James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

TWE Remembers: The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

by James M. Lindsay Friday, June 27, 2014
Franz Ferdinand Sophie Sarajevo A room at the Franz Ferdinand hostel in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which features a photo taken of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie on the day they were assassinated. (Dado Ruvic/Courtesy Reuters)

A loving couple. An heir to the throne. A wife shunned by her husband’s family. Two countries bitterly at odds. A shadowy secret organization. Security officials indifferent to their responsibilities. Young men willing to die for a cause. Warnings of imminent danger that go unheeded or are never passed along. Bravery that in retrospect looks like recklessness. Bombs, guns, and cyanide. A chance mistake that puts a victim in the crosshairs of an assassin. Two gunshots. Read more »

More Books to Read This Summer

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Books Summer Reading Library Visitors read books at the Liyuan Library in Beijing. (Barry Huang/Courtesy Reuters)

Last week, Bob McMahon, Gideon Rose, and I offered up our summer reading suggestions on The World Next Week podcast. India Adams and her colleagues on the CFR Library staff were not to be outdone. They generated their own, much longer summer reading list, organized by topic. They had a lot of good suggestions, so I thought I’d share the ones that Bob, Gideon, and I haven’t already recommended: Read more »

Birthday Wishes to the United States Army!

by James M. Lindsay Saturday, June 14, 2014
Army Birthday Soldiers Salute U.S. Army soldiers salute during the Army's 237th anniversary celebrations at Times Square in New York on June 14, 2012. (Shannon Stapleton/Courtesy Reuters)

Doughboy. GI. Grunt. Dogface. Warrior. Whatever term you prefer, if you see an active duty, former, or retired member of the United States Army today, wish their service Happy Birthday. The United States Army just turned 239 years old.

The Army website provides a short but thorough overview of its history. Here are five things worth knowing: Read more »

The World Next Week: Books to Read This Summer

by James M. Lindsay Friday, June 13, 2014
Summer Reading Books Bookstore A woman reads a book at her open air book store in Skopje, Macedonia. (Ognen Teofilovski/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. This week, Bob McMahon and I took a break from our regular discussion of next week’s news to kick off the summer with some reading recommendations. We were joined by Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, who also gave his suggestions. Read more »

Hello (Ahlan), Abdul Fattah al-Sisi: President of Egypt

by James M. Lindsay Monday, June 9, 2014
Sisi President Egypt Abdul Fattah al-Sisi arrives for a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin near Moscow in February. (Maxim Shemetov/Courtesy Reuters)

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi took the oath of office as Egypt’s new president yesterday.  He succeeded the interim president, Adly Mansour. And who appointed Mansour? Why, Sisi himself after he and the Egyptian military overthrew the previous president, Mohamed Morsi, last July. How Sisi went from field marshal to president is not lost on any Egyptians. To some, he is a hero who saved the country from the looming tyranny of the Muslim Brotherhood and gave Egyptians the chance for a more prosperous future. To others, he is a villain who derailed Egypt’s emerging democracy and thwarted the public will. Managing that deep divide may be Sisi’s most immediate challenge. But it is far from his only one. Egypt’s economy has faltered in the wake of the political and social turmoil of the past three years. If Sisi can’t get the economy back on track, Egypt’s political and social turmoil will only intensify, with perhaps profound consequences for the region. Read more »