Foreign Policy in Focus

Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) is a “think tank without walls” connecting the research and action of more than 600 scholars, advocates, and activists seeking to make the United States a more responsible global partner.

FPIF provides timely analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international affairs and recommends policy alternatives. We believe U.S. security and world stability are best advanced through a commitment to peace, justice, and environmental protection, as well as economic, political, and social rights. We advocate that diplomatic solutions, global cooperation, and grassroots participation guide foreign policy.

FPIF aims to amplify the voice of progressives and to build links with social movements in the U.S. and around the world. Through these connections, we advance and influence debate and discussion among academics, activists, policy-makers, and the general public.

Latest Work

Asia/Pacific Peace and Security Issues

The Asia/Pacific region is the geopolitical center of the struggle for world power.

Peacekeeping and the United Nations

The Clinton administration came into office espousing support for UN peacekeeping. Characterizing his policy as “assertive multilateralism,” President Clinton appeared enthusiastic about the creation of a small UN “quick-deployment force” and seemed unwilling to commit U.S. forces to UN operations.

U.S.-UN Relations

UN operations are crucial in saving and improving lives throughout the world, especially in the development, social, health, and education arenas.

U.S. and the Former Yugoslavia: Improving on Dayton

When war erupted in the former Yugoslavia in 1991, the U.S. kept its distance.

Islamists and U.S. Policy

Islamism is viewed as a force that undermines the Middle East peace process, threatens the flow of oil, and leads to the establishment of Iranian-style regimes in the region.

Afghanistan

Pakistani aid together with support from Pashtun traders and tribesmen enabled the Taliban to capture Kabul.

Chemical and Biological Weapons

Since the end of the cold war, the global proliferation of chemical and biological weapons (CBWs) has become more prominent in U.S. national security and foreign policy planning.

Restructuring East-Central European Economies

In promoting structural adjustment, the U.S. has concentrated on short-term profits for businesses and narrow diplomatic gain.

Free Trade Area of the Americas

The economic crisis in Mexico has dampened enthusiasm in the U.S. for the extension of free-trade agreements throughout the Americas.

North Korea

The controversy that surrounded North Korea’s incipient nuclear capacity had the fortuitous outcome of engaging the U.S. in direct and fruitful dialogue with the DPRK.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

Over the past decade, nuclear weapons have been reduced from 70,000 to 40,000. The U.S. and Russia hold 97% of these remaining nuclear weapons.

Trade and Environment

Environmentalists expect access to information and broad participation in decisionmaking. In addition to culture, substantive differences divide the trade and environmental communities.

Controlling Transnational Corporations

Transnational corporations (TNCs) increasingly shape our lives as they weave worldwide webs of production, consumption, finance, and culture.

U.S.-Israel Policy

The special nature of the U.S.-Israel alliance has resulted in special protection of and impunity for Israel in international arenas.

The CIA, Contras, Gangs, and Crack

Based on a year-long investigation, reporter Gary Webb wrote that during the 1980s the CIA helped finance its covert war against Nicaragua’s leftist government through sales of cut-rate cocaine to South Central L.A. drug dealer, Ricky Ross.

U.S. Foreign Agricultural Policy

U.S. agricultural policymakers have long relied on the world marketplace to serve a diverse agenda–including management of the domestic farm economy, promotion of geopolitical interests, and most prominently, bolstering exports.

U.S. Drug Control Policy

U.S. drug policy is based on a punitive logic of deterrence that assumes that targeting the drug supply through aggressive law enforcement will deter drug use by making drugs scarcer, more expensive, and riskier to buy.

Controlling U.S. Arms Sales

The conventional arms trade continues to bedevil the international system. Although the world arms trade continues to decline in dollar value, the major arms supplying states have redoubled their efforts to export their weapons overseas.

U.S. Strategic Reach in the Middle East

Washington’s goals in the Middle East involve support for Israel, assuring oil flow, and ensuring political stability for economic growth.

Confronting the Multilateral Debt Burden

Multilateral debt, the result of lending by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs), is contributing to the economic and social crisis that is overtaking many Low Income Countries (LICs).