James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The World Next Week: The War Powers Debate

by James M. Lindsay
June 17, 2011

President Barack Obama greets troops at Fort Campbell in Kentucky on May 6, 2011.

President Barack Obama greets troops at Fort Campbell in Kentucky on May 6, 2011. (Kevin Lamarque/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Speaker John Boehner’s charge that President Obama has violated the War Powers Resolution; the foreign policy positions of Republican presidential hopefuls; and the negotiation of a new bailout deal between Greece and the EU.

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The highlights:

  • Friction between the White House and Congress over President Obama’s authority to order U.S. forces to participate in the Libyan mission is growing. Congressional critics, however, face a significant obstacle: they can only force an end to U.S. participation by passing a law mandating just that. The prospects that such a law could pass anytime soon are small. Expect a lot more sound and fury to come from Capitol Hill nonetheless.
  • The GOP presidential candidates are making news this week on the foreign policy front even though they haven’t said much that is new. Some Republican candidates doubt the merits of the counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan. But then, so do most Americans. Republicans are divided over the merits of the Libyan intervention. These divisions inevitably stir up talk about resurgent isolationism in GOP circles. But it is possible to think that the Afghan and Libyan missions are wrongheaded without believing in the need to return to Fortress America.
  • The Greek debt problem is substantial and potentially unsalvageable. Even though Greece’s economy is relatively small, the ripple effects of its debt crisis could shake the foundations of international finance.
  • My Figure of the Week was Ayman al-Zawahiri. Bob’s was five. As always, you need to listen to the podcast to find out why Bob picked “five.”

The Wall Street Journal covers the Obama administration’s position on the Libya lawsuit, and CFR’s Matthew Waxman comments on how the situation could develop. Esquire has the scoop on Jon Huntsman’s foreign policy views, while the New York Times reports on several candidates’ positions on Afghanistan. Bloomberg News describes the grim economic and political circumstances in Greece, and Reuters outlines the concerns of the European Central Bank.

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