The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is an American think tank. According to its website, the FPI is committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America's global economic competitiveness. The organization was founded in 2009 and is led by Executive Christopher J. Griffin. FPI is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The Foreign Policy Initiative publishes numerous bulletins, fact sheets, and analysis on a variety of foreign policy related issues.
FPI's Board of Directors consists of former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric S. Edelman, Dan Senor, Editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Robert Kagan. The latter two were project directors of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century.
The Foreign Policy Initiative was founded in 2009 by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, Dan Senor, and Robert Kagan.
It describes itself as having formed in response to foreign policy challenges facing the U.S., such as "rising and resurgent powers, including China and Russia", "other autocracies that violate the rights of their citizens", "rogue states that work with each other in ways inimical to our interests and principles, and that sponsor terrorism and pursue weapons of mass destruction", "Al Qaeda and its affiliates who continue to plot attacks against the United States and our allies", and "failed states that serve as havens for terrorists and criminals and spread instability to their neighbors."
Since its foundation, the Foreign Policy Initiative has advocated for the troop surge in the Afghanistan War and "direct military strikes" in Syria.
Chris Griffin, a former Legislative Director of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, was hired as Executive Director in early 2013. He replaced Jamie Fly, who served as Director for the organization's first four years and left to become an adviser for Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
In response to what has become known as "Arab Spring", FPI has emphasized to U.S. policymakers that long-standing authoritarian rule in the Middle East and North Africa have created stagnant political and economic systems that are corrupt, oppress political dissidents, create unemployment and fuel anti-American sentiment. FPI's policy solution is the long-term success of democratic and economic reform, specifically the promotion of human rights and democracy.
In an interview with Foreign Policy In Focus, Robert Kagan iterated FPI's position toward Iran, saying, "It is time to take military action against the Iranian government elements that support terrorism and its nuclear program. More diplomacy is not an adequate response."
On Fox News, Griffin described what would be a "good deal" for the U.S., with regards to Iran. Iran would comply with longstanding demands from the United States, IAEA, and UN Security Council, freeze its nuclear program, and ratify the additional protocol to IAEA safeguards agreement. Griffin also said that Iran has 7,000 kg of 3.5% "low-enriched uranium," which amounts to 70 percent progress toward having a nuclear weapon. He also called out Iran to stop building and disable the heavy water nuclear reactor at Iraq, which is a basis for building a plutonium-based nuclear weapon.
According to Executive Director Christopher Griffin, Russia's intervention in the Crimean Peninsula is part of a trend that has resulted "in an absence of American leadership" and that "'global pressure' against the American-led international order is intensifying." On NBC Nightly News on April 10, 2013, Griffin noted, "What North Korea teaches us is that once a rogue regime has a nuclear weapon, we have not figured out how to reliably contain it, how to protect Americans, or how to protect our allies." FPI has also called for the U.S. Department of Defense to cancel a $572 million contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia's government-owned arms exporter.
FPI proposed an active U.S. role in Syria. In 2012, Slate Magazine wrote, "The most forward-looking part of the FPI's conference came when the French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy chatted with Sen. John McCain (a PNAC signatory and contributing writer). They quickly agreed that America needed to intervene in Syria, setting up a partial no-fly zone and arming rebels." FPI advocated using Patriot missile-defense batteries, with Executive Director Griffin noting, "The United States and our allies could use the Patriot missile-defence batteries now deployed in southern Turkey to establish a credible threat against Assad's air power over parts of Aleppo and Idlib provinces [in northern Syria]."
In 2013, FPI has publicly circulated an open letter, signed by former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, opposing automatic cuts in defense spending. FPI cited the findings of a bipartisan panel on U.S. military readiness, which has opposed automatic defense cuts. FPI advocated for a full missile defense system and elimination of automatic defense cuts.William Kristol