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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Showing posts for "Congress"

The World Next Week: North Korean Rocket Launch, the IAEA Iran Talk, and Another EU Summit

by James M. Lindsay
Anti-North Korean activists from conservative and right wing civic groups attend a rally in Seoul denouncing the North's plan for a rocket launch (Lee Jae-Won/Courtesy Reuters). Anti-North Korean activists from conservative and right wing civic groups attend a rally in Seoul denouncing the North's plan for a rocket launch (Lee Jae-Won/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed North Korea’s impending rocket launch; the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) discussion on Iran’s nuclear program; and the year-end EU summit. Read more »

An Embrace and a Slap: Congress Votes to Normalize Trade With Russia—and Slap It on the Wrist

by Guest Blogger for James M. Lindsay
Russian president Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U.S. president Barack Obama during the G20 summit in June 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters). Russian president Vladimir Putin shakes hands with U.S. president Barack Obama during the G20 summit in June 2012 (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters).

The U.S. Senate today approved a bill to normalize trade relations with Russia. The House voted overwhelmingly for it last month, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law. The move will allow U.S. companies to benefit from Russia’s recent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). However, the bill also includes a provision that penalizes Russian human rights violators—a move that infuriates Moscow, which has promised to strike back. I asked my colleague Anya Schmemann, who follows Russian issues, to explain the double-edged bill. Here’s what she had to say: Read more »

The World Next Week: Congress Goes Lame Duck, Greece’s Parliament Votes on a Budget, and California Auctions Carbon Pollution Allowances

by James M. Lindsay
President Barack Obama waves to the crowd of supporters in Chicago after winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters). President Barack Obama waves to the crowd of supporters in Chicago after winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed what the lame duck Congress will do now that President Barack Obama has won a second term; Greece’s vote on a yet another austerity package; and California’s upcoming auction of carbon pollution allowances. Read more »

TWE Remembers: John F. Kennedy Tells the World that Soviet Missiles Are in Cuba (Cuban Missile Crisis, Day Seven)

by James M. Lindsay

John F. Kennedy was a superb public speaker. His inaugural address is one of the best known and most frequently quoted speeches in American history. His press conference performance immediately after the Bay of Pigs, when he famously said that “victory has one-hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan,” helped blunt the political fallout from one of the biggest foreign policy fiascoes in U.S. history. But nothing matched the importance of the address Kennedy gave to the nation on the evening of October 22, 1962, when he told Americans (and the world) that the United States had discovered that the Soviet Union was secretly installing nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba.

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The World Next Week: Obama and Romney Debate, Netanyahu Visits the United States, the UN Talks Freedom of Speech, and Georgia Votes Amid Scandal

by James M. Lindsay
Jim Lehrer, seen here moderating the first 2008 presidential debate, will moderate next week's presidential debate at the University of Denver. (Chip Somodevilla/ courtesy Reuters) Jim Lehrer, seen here moderating the first 2008 presidential debate, will moderate next week's presidential debate at the University of Denver. (Chip Somodevilla/ courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the first presidential debate; Israeli prime minister Netanyahu’s visit to the United States; freedom of speech; and Georgia’s parliamentary elections. Read more »

Paul Ryan on Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay
Mitt Romney claps as vice president select Paul Ryan (R-WI) gives the thumbs up to supporters during a campaign event in Wisconsin. (Shannon Stapleton/courtesy Reuters) Mitt Romney claps as vice president select Paul Ryan (R-WI) gives the thumbs up to supporters during a campaign event in Wisconsin. (Shannon Stapleton/courtesy Reuters)

The weekend’s big news is that Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, to be his running mate.  Republicans are ecstatic over the choice. So are Democrats. One of the two is mistaken. Read more »

The World Next Week: Congress’s Recess, Syrian Violence, Hiroshima Anniversary, and NASA’s Mars Mission

by James M. Lindsay
Darkness sets in over the U.S. Capitol building. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters) Darkness sets in over the U.S. Capitol building. (Jonathan Ernst/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed where things stand in Washington as Congress recesses for the summer; the continued violence in Syria; the 67th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing; and the upcoming Mars landing of NASA’s rover, Curiosity. Read more »

Hola, Enrique Peña Nieto: President-Elect of Mexico

by James M. Lindsay
Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, speaking after exit polls showed him in first place following Mexico's election on July 1. (Tomas Bravo/courtesy Reuters) Mexico's president-elect, Enrique Peña Nieto, speaking after exit polls showed him in first place following Mexico's election on July 1. (Tomas Bravo/courtesy Reuters)

Enrique Peña Nieto had a very good weekend. While Americans were grumbling about record-breaking heat and residents of Washington, D.C., were learning to live without air conditioning because powerful storms Friday night left them without electricity, he was winning Mexico’s presidential election. With nearly 90 percent of the ballots counted, he looks to have won roughly 38 percent of the vote, handily defeating Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Partido de la Revolución Democrática (Party of the Democratic Revolution or PRD), who pulled in 32 percent, and Josefina Vázquez Mota of the Partido Acción Nacional (National Action Party or PAN), who pulled in 25 percent. Read more »

The World Next Week: World Powers Talk Syria, Mexicans Vote, and Congress Recesses

by James M. Lindsay
Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, speaks during a press conference in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/courtesy Reuters) Kofi Annan, the joint special envoy of the UN and the Arab League for Syria, speaks during a press conference in Geneva. (Denis Balibouse/courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon was out this week, so Stewart Patrick kindly offered to fill in. Stewart and I discussed the world powers crisis meeting on Syria in Geneva; the Mexican presidential election; and the U.S. House and Senate rise for recess. Read more »

TWE Remembers: The War of 1812

by James M. Lindsay
A depiction of the British attack on Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. (Library of Congress) A depiction of the British attack on Washington, DC, during the War of 1812. (Library of Congress)

Some dates in American history stand out. Mention April 12, 1861, December 7, 1941, or September 11, 2001 and most people know what historical event you have in mind. Ask what happened on June 18, 1812, however, and the most likely response is a blank stare. But on this date in 1812, the United States, then a weak and fragile country on the fringes of the known world, declared war on Great Britain, then one of the world’s most powerful countries. Read more »