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 "Diplomacy"

The World Next Week: Obama Visits Mexico and Costa Rica, Shinzo Abe Visits Russia, Tensions Rise in the East China Sea

by James M. Lindsay
Barack Obama meets with Mexican president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto in the Oval Office in November (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Barack Obama meets with Mexican president-elect Enrique Peña Nieto in the Oval Office in November (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to Russia, and rising tensions in the East China Sea. Read more »

Obama’s Chemical Weapons Dilemma in Syria

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. secretary of defense Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters in Abu Dhabi after reading a statement on chemical weapon use in Syria (Jim Watson/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. secretary of defense Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters in Abu Dhabi after reading a statement on chemical weapon use in Syria (Jim Watson/Courtesy Reuters).

Do not threaten what you are not prepared to do. That is a cardinal rule of foreign policy. And it is a rule that is causing the White House diplomatic and political trouble now that it has agreed that Syria has likely used chemical weapons “on a small scale” against rebel forces. Read more »

The World Next Week: Italy Votes, NATO Defense Ministers Meet, and the UN Security Council Discusses North Korea

by James M. Lindsay
A woman walks past election posters in Rome (Tony Gentile/Courtesy Reuters). A woman walks past election posters in Rome (Tony Gentile/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Italy’s upcoming elections, the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels, and the UN Security Council discussion on North Korea. Read more »

The World Next Week: Obama Gives the State of the Union Address, Mario Draghi Visits Spain, and Bahrain’s Monarchy Talks to the Opposition

by James M. Lindsay
President Barack Obama delivers the 2012 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). President Barack Obama delivers the 2012 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed President Obama’s State of the Union address, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi’s speech to the Spanish parliament, and reconciliation talks in Bahrain. Read more »

The World Next Week: The EU Meets on Mali, Egypt Hosts the OIC Summit, and Cubans Vote on a National Assembly

by James M. Lindsay
French soldiers carry their equipment after arriving in Bamako, Mali on a U.S. transport plane (Eric Gaillard/Courtesy Reuters). French soldiers carry their equipment after arriving in Bamako, Mali on a U.S. transport plane (Eric Gaillard/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the upcoming EU meeting to discuss the situation in Mali, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Cairo, and elections for Cuba’s National Assembly. Read more »

The World Next Week: Confirmation Hearings Begin for Obama’s Cabinet Nominees, Biden Visits Europe, and the WTO Searches for Its Next Director-General

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) testifies at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination to be secretary of state (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) testifies at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his nomination to be secretary of state (Gary Cameron/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the confirmation hearings for President Obama’s cabinet nominees, Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Europe, and the World Trade Organization’s search for its next director-general. Read more »

What Did Obama’s Inaugural Address Say About Foreign Policy?

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address in Washington on January 21, 2013 (Brian Snyder/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address in Washington on January 21, 2013 (Brian Snyder/Courtesy Reuters).

Conventional wisdom has it that second-term presidents inevitably concentrate on foreign policy because they can’t get much done on domestic policy. To judge by President Obama’s inaugural address yesterday, he’s not convinced that the pundits have it right. Read more »

The World Next Week: Future U.S. Troop Levels in Afghanistan, Colombia and FARC Peace Talks, and the North American International Auto Show

by James M. Lindsay
U.S. president Barack Obama and Afghan president Hamid Karzai meet in Kabul in May 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. president Barack Obama and Afghan president Hamid Karzai meet in Kabul in May 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the debate over future U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, the resumption of peace talks between the Colombian government and the FARC rebels next week in Havana, and the start of the North American International Auto Show. Read more »

The World Next Week: Global Economic Risks After the Fiscal Cliff, Hugo Chavez’s Inauguration, and U.S.-Russian Talks on Syria

by James M. Lindsay
A man walks past a mural depicting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Courtesy Reuters). A man walks past a mural depicting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Caracas (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed global economic risks, Hugo Chavez’s presidential inauguration in Venezuela, and upcoming U.S.-Russian talks on Syria with UN and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. Read more »

The World Next Year: 2013 Edition

by James M. Lindsay
(Jorge Adorno/Courtesy Reuters). The Copa Libertadores trophy is seen during the draw for the 2013 edition of the competition at the South American Football Confederation headquarters (Jorge Adorno/Courtesy Reuters).

Bob McMahon and I typically use our weekly podcast to discuss major foreign policy issues likely to be in the news in the coming week. In honor of the approaching New Year, we decided to change things up and examine the issues likely to dominate world politics in 2013. We discussed a sluggish global economy; the fiscal crisis in the United States; power struggles in the Middle East; the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan; sovereignty disputes in east Asia; and the battle over Internet freedom. Paul Stares, director of CFR’s Center for Preventive Action (CPA), joined our conversation to talk about CPA’s newly released Preventive Priorities Survey, which assesses the likelihood and consequences of potential conflicts in 2013. Read more »