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"

Ten Foreign Policy Voices That Will Be Missed

by James M. Lindsay
A boatman arranges wishing spheres released onto the Singapore River as part of New Year Day celebrations. (Edgar Su/Courtesy Reuters) A boatman arranges wishing spheres released onto the Singapore River as part of New Year Day celebrations. (Edgar Su/Courtesy Reuters)

Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes and assessing failures. It is also a time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten people who died in 2012 who made significant contributions to American foreign policy. They will be missed. 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 »

Americans Oppose Intervention in Syria

by James M. Lindsay
A damaged area of Syria is pictured after a car bomb near Damascus on December 13 (SANA/Courtesy Reuters). A damaged area of Syria is pictured after a car bomb near Damascus on December 13 (SANA/Courtesy Reuters).

The Pew Research Center is out with a new poll today on U.S. public attitudes toward Syria. The results are unambiguous: Americans want nothing to do with the civil war that has now killed almost 40,000 Syrians. More than six-in-ten respondents (63 percent) say that the United States does not have a responsibility to do something to end the fighting in Syria. A slightly higher number (65 percent) opposes even arming rebel groups in Syria. Read more »

The World Next Week: Japan Elects a Parliament; South Korea Chooses a President, Egypt Decides on a Constitution, and the U.S. Electoral College Votes

by James M. Lindsay
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe shows a leaflet from the party's campaign during a news conference in Tokyo (Kyodo/ Courtesy Reuters). Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader Shinzo Abe shows a leaflet from the party's campaign during a news conference in Tokyo (Kyodo/ Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed Japan’s parliamentary elections; South Korea’s presidential election; Egypt’s constitutional referendum; and the Electoral College vote for the U.S. president and vice president. 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 »

What Foreign Policy Challenges Will the Next President Face?

by James M. Lindsay
A U.S. Army soldier high-fives with an Afghan boy during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan (Umit Bektas/ Courtesy Reuters). A U.S. Army soldier high-fives with an Afghan boy during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan (Umit Bektas/ Courtesy Reuters).

Former New York Times correspondent and current CFR.org consulting editor Bernard Gwertzman interviewed me the other day about the foreign policy challenges awaiting whoever wins next Tuesday’s election. The interview is now up on CFR.org. Read more »

The World Next Week: Hurricane Sandy Revives Climate Change Talk, Americans Vote for President, and China Appoints New Leaders

by James M. Lindsay
An American flag stands on top of the devastated Rockaway beach boardwalk in Queens after Hurricane Sandy (Shannon Stapleton/ Courtesy Reuters). An American flag stands on top of the devastated Rockaway beach boardwalk in Queens after Hurricane Sandy (Shannon Stapleton/ Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; next week’s presidential election; and China’s change in leadership. Read more »

Obama and Romney Set to Focus on the Middle East

by James M. Lindsay
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama point fingers during the second presidential debate. (Mike Segar/ courtesy Reuters) Mitt Romney and Barack Obama point fingers during the second presidential debate. (Mike Segar/ courtesy Reuters)

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet tonight in Boca Raton, Florida to debate foreign policy. Both campaigns see the third and final debate as their best opportunity to reach the public before Election Day. The two candidates will be speaking to voters who expect to hear affirmations of U.S. leadership but who are also skeptical of foreign entanglements in the midst of tough economic times and after more than a decade of war. Read more »

TWE Remembers: Five Memorable Foreign Policy Moments in Presidential Debates

by James M. Lindsay
John McCain and Barack Obama debate foreign policy at the University of Mississippi in 2008. (Jim Bourg/ courtesy Reuters) John McCain and Barack Obama debate foreign policy at the University of Mississippi in 2008. (Jim Bourg/ courtesy Reuters)

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney meet tonight in Boca Raton, Florida to debate foreign policy. Both men hope that what they say will move voters in their direction. But that’s not always how debates go. Here are five memorable moments from past debates when presidents took on foreign policy. Read more »