John Feffer

John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His most recent book is the dystopian novel Frostlands. Previously, he was a writing fellow at Provisions Library in Washington, DC and a PanTech fellow in Korean Studies at Stanford University. He is a former associate editor of World Policy Journal. Feffer has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia.
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Ending the War in Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has a very clear strategy for ending his war in Ukraine. He intends to wipe the country off the map. Initially, he’d hoped to do so by seizing Kyiv, replacing the government and absorbing as much of Ukrainian territory into Russia as he thought feasible. Now, after the resistance of the Ukrainians, he is looking to eliminate their country by a different method. He will bomb... Continue Reading

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The Dirty Relationship Between Russia and China

The leaders of Russia and China are joining forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Beijing for the Winter Olympics to show solidarity with his largest trade partner at an event that the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are boycotting diplomatically. The statement that Putin signed with Chinese leader Xi Jinping confirms their overlapping... Continue Reading

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What Would Helsinki 2.0 Look Like Today?

The European security order has broken down. You might think that’s an overstatement. NATO is alive and well. The Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe is still functioning at a high level. Of course, there’s the possibility of a major war breaking out between Russia and Ukraine. But would Russian President Vladimir Putin really take such an enormous risk? Moreover,... Continue Reading

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Could There Be War With Russia?

First, let’s be clear: Russia already invaded Ukraine. At the end of February 2014, Russian soldiers without insignia seized key facilities in Crimea and then helped secessionists in eastern Ukraine some weeks later. Crimea is now under Russian control and a civil war continues to flare up over the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east. Second, the United States has... Continue Reading

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The Myths and Realities of South Korea’s Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a progressive wish list that combines the reduction of carbon emissions with investments in Green technologies and Green jobs. In the United States, the Green New Deal has largely remained aspirational: a non-binding resolution that has not yet come to a vote in Congress. In South Korea, on the other hand, the Green New Deal is a policy reality. In 2020, the ruling... Continue Reading

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Beyond Latin America’s Lost Decade

After the pink tide of progressive politics came a brown tidal wave of reaction. The last few years of governance in Latin America have reeked of corruption, repression, and environmental degradation. They will go down in history as the “Sewage Decade,” thanks to Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, Ivan Duque of Colombia, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Nayib Bukele of El Salvador, Jeanine Anez of Bolivia... Continue Reading

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Sanctions on North Korea Do Not Work

North Korea is one of the most heavily sanctioned countries in the world. It has been subject to US and international sanctions for more than 70 years. Those sanctions have come in three overlapping waves, first as a result of the Korean War, then in response to its development of nuclear weapons, and finally to roll back that nuclear program as well as activities such as counterfeiting and... Continue Reading

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The Vaccine Pushback Is Bad, But Wait for the Climate One

I’ve only had to show my vaccination card a couple times — to eat in a restaurant in New York City, to see a play in Washington, DC. I was happy to do so. Once inside, I was relieved to be among the vaccinated. Most Americans have gotten vaccinated because they simply want protection from COVID-19. A small number of citizens have gotten jabbed in order to go to restaurants, attend... Continue Reading

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Climate Change Is Not Somebody Else’s Problem

There is an astonishing statistic in a Pew research study released in 2020 on perceptions of how different countries handled COVID-19. Only 15% of people in a dozen countries around the world thought the United States was doing a good job of addressing the pandemic. That sharply contrasted with how Americans felt: 47% praised their own government’s management of COVID-19. What’s... Continue Reading

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America Is a Poor Example of Democracy

In 988, Prince Vladimir was undecided about which of the three great monotheistic religions to bring to his Russian realm. He sent envoys to the lands of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The envoys returned with stories of the three faiths. According to legend, Vladimir rejected Judaism and Islam because of their dietary restrictions. The envoy who returned from Byzantium, meanwhile, spoke of... Continue Reading

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