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: North Atlantic Treaty Signing

by James M. Lindsay

A new installment of “Lessons Learned” is now out. This week I examine the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC, on April 4, 1949. In the video, I look at how American membership in NATO marked a fundamental shift for U.S. foreign policy and discuss how difficult it can be for a country to undertake such a shift. Here’s a question to consider when thinking about these kinds of changes: Does the emergence of China, India, Brazil, and other rising powers require a fundamental rethinking of American foreign policy? 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: 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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