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.

Is Trump Making Space Great Again?

Jan 17, 2020

With a stroke of a pen, Donald Trump created an entirely new branch of the armed forces last year. It’s the first new branch of the US military since 1947. The Space Force is not exactly a new idea. It’s a revival of a Reagan-era initiative that had been set...

Where’s the Backlash Over Trump and Brexit?

Dec 20, 2019

I dutifully got a shot this winter to inoculate myself against four different flu viruses. By exposing myself to weakened strains of these diseases, and preemptively suffering some mild flu symptoms, I can ward off the more serious consequences of a full-on infection and do my part to help stop...

When Is a Coup a Coup?

Dec 13, 2019

Coups have been one of the greatest threats to democracy. The people elect a daring leader willing to take on the status quo. And then, as in Iran in 1953 or Chile in 1973, the military pushes the leader aside to take control. Sometimes the generals remain in power; sometimes...

Inside the Battle for Another World

Dec 06, 2019

A succession of social upheavals over the last decade has radically realigned political power throughout the world. As a result of these tectonic shifts, what had once been on the furthest fringes of the right has now moved toward the center while the left has been pushed to the margins. “Things...

Don’t Just Focus on Trump’s Crimes at Home

Nov 22, 2019

It’s a cliché in Westerns. The bad guys ride into town only to be met by a sheriff who stands tall. “I am the law,” the sheriff says, “and you boys better move on.”  This line appears in King Vidor’s 1930 film, “Billy the Kid.” But the speaker, sheriff William Donovan, is...

Did the Fall of the Berlin Wall Pave the Way for Trump?

Nov 19, 2019

The Berlin Wall fell 30 years ago. It was one of the few unambiguously joyous moments in modern history. This popular, nonviolent explosion of dissent effectively toppled East Germany’s despotic regime. And it signaled, if only symbolically, the end of the Cold War that had divided Europe for nearly half...

Examining Trump World’s Fantastic Claims About Ukraine

Nov 11, 2019

In fantasy sports, participants draft their own dream teams out of the rosters of existing players. That’s what Donald Trump has done with Ukraine. He and his advisers have created a fantasy team involving a number of key players, including the Ukrainian president, the former US ambassador and the former vice...

The Islamic State and Donald Trump’s Delusion

Nov 01, 2019

Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), US President Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate. “Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the...

The Art of the Back-Pedal

Oct 25, 2019

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The backpedaling...

It's Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

Oct 18, 2019

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless US wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do anything about them. Just...

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