U.S. Foreign Policy Program
The U.S. Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities the United States faces overseas and to assess the pressures and political dynamics shaping its foreign policy choices. The program's goal is to provide insightful analysis and recommendations that help policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public better understand how the United States weighs its interests and values when it makes foreign policy decisions.
The United States faces a unique and growing set of international challenges as it navigates a rapidly changing world. The rise of emerging powers like China, India, and Brazil provides new opportunities for partnership, but it also creates potential challengers to U.S. influence and interests. The spread of transnational problems such as climate change, infectious disease, and terrorism blurs the line between domestic and foreign policy, and it draws a wider range of government agencies into the decision-making mix on foreign policy. Meanwhile, bitter partisan disagreement at home frustrates efforts to formulate and sustain policy, potentially hinders the U.S. ability to lead by example, and raises questions about whether the United States will remain a reliable ally and partner. An American public skeptical that Washington is striking the right balance between foreign and domestic policy and concerned that it is not concentrating on the right foreign policy priorities further complicates the debate about America's proper role in the world.
By analyzing the forces driving and shaping foreign policy, the U.S. Foreign Policy program aims to understand how the United States makes decisions about the many challenges it faces in the world today.
September 1, 2010—Present
The U.S. Foreign Policy Roundtable Series is an ongoing series that provides a forum for discussion with leading experts on the major issues and developments that impact U.S. foreign policy. The series has covered a broad range of topics, such as domestic and international counterterrorism efforts, the global financial crisis, evolving media coverage of international news developments, and U.S. policy in the Greater Middle East, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
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U.S. Foreign Policy Experts
The Water's Edge
Jim Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.
Read The Water's Edge.
CFR Experts Guide
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide