Foreign Policy Research Institute

“A nation must think before it acts.” —Robert Strausz-Hupé

Backchannel: The Newsletter of FPRI

April 9, 2014

Presenting the Spring 2014 Issue of Orbis

OrbisRecent actions by China, including its declaration of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) that includes areas in dispute with Japan, have generated a great deal of concern by China’s neighbors. Arthur Waldron argues that the reaction of East... This preview of Orbis, as presented in the Editor’s Corner, is followed by the Editor’s reflections on “The Revenge of Force Planning.” Read more...

February 5, 2014

A Report on FPRI’s Project on Democratic Transitions

2013 was a banner year for FPRI's Project on Democratic Transitions. The PDT team grew from three core members and an intern to a team of eleven scholars and, at times, three interns. The team now includes three PhDs from top universities and seven other scholars with post-graduate degrees and relevant work and/or field experience. The project had dozens of publications through FPRI/PDT and outside channels and organized a number of successful scholarly seminars. Among many new and exciting ventures is our joint project with the Prague-based Institute of International Relations. The project envisions cooperation with think tanks in Moldova and Georgia to develop new approaches for more effective democracy support in these and potentially other countries. Read more...

February 4, 2014

FPRI Once Again Named Top U.S. Think Tank Under $5 Million, and Number Two Worldwide

FPRI LogoPhiladelphia, PA -- For the second straight year, the Foreign Policy Research Institute has been named as the nation’s top think tank with a budget under $5 Million according to the 2013 Global Go To Think Tank Index.  This year, however, the organization was ranked 2nd in the world on that list, up from 19th the previous year.  Overall, FPRI ranked as the 33rd best think tank in the U.S.


February 4, 2014

New Senior Fellows Join FPRI’s Middle East Program

Map of Middle EastThe Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East is pleased to announce the appointment of three new Senior Fellows: Joseph Braude, Brandon Friedman, and Amin Tarzi.


December 30, 2013

Presenting the Winter 2014 Issue of Orbis

We begin the winter issue of Orbis with an essay by Dov Zakheim, Vice Chairman of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a former senior defense department official in the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, in the latter serving as Undersecretary of Defense (Comptroller). Based on a speech for the 2013 Current Strategy Forum at the Naval War College, Zakheim argues that U.S. strategy has become increasingly “budget driven” to the detriment of U.S. security. Colin Dueck examines the case of Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush’s second National Security Adviser, to test the validity of the contending models applied to the office—“honest broker” vs. “policy entrepreneur”—to explain the policy outcomes of the Bush Administration’s approach to Iraq. He contends that the two models are not incompatible; the most important factor is to ensure that the National Security Adviser is first and foremost an effective presidential agent.


November 1, 2013

The Impact of the Foreign Policy Research Institute

(Or, Can a Small Organization in Philadelphia Change the Course of History?) by Alan H. Luxenberg -- As Philadelphians, we already know the answer to this question. We need only think of America’s founders and how they changed world history. But what about FPRI? How do we measure our impact? Read More...


October 25, 2013

Russia’s Far East and Asia-Pacific Integration

The story today is about Moscow’s strategy for developing Russia’s economically and demographically challenged Far East and about China’s likely influence over that strategy -- and about prospects for Western engagement with that remote part of the world. The Russian Far East has been a top priority for Moscow in recent years, consuming a significant and increasing share of state resources. But Moscow expects most of the impetus for the growth of that depressed region to come from broadening trade and investment ties with the relatively dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific region.


September 13, 2013

FPRI Reaches New Social Media Milestone

One of the goals of the strategic plan we formulated in 2012 was to increase FPRI’s social media presence. We are therefore pleased to report that FPRI Facebook Fans Exceeded 25,000 on September 13, 2013 (up from 20,000 on August 29, 2013; up from 2,500 on January 31, 2013)! Read More...


September 3, 2013

A Better Way Forward in Egypt

The twin crises of the Arab world today — Egypt and Syria — are not just humanitarian tragedies. They represent key strategic choices that will decide America’s role in the region for decades to come. The significance of Egypt’s civil war is almost impossible to overstate. Nearly one out of every four Arabs — some 82 million people — live in Egypt. Its films and newspapers, its universities and intellectuals shape debate across the region. It is also the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which now has influential branches in every Arab nation. The Brotherhood created political Islam. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of its leading thinkers, summarized the group’s totalitarian ambitions: “Islam is a comprehensive school of thoughts, a creed, an ideology, and cannot be completely satisfied but by (completely) controlling society and directing all aspects of life, to the construction of the state,” a caliphate.


August 27, 2013

Chemical Warfare in Syria: Who and Why?

Chemical warfare, forbidden by international law, is a desperate measure. A prime example of this level of desperation was demonstrated by Saddam Hussein who, in 1979, ordered the use of poison gas against Iranian forces. The Assad regime was not desperate. Over the past month or so the regime has launched a major offensive, reclaiming Homs back from rebel control, pressing forward towards Aleppo as well as having overrun other important positions held by rebel forces. It is true that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and a number of other opposition groups staged a brief counter-attack over running Alawi villages in Latakia, the Assad family’s district of origin, but those villages were quickly recaptured by the regime.