James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

TWE Remembers: Abraham Lincoln and the “Spot Resolutions”

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, December 22, 2011
Lincoln's handwritten copy of the "Spot Resolutions" (courtesy of National Archives). Lincoln's handwritten copy of the "Spot Resolutions" (courtesy of National Archives).

Last week the United States formally ended the war in Iraq. The war began with great patriotic fervor. It ended with two in three Americans saying that it had not been “worth the loss of American lives.” Sad to say, Iraq was not the first war to stoke public regrets and claims that a president had maneuvered the country into an unnecessary conflict. On this day 164 years ago, Abraham Lincoln introduced the so-called Spot Resolutions questioning President James Polk’s version of the events that precipitated the Mexican-American War. Read more »