James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

Ten American Foreign Policy Influentials Who Died in 2016

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, December 28, 2016
A bugler plays "Taps" at Arlington National Cemetery (Photo: Reuters/Gary Cameron).

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 Americans who died in 2016 who through their vision, service, intellect, or courage helped shape U.S. foreign policy. They will be missed. Read more »

Facebook Live: Japan’s Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay Friday, December 23, 2016
U.S. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe attend a ceremony at the Atomic Bomb Dome at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on May 27, 2016. (Photo: Toru Hanai/Reuters)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Sheila Smith to discuss Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s historic visit to Pearl Harbor next week. We also discussed President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima, disputes in the South China Sea, the future of U.S.-Japanese relations, and Japan’s relations with its neighbors as well as with Russia, among other topics. Read more »

Ten Most Significant World Events in 2016

by James M. Lindsay Friday, December 16, 2016
U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House (Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque).

Stories began appearing midway through 2016 asking whether it was the worst year ever. It wasn’t. It’s not even the worst year in the last half century. (Try 1968. Or 1974. Or 1979.) But 2016 certainly had its share of significant world events. Here are my top ten. You may want to read what follows closely. Several of these stories will continue into 2017. Read more »

Ten Elections to Watch in 2017

by James M. Lindsay Friday, December 9, 2016
An Iranian woman holds her daughter while casting her ballot for the parliament and Assembly of Experts in 2016.

Millions of people around the world went to the polls this year. The results provided plenty of surprises. British voters defied the pollsters and voted to leave the European Union. Colombians did much the same in rejecting their government’s peace deal with FARC, though Colombia’s president found a way to complete the deal a few months later without a vote. The biggest electoral surprise of all might have been in the United States, where Donald Trump defied the political experts and defeated Hillary Clinton. Perhaps 2017 will produce similarly surprising results. Here are ten elections to watch. Read more »

Ten Historical Anniversaries of Note in 2017

by James M. Lindsay Friday, December 2, 2016
The body of Army Corporal Frank Buckles lies in repose at Arlington National Cemetery's memorial amphitheater in 2011. Buckles was the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran.

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand and sixteen witnessed many significant historical anniversaries: the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the fiftieth anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Gulf War, to name a few. Two thousand and seventeen will also see anniversaries of many significant events in world history. Here are ten of note: Read more »

Facebook Live: The President-elect and U.S. Trade Policy

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Delegates protesting against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement hold up signs during the first sesssion of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Reuters/Mike Kauzlarich)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Edward “Ted” Alden to discuss what Donald Trump’s election means for U.S. trade policy. We discussed how President-elect Trump might reorient U.S. trade policy, the likely demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, how America’s trade partners might respond to a more muscular U.S. trade policy, and the economic benefits of retraining and apprenticeship programs, among other topics. Read more »

Facebook Live: The President-elect and American Foreign Policy

by James M. Lindsay Friday, November 11, 2016
President-elect Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Ocala, Florida. (Photo: Reuters/Mike Segar)

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Stewart Patrick, the director of CFR’s International Institutions and Global Governance Program, to discuss what Donald Trump’s election means for American foreign policy. We discussed the president-elect’s views on international institutions, U.S. engagement abroad, trade, the Paris climate accord, and the Iran nuclear deal, among other topics. You can check out the video of our discussion below or on Facebook. Read more »

Remembering Veterans Day

by James M. Lindsay Friday, November 11, 2016
A war veteran waves a U.S. flag as he marches up Fifth Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade. (Photo: Carlo Allegri/ Reuters)

Today is Veterans Day. Americans first celebrated it on November 11, 1919, one year to the day after the end of the conflict they knew as the Great War and we (regrettably) know today as World War I. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message proclaiming the first celebration of “Armistice Day.” The holiday was meant to show “gratitude for victory” in World War I and solemn pride “for those that died in our country’s service.” On that day, all business was suspended for two minutes starting at 11 a.m. and parades and public gatherings commemorated the war’s end. The choice of time was deliberate. The agreement ending World War I went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Read more »

The United States Marine Corps Celebrates Its 241st Birthday Today

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, November 10, 2016
U.S. Marines from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion run for cover during a non-live fire training exercise. (Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

The Marine Corps turns 241 years-old today. On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution to create a Marine force composed of two battalions. Since then, the Marines have been “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” and many other places as well. Read more »

Facebook Live: Brexit, Erdogan’s Crackdown, and South Korea’s Political Scandal

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, November 8, 2016
A supporter holds a flag depicting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 20, 2016 (Reuters/Baz Ratner).

I sat down yesterday with my colleague Anya Schmemann, CFR’s communications director, to review some foreign policy events in the news. We discussed the British High Court’s ruling that the British Parliament must vote on whether Britain should leave the European Union, Turkish President Erdogan’s wide-ranging crackdown on the media and Kurdish political opposition, and the fallout from the political scandal that has engulfed South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s presidency, among other topics. Read more »