Foreign Policy Initiative

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Foreign Policy Initiative
The Foreign Policy Initiative Logo.jpg
Established2009; 11 years ago (2009)
Executive DirectorChristopher J. Griffin

The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) was an American think tank that operated from 2009 to 2017.[1][2] According to its website, the FPI was "committed to robust support for democratic allies",[3] human rights,[4] a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness. The organization was founded in 2009 and was led by Executive Christopher J. Griffin.[5] FPI was a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Foreign Policy Initiative publishes numerous bulletins, fact sheets, and analysis on a variety of foreign policy related issues.[6]

Academic scholars describe FPI as part of a "loose coalition of individuals that seeks to influence American foreign policy in ways that will benefit Israel."[7]

FPI's Board of Directors consists of former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman, Dan Senor, Former editor of the now defunct The Weekly Standard William Kristol and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Robert Kagan. The latter two were project directors of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.

Background and history[edit]

The Foreign Policy Initiative was founded in 2009 by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Robert Kagan.

It describes itself as having formed in response to foreign policy challenges facing the U.S., such as "rising and resurgent powers, including China and Russia",[8] "other autocracies that violate the rights of their citizens", "rogue states that work with each other in ways inimical to our interests and principles, and that sponsor terrorism and pursue weapons of mass destruction", "Al Qaeda and its affiliates who continue to plot attacks against the United States and our allies", and "failed states that serve as havens for terrorists and criminals and spread instability to their neighbors."[9]

Since its foundation, the Foreign Policy Initiative has advocated for the troop surge in the Afghanistan War[10][11] and "direct military strikes" in Syria.[12]

Chris Griffin, a former Legislative Director of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, was hired as Executive Director in early 2013. He replaced Jamie Fly, who served as Director for the organization's first four years and left to become an adviser for Florida Senator Marco Rubio.[13]


Democracy and human rights[edit]

In response to what has become known as "Arab Spring", FPI has emphasized to U.S. policymakers that long-standing authoritarian rule in the Middle East and North Africa have created stagnant political and economic systems that are corrupt, oppress political dissidents, create unemployment and fuel anti-American sentiment. FPI's policy solution was the long-term success of democratic and economic reform, specifically the promotion of human rights and democracy.[14]

Foreign affairs[edit]

In an interview with Foreign Policy In Focus, Robert Kagan iterated FPI's position toward Iran, saying, "It is time to take military action against the Iranian government elements that support terrorism and its nuclear program. More diplomacy is not an adequate response."[15]

On Fox News, Griffin described what would be a "good deal" for the U.S., with regards to Iran. Iran would comply with longstanding demands from the United States, IAEA, and UN Security Council, freeze its nuclear program, and ratify the additional protocol to IAEA safeguards agreement. Griffin also said that Iran has 7,000 kg of 3.5% "low-enriched uranium," which amounts to 70 percent progress toward having a nuclear weapon. He also called out Iran to stop building and disable the heavy water nuclear reactor at Arak, which is a basis for building a plutonium-based nuclear weapon.[16]

According to Executive Director Christopher Griffin, Russia's intervention in the Crimean Peninsula is part of a trend that has resulted "in an absence of American leadership"[17] and that "'global pressure' against the American-led international order is intensifying."[18] On NBC Nightly News on April 10, 2013, Griffin noted, "What North Korea teaches us is that once a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon, we have not figured out how to reliably contain it, how to protect Americans, or how to protect our allies."[19] FPI has also called for the U.S. Department of Defense to cancel a $572 million contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia's government-owned arms exporter.[20]

FPI proposed an active U.S. role in Syria. In 2012, Slate Magazine wrote, "The most forward-looking part of the FPI's conference came when the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy chatted with Sen. John McCain (a PNAC signatory and contributing writer). They quickly agreed that America needed to intervene in Syria, setting up a partial no-fly zone and arming rebels."[21] FPI advocated using Patriot missile-defense batteries, with Executive Director Griffin noting, "The United States and our allies could use the Patriot missile-defence batteries now deployed in southern Turkey to establish a credible threat against Assad's air power over parts of Aleppo and Idlib provinces [in northern Syria]."[22]

National security[edit]

In 2013, FPI has publicly circulated an open letter, signed by former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, opposing automatic cuts in defense spending.[23] FPI cited the findings of a bipartisan panel on U.S. military readiness, which has opposed automatic defense cuts. FPI advocated for a full missile defense system and elimination of automatic defense cuts.[24]


Board of Directors[edit]

Bibliography of works on Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI)[edit]

  • Abelson, Donald E. (2009). Do Think Tanks Matter?: Assessing the Impact of Public Policy Institutes. Montreal, Quebec: McGill-Queen's University Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780773536074.
  • "As U.S. Shifts Its Focus To Asia, It Must Boost, Not Cut, Defense". Investor's Business Daily. 5 June 2012.
  • Bell, Benjamin (22 March 2014). "Five Questions with Foreign Policy Initiative Co-Founder Dan Senor". ABC News.
  • Edelman, Eric; Misztal, Blaise; Abramowitz, Morton (21 March 2014). "The U.S. Should Unfollow Turkey". The American Interest.
  • "Forbes To Discuss Asia Strategy With Asian Diplomats at Foreign Policy Initiative's Annual Forum". Congressional Documents and Publications. 21 October 2013.
  • Gibson, William (18 January 2013). "Marco Rubio beefs up foreign policy staff". Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida).
  • Griffin, Christopher (8 February 2014). "The War of Wills Between U.S. and Iran". RealClearWorld.
  • Griffin, Christopher (28 July 2007). "Two Votes Over Tokyo". The Washington Post. Republished at American Enterprise Institute.
  • Griffin, Christopher; Lohaus, Phillip. (13 March 2014). "Joint Strike Fighter: No Longer Just 'Too Big to Kill'". RealClearDefense.
  • Kagan, Robert (27 February 2014). "The Ambivalent Superpower". POLITICO Magazine.
  • Kirchick, James (24 March 2014). "Europe, Stunned by Reckless Russia, Mistrusts Feckless Ukrainian Leaders". The Daily Beast.
  • Leverett, Flynt; Leverett, Hillary Mann. (2013). Going to Tehran: Why the United States Must Come to Terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran. London, U.K.: Macmillan. p. 296. ISBN 9780805094190.
  • Rubin, Jennifer (27 February 2014). "Our next president must be the anti-Obama". The Washington Post.
  • "Sen. John McCain, R-ARIZ., Participates In A Discussion On The Consequences Of Inaction In Syria". Congressional Quarterly Transcriptions (Washington, D.C.: CQ - Roll Call, Inc). 27 November 2012.
  • Zarate, Robert; Moore, Evan (18 October 2012). "How To Fix the U.S. Policy Toward Syria". U.S. News & World Report.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gray, Rosie. "A Right-Leaning Foreign-Policy Think Tank Shuts Down". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  2. ^ Initiative, The Foreign Policy. "Thank You from FPI | Foreign Policy Initiative". Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. ^ "2012 Foreign Policy Initiative Forum". Breaking Defense. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Mission Statement". Foreign Policy Initiative. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  5. ^ Rogin, Josh (January 22, 2013). "Lieberman staffer to head Foreign Policy Initiative". Foreign Policy.
  6. ^ "Publications". Washington, D.C.: The Foreign Policy Initiative. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  7. ^ Peter M. Little (2016), Think Tanks and Influence on US Foreign Policy: The People and the Ideas (PDF), School of Advanced Military Studies
  8. ^ "Foreign Policy Initiative". Right Web. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Mission Statement". Foreign Policy Initiative. Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  10. ^ Dreazan, Yochi J. (September 17, 2009). "Call for an Afghan Surge". Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ "The neocons return". Brattleboro Reformer. September 26, 2009.
  12. ^ "Foreign Policy Experts Urge President Obama to Respond to Assad's Chemical Attack". Foreign Policy Initiative. August 27, 2013. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
  13. ^ Warren, Michael (January 22, 2013). "Lieberman Aide Heading to Foreign Policy Initiative". The Weekly Standard.
  14. ^ "Foreign Policy 2013" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Foreign Policy Initiative. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  15. ^ Goulka, Jeremiah (5 November 2012). "The Dogs of War Are Barking". Regions: Middle East & North Africa. Foreign Policy in Focus. ISSN 1524-1939.
  16. ^ "Will reducing sanctions on Iran make the US vulnerable?" (Video). Fox News. 11 November 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  17. ^ "Washington: 6 Things the White House Can Do Immediately Regarding the Russia–Ukraine Conflict". US Official News. Plus Media Solutions. 6 March 2014.
  18. ^ Barrow, Clark. "Daily News Briefing: Lerner says she doesn't want to testify because she's getting 'death threats'". Best of Cain. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  19. ^ "Transcript For April 10, 2013, NBC". NBC Nightly News (New York, NY: National Broadcasting Co. Inc.). 10 April 2013. Transcript accessed 26 March 2014 on Nexis.
  20. ^ Homan, Timothy R. (20 March 2014). "The US-Russia Military Supply Chain Could Snap". The Fiscal Times. Republished by Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  21. ^ Weigel, David (28 November 2012). "Austerity, R.I.P." Slate Magazine. New York, NY. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  22. ^ Martin, Patrick (6 May 2013). "What are America's options for intervention in Syria?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, Canada. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  23. ^ Snow Hopkins, Christopher; Magner, Mike (28 February 2013). "On the Move: March 2, 2013". The National Journal. Washington, D.C.
  24. ^ "Foreign Policy 2013" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Foreign Policy Initiative. pp. 19–20. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d "DIRECTORS AND STAFF". The Foreign Policy Initiative. Archived from the original on 22 December 2010. Retrieved 28 September 2015.

External links[edit]