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

Defense Budget and Modernization Plans

The end of the cold war sparked contentious debate about what constitutes the most effective and least expensive security policy.

Trade and Labor

A fundamental challenge facing policymakers and activists is how to set and enforce rules to protect workers from repression, exploitation, and danger.

U.S. Oil Policy in the Middle East

Securing the flow of affordable oil is a cornerstone of U.S. Middle East policy.

Haiti

Two sometimes divergent, sometimes convergent streams of U.S. policy have played an influential role in defining the economic and political system of Haiti.

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.

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.

Controlling Transnational Corporations

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

U.S. Panama Policy: Canal, Bases, and Dollars

A history of mutual dependence underlies U.S.-Panama foreign policy and accounts for the patterns of dominance and dependence in bilateral relations.

U.S.-Russian Relations: Avoiding a Cold Peace

The end of the cold war left U.S.-Russian relations in a state of volatile ambiguity.

International Financial Institutions

Immediately following World War II, the major capitalist powers, dominated by the U.S. and Britain, met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to establish multilateral institutions to manage the postwar restructuring and expansion of the global capitalist economy. Two international financial institutions (IFIs) emerged from the July 1944 meeting: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Intelligence Apparatus

Created to collect information, the CIA quickly became embroiled in covertly upending governments and movements around the world in support of U.S. corporate and political goals.