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 "History Lessons"

Lessons Learned: LBJ Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement on March 31, 1968, that he would not seek reelection as president. In the video, I discuss how Johnson’s decisions on Vietnam derailed a presidency that had accomplished historic success on domestic issues. Here’s a question to consider when thinking about foreign policy: why are presidents so eager to pursue an activist foreign policy when history suggests that it so often hurts them politically? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Lessons Learned: Tokyo Sarin Gas Attack

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the sarin gas attack that Aum Shinrikyo carried out in the Tokyo subway system on March 20, 1995. In the video, I discuss how technological advances increasingly mean that governments are no longer the only ones capable of inflicting mass destruction.  Here’s a question to consider: what steps should society take to protect itself as technology makes it easier for terrorists, messianic figures, or just embittered individuals to inflict great harm? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Lessons Learned: Hitler’s Rearmament of Germany

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss Adolf Hitler’s announcement on March 16, 1935, that he would rearm Germany in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. In the video, I discuss the difficulty of recognizing when to confront an aggressive and expansionist state. Here’s a question to consider: what are the tell-tale signs that a country can only be confronted and not accommodated? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Lessons Learned: The Firebombing of Tokyo

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the firebombing of Tokyo, also known as “Operation Meetinghouse,” which began on March 9, 1945. In the video I discuss the destructive power of conventional weapons and explore what lessons their use in 1945 has for understanding international relations today. Here’s a question to consider in light of the power of conventional weapons: what more should the international community be doing to prevent conventional warfare? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Lessons Learned: The Articles of Confederation

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the Articles of Confederation, America’s first constitution. It entered into effect on March 1, 1781, after Maryland became the thirteenth and final colony to ratify it. In the video I examine the Articles’ weaknesses and explore what lessons they have for understanding international relations today. Here’s a question to consider in light of the fact that the founders gave up on the Articles after only six years: What makes for a durable and effective constitution? I encourage you to weigh in with your answer in the comments section below.

I hope you enjoy the video.

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Lessons Learned: Japanese-American Internment During WWII

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I discuss the signing of Executive Order 9066 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on February 19, 1942—which set in motion the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II—and examine what lessons it has for understanding international relations today.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Lessons Learned: The Seizure of the USS Pueblo

by James M. Lindsay

We’ve introduced a new video series here at CFR.org—“Lessons Learned.” Each week I recount an historical event with an eye toward teasing out what lessons it might hold for foreign policy today. We’ve already done episodes on the Ludlow Amendment and JFK’s inaugural address. This week the topic is the seizure of the USS Pueblo on January 23, 1968.  I hope you enjoy it.

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