At the end of August, the Foreign Policy Initiative will cease to exist, ending an eight-year run for the conservative-policy organization. The small but active think tank has been a proponent of a hawkish, pro-defense national security policy agenda but found itself unable to survive in the Trump era.
[William] Kristol founded the non-profit organization with other neoconservative thought leaders Robert Kagan (now at the Brookings Institution), former undersecretary of defense for policy Eric Edelman and former Bush administration official Dan Senor. Although its funding wasn’t publicly disclosed, the bulk came from billionaire Paul Singer, according to staffers.
Those close to the organization said that in the new policy and political environment marked by the ascendency of Donald Trump, many donors, including Singer, are reassessing where to put their funds and FPI, although well established and well liked, simply didn’t warrant the continued investment.
Chris Griffin, the current executive director of FPI, noted that the think tank’s staff have gone on to serve in key positions with several members of Congress. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) was an FPI staffer. The organization’s first executive director, Jamie Fly, served as national security counselor to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).
Is all the speculation about the death of think tanks starting to come true? Will more think tanks collapse in 2017? Earlier in the year The Economist said that the world has reached "peak think tank."
Even with FPI going dark, Washington, DC still has around 400 think tanks, and the US has more than 1,800 of them.