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 "Politics"

A Bipartisan Strategy for U.S. Global Leadership

by Guest Blogger for James M. Lindsay
President Barack Obama shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) before Obama's 2012 State of the Union address (Larry Downing/ Courtesy Reuters). President Barack Obama shakes hands with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) before Obama's 2012 State of the Union address (Larry Downing/ Courtesy Reuters).

A bipartisan task force calling itself the Project for a United and Strong America (PUSA) released a report today, entitled “Setting Priorities for American Leadership,” outlining its ideas for a national security strategy to guide the Obama administration’s second term. PUSA is co-chaired by Kurt Volker, who served as ambassador to NATO under George W. Bush and is now executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership, and James Goldgeier, a member of the National Security Council staff under Bill Clinton and now dean of the School of International Service at American University. [Full disclosure: Jim and I have co-authored one or two things over the years.] My colleague, Mark Lagon, helped write the report. I asked him to explain the strategy that the report is advocating.  Read more »

Hello, Park Geun-hye: President of South Korea

by James M. Lindsay
South Korea's new president Park Geun-hye salutes the national flag during her inauguration (Lee Jae-Won/Courtesy Reuters). South Korea's new president Park Geun-hye salutes the national flag during her inauguration (Lee Jae-Won/Courtesy Reuters).

Glass ceilings are made to be broken. And today Park Geun-hye smashed one when she became the first woman to be sworn in as president of South Korea. Park defeated her left-of-center opponent, Moon Jae-in of the Democratic United Party (DUP), back in December with nearly 52 percent of the vote. To put that accomplishment in perspective, less than 16 percent of the seats in South Korea’s National Assembly are held by women, which places it 105th among legislatures worldwide, while 97 percent of senior government positions are held by men. Park’s ride into the Blue House was helped by the fact that she is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, the economic modernizer and military dictator who dominated South Korean politics from the time he took power in a coup in 1961 until his assassination in 1979. Many older South Koreans remember him fondly for lifting the country out of poverty, but liberal politicians and many younger South Koreans despise him for cruelly repressing his political opponents. Unlike her father, Park Guen-hye will have just a single five-year term to put her mark on South Korea. 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 Best (and Worst) Inaugural Addresses

by James M. Lindsay
A convoy of vehicles stages a parade rehearsal for Monday's inauguration ceremonies to mark the start of President Barack Obama's second term (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters). A convoy of vehicles stages a parade rehearsal for Monday's inauguration ceremonies to mark the start of President Barack Obama's second term (Jonathan Ernst/Courtesy Reuters).

On Monday Barack Obama gets to do what only sixteen presidents have done—give a second inaugural address. His first inaugural address was, like most inaugural addresses, unremarkable. Perhaps the problem was that expectations were too high given his well-earned reputation for being a great public speaker. His audience was expecting soaring oratory, and he delivered a solid tour of major issues facing the United States that even some of his supporters found to be a “hodgepodge.” Read more »

The World Next Week: Barack Obama Is Inaugurated, Shinzo Abe Visits Southeast Asia, and Israel and Jordan Vote

by James M. Lindsay
The U.S. Capitol prepares for President Obama's second inauguration with a dress rehearsal on January 13, 2013 (Mike Theiler/Courtesy Reuters). The U.S. Capitol prepared for President Obama's second inauguration with a dress rehearsal on January 13, 2013 (Mike Theiler/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Obama’s second inauguration; Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s tour of Southeast Asia; and next week’s elections in Israel and Jordan 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 »

World Outlook in 2013

by James M. Lindsay
Nigerian River state governor Amechi stands with security officials to assess a burnt commercial bus (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters). Nigerian River state governor Amechi stands with security officials to assess a burnt commercial bus (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters).

CFR.org just posted a conversation I had with Bernard Gwertzman about the world outlook in 2013. We discussed three sets of issues: turmoil in the greater Middle East (Egypt, Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan); rising tensions in East Asia (territorial disputes in the East China and South China seas and the U.S. “pivot”; and turbulence in the global economy (prompted in part by the impending “fiscal cliff” in the United States).  But those three subjects hardly exhaust the list of issues that could dominate the news in the coming year. Here are five other stories I will be watching in 2013. Read more »