James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

The World Next Week: NATO Foreign Ministers Meet in Brussels, EU Discusses Chronic Diseases, and Syria Ships Out More Chemical Weapons

by James M. Lindsay Friday, March 28, 2014
U.S. secretary of state John Kerry attends a NATO foreign ministers meeting in December. (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. secretary of state John Kerry attends a NATO foreign ministers meeting in December. (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Stewart Patrick filled in for Bob McMahon this week. Stewart and I discussed NATO’s upcoming foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, the first European Union Chronic Diseases Summit, and progress in the dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapons. Read more »

Hello (Ciao), Matteo Renzi: Prime Minister of Italy

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi arrives to lead a news conference at Chigi palace in Rome. (Remo Casilli/Courtesy Reuters) Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi arrives to lead a news conference at Chigi palace in Rome. (Remo Casilli/Courtesy Reuters)

When President Barack Obama stops in Rome tomorrow he will be meeting with a politician who can match his own meteoric rise to power: Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. Last month the thirty-nine-year-old Renzi, the former mayor of Florence, engineered the ouster of Italy’s sitting prime minister, Enrico Letta, and took the job for himself. Renzi’s rise to power was all the more remarkable because he and Letta belonged to the same political party, Italy’s center-left Democratic Party (PD). Renzi was elected the PD’s party secretary only three months ago, and he immediately set his sights on the prime minister’s job. He was a pretty effective insurgent. Letta’s colleagues voted 136 to 16 to oust him, and on February 14, he resigned after less than a year in office. Renzi and his new government were sworn in on February 22. Read more »

How Do We Pay to Repair America’s Decaying Infrastructure?

by James M. Lindsay Monday, March 24, 2014
Passengers wait for a train at New York's Penn Station. (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters) Passengers wait for a train at New York's Penn Station. (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters)

America’s publicly owned infrastructure is falling apart. One in nine bridges in the United States is “structurally deficient.” There are 240,000 water main breaks each year. Thirty-two percent of America’s roads are in “poor or mediocre condition.” Amtrak’s Acela (which I am riding right now) is on time only 65.2 percent of the time, and runs at a top speed well below that achieved by fast trains overseas. Then there are the failings of airports like New York’s LaGuardia, which Vice President Joe Biden rightly likened last month to “some third-world country.” To add insult to injury, our long, harsh winter has only added to the long list of infrastructure repairs needed across the United States. So it’s not surprising that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States a D+ on its latest report card for America’s infrastructure. Read more »

The World Next Week: Obama Visits The Hague, Brussels, Rome, and Riyadh

by James M. Lindsay Friday, March 21, 2014
U.S. president Barack Obama boards Air Force One. (Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix Sweden/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. president Barack Obama boards Air Force One. (Claudio Bresciani/Scanpix Sweden/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Obama’s upcoming international trip. The president will be stopping in The Hague, where he will attend the Nuclear Security Summit and meet with world leaders on the sidelines; Brussels, where he will attend an EU-U.S. summit; Rome, where he will meet with the Italian prime minister and Pope Francis; and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with King Abdullah. Read more »

The World Next Week: Crimea Votes on Secession, Iranians Celebrate Nowruz, Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny Visits the United States

by James M. Lindsay Friday, March 14, 2014
A soldier posted in the Crimean town of Balaclava is seen in front of a Russian flag. (Baz Ratner/ Courtesy Reuters) A soldier posted in the Crimean town of Balaclava is seen in front of a Russian flag. (Baz Ratner/ Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the referendum in Crimea, Persian New Year and the next round of nuclear talks with Iran, and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s visit to the United States for Saint Patrick’s Day. Read more »

The World Next Week: Crimea Standoff Continues, Tibetans Commemorate Uprising Day, and the World Wide Web Turns Twenty-Five

by James M. Lindsay Friday, March 7, 2014
Pro-Russian demonstrators rally in the Crimean town of Yevpatoria. (Mark Levin/Courtesy Reuters) Pro-Russian demonstrators rally in the Crimean town of Yevpatoria. (Mark Levin/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Russia’s intervention in Crimea, Tibetan Uprising Day, and the World Wide Web’s twenty-fifth birthday.

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