeral service for Rep. Elijah Cummings in Baltimore on Oct. 25, 2019.

There’s No Such Thing as Good Liberal Hegemony

It’s not just that the United States has made mistakes—the very idea of U.S. global leadership is broken from the ground up.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on a debate stage in Charleston, South Carolina.

Biden Likely to Embrace Some of Sanders’s Foreign-Policy Ideas, Especially After the Pandemic

The former vice president’s team is already in touch with the Sanders camp about a unified platform, operatives say.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (from left), U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spread out to practice social distancing measures against the spread of the coronavirus at a meeting in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 20.

Pandemic Stymies Congressional Check on Trump’s Foreign Policy

Public hearings and classified briefings are another political casualty in the age of contagion.

A woman wearing a mask in Iran

Democrats Push Back on Sanctions, Citing Coronavirus Fears 

They want waivers to speed medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Iran and other sanctioned nations hit hard by the pandemic.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to new National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien

Trump Finally Has the Dangerous Foreign-Policy Process He Always Wanted

The U.S. president's new national security advisor has replaced the White House’s previous chaos with a new type of dysfunction.

Iranian clergymen watch the launching of a Shahab-3 long-range ballistic missile in the desert outside the holy city of Qom on Nov. 2, 2006.

The Only Sensible Iran Strategy Is Containment

The most effective plan against the Islamic Republic has always been the most obvious—and the one nobody in Washington seems willing to try.

Then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders walks with President Barack Obama as he arrives at the White House for an Oval Office meeting on June 9, 2016.

Obama’s Foreign Policy Is Winning the 2020 Democratic Primary

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are ready to move past the Obama administration—except when it comes to military intervention.

The six leading Democratic candidates at the presidential primary debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 14.

In the Latest Democratic Debate, Finally, Some Foreign Policy 

With a trimmed-down field, Democratic hopefuls sparred over Iraq, Iran, military deployments, and the threat from climate change.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the Oval Office of the White House on May 10, 2017.

Why Is the United States So Bad at Foreign Policy?

It’s not just Trump. Washington hasn’t had a coherent strategy for decades.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders participate in a Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, Georgia, on Nov. 20.

Democratic Frontrunners Are Wrong About Aid for Israel

Putting America’s annual $3.8 billion of military assistance to Israel on the chopping block makes for good politics. But it makes no sense for U.S. national security.

U.S. President Donald Trump at the United Nations General Assembly

World Leaders Stood Behind Bill Clinton When He Was Impeached. Not So Trump.

The allies Trump has snubbed are shrugging off his impeachment—or just laughing.

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.