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.

On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump

Jul 17, 2019

The ongoing conflict with Iran showcases all the reasons why US President Donald Trump remains a hit with his base. First of all, the guy tells a ripping yarn. While critics of US policy drone on about complex agreements with opaque acronyms, Trump boils down the problem to a TV episode with a ticking clock. … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

Will AI Swing the 2020 Election?

Jun 21, 2019

Deepfake technology undermines any hope of once again conducting national conversations on the basis of observable reality. Imagine, on the day before the 2020 presidential election, that someone posts a video of the Democratic candidate talking before a group of donors. The candidate admits to being ashamed to be an American, confesses that the United … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

Democracy Faces a Global Crisis

Jun 14, 2019

Democracy faces a global crisis. And this crisis couldn’t be coming at a worse time. If you’re a supporter of Donald Trump — or Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil or Matteo Salvini in Italy — you probably think that democracy has never been in better health. Recent elections in these countries didn’t just serve to rotate … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

The Misadventures of “Tariff Man”

Jun 07, 2019

For Donald Trump, tariffs are a substitute for diplomacy, just as harassment in his personal life is a substitute for normal human interaction.  Donald Trump has two tools at his disposal as president. The first is his mouth: the insults and threats that he issues verbally or by Twitter. The second is the tariff. President … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

Following Russia Would Lead Europe Back to 1914

May 24, 2019

Vladimir Putin’s divide-and-conquer strategy has attracted a dyspeptic band of right-wing populists, euroskeptics and neo-Nazis, who will likely capture a large share in the European Parliament elections this week. Europe is voting in the much-anticipated elections this week to elect a new European Parliament. Austria, however, now has to deal with a very unexpected snap … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

John Bolton Is the Most Dangerous of Political Operators

May 17, 2019

John Bolton has the passion of an ideologue and the patience of a realist. Only 70 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan faced an assassination attempt. While he was in surgery and the vice president was mid-flight over Texas, Secretary of State Alexander Haig famously declared in front of the press, “As of now, I … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

The Global Game of Thrones

May 10, 2019

With wannabe monarchs like Donald Trump that show far less deference to democracy than the current occupants of Buckingham Palace and Kyoto’s Chrysanthemum Throne, who needs actual kings and queens? I was surprised to learn that Dagmar Havlova had become a monarchist. In 1990, when I first met the sister-in-law of Czech playwright and later … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

The Logic of Arms Control Has Changed

May 03, 2019

The United States built an arsenal of nuclear weapons to preserve and extend its global dominance. But now, in a perverse development, nukes threaten that dominance. My first trip to Washington, DC, to do something other than protest on the streets was to interview for a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, which brings young people … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

What’s Behind Bolton’s Attacks on the "Troika of Tyranny"?

Apr 26, 2019

If you’re in the market for a troika of tyranny, Donald Trump, John Bolton and Mike Pompeo certainly fit the bill. Or, if you’d rather focus on countries, not individuals, you might single out Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt as the three most likely candidates. Perhaps, if you’re in a confessional mood, … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

The Dictator and the Nihilist

Apr 19, 2019

Julian Assange and Omar al-Bashir shared an underlying commonality — a lack of accountability, which proved to be their ultimate undoing. Two major public figures lost their protected status last week. British authorities dragged Julian Assange, the co-founder of Wikileaks, out of the Ecuadorian consulate and into custody. Meanwhile, months of public protests finally dislodged Omar … Continue reading "On Iran, It’s Trump vs. Trump"

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