While investigations into Russian influence in the 2016 election regularly garner front-page headlines, there is a half-billion-dollar foreign influence industry working to shape U.S. foreign policy every single day that remains largely unknown to the public. The Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative is working to change that anonymity through transparency promotion, investigative research, and public education.

Recent Publications

The Emirati Lobby: How the UAE Wins in Washington

How has the UAE maintained its privileged status? In short, the UAE has a vast and immensely influential lobbying and public relations campaign in America that has allowed the monarchy to exert considerable sway over U.S. policy, while keeping the UAE’s indiscretions largely hidden. In this report we attempt to tell the story of that influence operation.

by Ben Freeman


Sustainable Defense: More Security, Less Spending

An alternative defense strategy that avoids unnecessary and counterproductive wars, reduces the U.S. global military footprint, takes a more realistic view of the major security challenges facing the United States, and reduces waste and inefficiency could save at least $1.2 trillion in projected spending over the next decade while providing a greater measure of security...

Sustainable Defense Task Force, co-directed by William Hartung and Ben Freeman


Latest News

Tomgram: Ryan Summers and Ben Freeman, Of, By, and For Them (Not Us)


Foreign influence in America is the topic du jour. From the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s request that a foreign power investigate a political opponent to the indictment of associates of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. elections, the nation has been transfixed by news of illegal foreign influence in the political process. While such efforts to subvert American elections garner headlines, there remains a treasure trove of perfectly legal ways foreign powers are subverting American democracy. And they’re not waiting for election day -- they’re doing it every single day of the year.

by Ryan Summers and Ben Freeman

Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

The Lobbying Industry Is Shadowy and Full of Loopholes. Here’s What You Need to Know


As the House impeachment saga unfolds in frantic and dramatic fashion, it’s easy to forget the spark that instigated the proceedings began with something as pedestrian as political donations opening the door to lobbying on behalf of foreign interests.

Ben Freeman quoted

Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

Foreign Money Flows Into US Politics


Untold amounts of foreign donations are flowing into America's political system, with little accountability or limits.

Ben Freeman quoted

Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative

Meet The Experts


Ben Freeman



Center for International Policy

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