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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A Presidents’ Day Quiz

by James M. Lindsay
President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump and former President Barack Obama with Michelle Obama at the inauguration on January 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Pool New)

Monday is Presidents’ Day. To get you in the proper celebratory mood, TWE presents its sixth annual Presidents’ Day quiz. If you are feeling up to it, you can try the quizzes from 201220132014, 2015, and 2016 as well. Read more »

The Deep Partisan Split on Trump’s Immigration and Refugee Moves

by James M. Lindsay
President Donald Trump signs an executive order imposing tighter vetting on travelers entering the United States. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Gallup put out a poll today that shows most Americans disapprove of President Trump’s recent moves on immigration and refugees. Here’s the chart: Read more »

Facebook Live: Trump’s Trade and Immigration Initiatives

by James M. Lindsay
Shipping containers at the Port Newark Container Terminal. (Photo: Mike Segar /Reuters)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Ted Alden to discuss Donald Trump’s recent trade and immigration initiatives. We talked about U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, bilateral versus global trade agreements, the future of U.S. trade policy, U.S.-Mexican border tensions, and immigration restrictions, among other topics. Read more »

Trump Had A Busy First Week on Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay
President Donald Trump signs an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (Photo: Reuters/ Kevin Lamarque)

Donald Trump said on the campaign trail that he would do things differently in foreign policy and do different things. Seven days into his presidency, he has been good to his word. Indeed, he has done so many different things differently that you may have had a hard time keeping up. So here is a brief synopsis of some of his initial foreign policy initiatives to help you get up to speed. Read more »

The Bid to Give Congress a Say on Any Move to Relax Sanctions on Russia

by James M. Lindsay
The West front of the U.S. Capitol. (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)

I wrote on Monday that Donald Trump’s critics on Capitol Hill will have a hard time challenging his foreign policy choices. An early test of that claim could come in the form of a new bill that would require congressional approval before Trump could relax existing sanctions on Russia. Read more »

Congressional Critics Will Find It Hard to Trump Trump on Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay
President Donald Trump celebrates after his inauguration on January 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Donald Trump’s inaugural address showed that he intends to do things differently and to do different things. The biggest changes could come in foreign policy. His address shunned the usual talk about American global leadership. It instead described an America impoverished from bearing the burden for others. Trump’s America will tend to its narrow interests first: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration (and) on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.” Read more »

Donald Trump’s Low Favorability Rating Means Less Than You Might Think

by James M. Lindsay
President-Elect Donald Trump arrives at Andrews Air Force Base on January 19, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Donald Trump is set to become president tomorrow with the lowest favorability ratings of any recent U.S. president. Does that mean he will have trouble enacting his agenda for making America great again? Hardly. Read more »

Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Presidential Inaugurations

by James M. Lindsay
The U.S. Capitol in preparation for the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

To get you ready for Inauguration Day, here are ten lesser known facts about presidential inaugurations.

  1. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the forty-fifth U.S. president, but he will be only the thirty-ninth person to give an inaugural address. John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester Arthur, and Gerald Ford were all vice presidents who ascended to the presidency after the death or resignation of a president. They never won election on their own, so they never gave an inaugural address. Grover Cleveland held two nonconsecutive terms as president, and as a result, he is counted as the twenty-second and twenty-fourth president of the United States.
  2. Read more »

Remembering the Best (and Worst) Inaugural Addresses

by James M. Lindsay
The view from the podium on which Donald Trump will deliver his inaugural address on January 20, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Jim Bourg)

In three days, Donald J. Trump gets to do what only thirty-eight other Americans have ever done: deliver an inaugural address. He can expect a large audience for his remarks. Nearly 38 million Americans watched Barack Obama’s first inaugural address. Read more »

Ten World Figures Who Died in 2016

by James M. Lindsay
REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2016 who helped shape U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figures who died this year. Each made a mark on history. Some were heroes; some were villains. And for some, which they were is your call to make. Read more »