James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

Ten Historical Anniversaries of Note in 2017

by James M. Lindsay Friday, December 2, 2016
The body of Army Corporal Frank Buckles lies in repose at Arlington National Cemetery's memorial amphitheater in 2011. Buckles was the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran. The body of Army Corporal Frank Buckles lies in repose at Arlington National Cemetery's memorial amphitheater in 2011. Buckles was the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran.

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand and sixteen witnessed many significant historical anniversaries: the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the fiftieth anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Gulf War, to name a few. Two thousand and seventeen will also see anniversaries of many significant events in world history. Here are ten of note: Read more »

Facebook Live: The President-elect and U.S. Trade Policy

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Delegates protesting against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement hold up signs during the first sesssion of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Reuters/Mike Kauzlarich) Delegates protesting against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement hold up signs during the first sesssion of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Reuters/Mike Kauzlarich)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Edward “Ted” Alden to discuss what Donald Trump’s election means for U.S. trade policy. We discussed how President-elect Trump might reorient U.S. trade policy, the likely demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, how America’s trade partners might respond to a more muscular U.S. trade policy, and the economic benefits of retraining and apprenticeship programs, among other topics. Read more »

Facebook Live: The President-elect and American Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay Friday, November 11, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Ocala, Florida. (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar) President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Ocala, Florida. (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Stewart Patrick, the director of CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance Program, to discuss what Donald Trump’s election means for American foreign policy. We discussed the president-elect’s views on international institutions, U.S. engagement abroad, trade, the Paris climate accord, and the Iran nuclear deal, among other topics. You can check out the video of our discussion below or on Facebook. Read more »

Remembering Veterans Day

by James M. Lindsay Friday, November 11, 2016
A war veteran waves a U.S. flag as he marches up Fifth Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade.  (Photo: Carlo Allegri/ Reuters) A war veteran waves a U.S. flag as he marches up Fifth Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/ Reuters)

Today is Veterans Day. Americans first celebrated it on November 11, 1919, one year to the day after the end of the conflict they knew as the Great War and we (regrettably) know today as World War I. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message proclaiming the first celebration of “Armistice Day.” The holiday was meant to show “gratitude for victory” in World War I and solemn pride “for those that died in our country’s service.” On that day, all business was suspended for two minutes starting at 11 a.m. and parades and public gatherings commemorated the war’s end. The choice of time was deliberate. The agreement ending World War I went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Read more »

The United States Marine Corps Celebrates Its 241st Birthday Today

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, November 10, 2016
U.S. Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion  run for cover during a non-live fire training exercise. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni) U.S. Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion run for cover during a non-live fire training exercise. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

The Marine Corps turns 241 years-old today. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to create a Marine force composed of two battalions. Since then, the Marines have been “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” and many other places as well. Read more »

Facebook Live: Brexit, Erdogan’s Crackdown, and South Korea’s Political Scandal

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, November 8, 2016
A supporter holds a flag depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 20, 2016 (Reuters/Baz Ratner). A supporter holds a flag depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 20, 2016 (Reuters/Baz Ratner).

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Anya Schmemann, CFR’s communications director, to review some foreign policy events in the news. We discussed the British High Court’s ruling that the British Parliament must vote on whether Britain should leave the European Union, Turkish President Erdogan’s wide-ranging crackdown on the media and Kurdish political opposition, and the fallout from the political scandal that has engulfed South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s presidency, among other topics. Read more »

Facebook Live: Denial of Service Attacks, Hacking U.S. Elections, and Deterrence in Cyberspace

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, November 3, 2016
A man is seen near cyber code and the U.S. National Security Agency logo in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo on  March 11, 2015 (Reuters/Dado Ruvic). A man is seen near cyber code and the U.S. National Security Agency logo in this photo illustration taken in Sarajevo on March 11, 2015 (Reuters/Dado Ruvic).

Last week, I sat down with my colleague Adam Segal, CFR’s director of digital and cyberspace policy, to discuss the recent denial of service attacks on popular websites like Netflix and Twitter, the vulnerability of the U.S. presidential election to hacking, and the effectiveness of deterrence in cyberspace, among other topics. Read more »

Facebook Live: Mosul, Duterte, and the Venezuela Crisis

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, September 1, 2016 (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins). Protesters clash with riot police during a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, September 1, 2016 (Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins).

On Monday, I sat down with my colleague Anya Schmemann, CFR’s communications director, to review some foreign policy events in the news. We discussed the Iraqi bid to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, Rodrigo Duterte’s desire to distance the Philippines economically and militarily from the United States, and the growing crisis in Venezuela, among other topics. Read more »

The United States Air Force Celebrates Its 69th Birthday Today

by James M. Lindsay Sunday, September 18, 2016
The F-16 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly in formation. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters) The F-16 U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds fly in formation. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

The United States Air Force (USAF) turns 69 years-old today. On September 18, 1947, Chief Justice Fred Vinson swore in Stuart Symington as the first secretary of the air force, officially founding a new branch of the U.S. military. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF’s first chief of staff eight days later on September 26, 1947. Read more »

Remembering Ho Chi Minh’s 1945 Declaration of Vietnam’s Independence

by James M. Lindsay Friday, September 2, 2016
Ho Chi Minh

What if? Those two words are easy to ask, whether about our own lives or world history. But the answers can be haunting—a different choice might have created a better opportunity or prevented a tragedy. Just consider the U.S. response to Ho Chi Minh’s declaration of Vietnam’s independence on September 2, 1945. Read more »