John Feffer

John Feffer

John Feffer is the author of the dystopian novel "Splinterlands" (2016) and the director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. His new novel, "Frostlands" (2018) is book two of his Splinterlands trilogy. Splinterlands book three "Songlands" will be published in 2021. His podcast is available here.

Articles by this author

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Sunday, April 05, 2009
What's Up With North Korea?
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why North Korea just launched another rocket. The country wants attention. It craves the prestige of putting a satellite into orbit. It hopes to gather information for its missile program. And it's angling to up the ante in the great poker game called the Six Party Talks that also involves the United States, Japan, South Korea, China, and Russia.
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Where is Obama's Big Ear for Afghanistan?
Particularly over the last eight years, the United States was one big mouth. We lectured the world. We berated the world. We threatened and wheedled and roared. From the world's perspective, however, the United States was like the teacher in the Peanuts comic strip: an incomprehensible wah-wah sound in the background. You generally ignored this voice of authority - so predictable, so monotonous, so deafening - unless it happened to pick on you.
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Thursday, February 05, 2009
Our Pirates and Theirs
Here's the plot of Pirates of the Caribbean 4. The film opens with Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow dropping anchor in New York harbor. He descends on Wall Street with his mates and, after a quick costume change at Brooks Brothers, storms the boardrooms of Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, and other major firms. They don't need sabers to rake in the haul. Jack's a clever pirate. He takes advantage of the tools at hand. Applying mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations, Jack seizes billions of dollars in booty.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009
War on Terrorism Over?
Last week, shortly after being inaugurated, President Barack Obama ended the "global war on terror" (GWOT). Or so The Washington Post reported . The new president countermanded the Bush administration's extralegal approaches by mandating the closure of Guantánamo within a year, outlawing the use of torture in interrogations, and putting the CIA out of the secret prisons business.
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Israel: Mini-Me?
There is a deep affinity between the United States and Israel. I'm not talking about the Israel Lobby, which concentrates its influence in Washington. Or the connections between neoconservatives and the Israeli right wing. Or the rhapsodizing of fundamentalist Christians, who embrace Israel as part of their scenario for the Apocalypse.
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Friday, November 14, 2008
The North Korean Conundrum
As Barack Obama assembles his foreign policy team, he appears to be drawing from two primary sources: the Clinton faithful and Republican renegades. These old dogs might be up for some new tricks, but one risk of relying on such "experience" could be the triumph of conventional thinking in Washington -- when the world expects, and the times demand, fundamental change.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Mother Earth's Triple Whammy: Why North Korea Was a Global Crisis Canary
Gas prices are above $4 a gallon; global food prices surged 39% last year; and an environmental disaster looms as carbon emissions continue to spiral upward. The global economy appears on the verge of a TKO, a triple whammy from energy, agriculture, and climate-change trends. Right now you may be grumbling about the extra bucks you're shelling out at the pump and the grocery store; but, unless policymakers begin to address all three of these trends as one major crisis, it could get a whole lot worse. Just ask the North Koreans.
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Thursday, June 05, 2008
The Way to a Just Foreign Policy
Aaron Hughes spent the spring of 2003 transporting supplies from Kuwait to Iraq as a soldier in the Army National Guard. Today, he is an outspoken anti-war activist.
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