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Foreign Policy

The Saudi Lobby Moves from K Street to Main Street

This piece was first published at on April 19, 2021.  Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.S., was on the hot seat. In early March 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world, oil prices collapsed and a price war broke out between Saudi Arabia and Russia,

Why It Matters That Expected Arms Sales Rose Sharply Under Trump’s Final Year in Office

If there’s one thing we can learn from the Trump administration’s final-year arms sales extravaganza, it’s that we can’t expect administrations to abide by norms that aren’t set into law. We need stronger regulatory frameworks, particularly on transparency. This is critical to ensuring the international community can continue to monitor foreign arms sales, that arms sales aren’t at odds with diplomatic priorities, and that the United States gets closer to a more responsible arms sales policy.

The Secret Reality of the South Korea Lobby

Even if South Korea’s citizens support these measures, it is important that our government be transparent about what it is lobbying for and how much of our taxpayer dollars it is spending on these lobbying campaigns

Pan-Africanism and Today’s Movement for Black Lives

President Biden has made it clear that US Africa policies need to address COVID-19 as well as other health crises, climate change, insecurity, human rights and economic growth. Now that the US has addressed Africa with renewed interest and respect, how will Africa respond?

Biden Outlines a Post-Trump Foreign Policy

Biden’s speech was a refreshing change from the erratic, transactional approach of the past four years, but there is much that needs to be fleshed out if the United States is truly going to set a new course where diplomacy indeed comes first and the militarized approach to foreign affairs that has characterized U.S. policy throughout this century and before is going to finally be abandoned in favor of a more constructive and effective approach to helping solve the most urgent threats to our safety and security.

Biden Should Reverse Trump’s Bomb Sales to Saudi Arabia

At a time when Biden has called for an American renewal, ending arms transfers to repressive regimes would be a welcome first step in ensuring that the U.S. role in the world reflects the values and commitments it seeks to promote at home.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Chinese President Xi Jingping in Beijing, China in 2018. (Photo courtesy of U.S. State Department on Flickr)

US-China: Confrontation or Cooperation?

Will the political line-up that we see in Washington next January be one that favors greater confrontation with China, or one that seeks to dial back the tensions that have arisen between the two countries in the past few years?

Secretary Tillerson meets with ASEAN Ambassadors to the U.S. in March 2017 (Photo courtesy of U.S. State Department on Flickr)

Renewed Friendship: Deepening Security Ties Between the U.S. and ASEAN

In 2011, President Barack Obama made the security of the Asia-Pacific region “a top priority” for the United States. Nine years later, tensions with China have escalated dramatically. These tensions cast a dark cloud over the future of U.S.-China relations, as well as the national and economic security of both Washington and Beijing.