James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

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

The World Next Week: TTIP Talks Resume, Congress Votes on a Budget Deal, and U.S.-Afghan Security Negotiations Continue

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, December 12, 2013
U.S. and European Union flags on display at negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels in November. (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters) U.S. and European Union flags on display at negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership in Brussels in November. (Francois Lenoir/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks in Washington, a possible U.S. budget deal, and U.S.-Afghan security negotiations. Read more »

Ten Elections to Watch in 2014

by James M. Lindsay Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Voters line up outside a polling booth during the state assembly election last week in New Delhi, India. (Ahmad Masood/Courtesy Reuters) Voters line up outside a polling booth during the state assembly election last week in New Delhi, India. (Ahmad Masood/Courtesy Reuters)

Two thousand and thirteen won’t go down in the history books as a banner year for globally significant elections. True, the election of Hassan Rouhani changed the tone in Tehran and possibly opened the door to a lasting diplomatic solution to the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program. But the outcome of most of the elections held in 2013—and there were a lot of them—mattered primarily to the people who cast the ballots. In contrast, 2014 is shaping up as a year in which the choices voters make could reverberate well beyond their country’s borders. So for those of you eager to peer ahead, here are ten elections to watch for in 2014. Read more »

The World Next Week: IAEA Inspectors Visit Iran, Protests Continue in Ukraine, and Biden Wraps Up His Asia Trip

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, December 5, 2013
The heavy-water reactor site in Arak, Iran in 2011 (ISNA/Hamid Forootan/Courtesy Reuters) The heavy-water reactor site in Arak, Iran in 2011 (ISNA/Hamid Forootan/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the heavy water research reactor in Arak, Iran, surging protests in Ukraine, and Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Asia. Read more »

Do Americans Like President Obama’s Handling of Foreign Policy?

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, December 4, 2013
President Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic Party fundraiser in San Francisco. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters) President Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic Party fundraiser in San Francisco. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)

The Pew Research-CFR poll released yesterday found that the American public’s skepticism about foreign policy activism has hit record levels. That skepticism is good news for President Obama given his reluctance to put U.S. prestige and resources on the line in messy disputes like Syria. The public isn’t itching to intervene overseas, and neither is the president. Read more »

Will Congress Overrule Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal?

by James M. Lindsay Monday, November 25, 2013
President Barack Obama speaks on November 23, 2013 about the nuclear deal with Iran. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters) President Barack Obama speaks on November 23, 2013 about the nuclear deal with Iran. (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters)

President Obama’s “historic” deal with Iran is getting panned on Capitol Hill. And not just by Republicans. Senator Chuck Schumer, the number three Senate Democrat, and Senator Bob Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are promising to work with their Republican colleagues on new sanctions legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said last week he would schedule a sanctions vote when the Senate returns in two weeks from its Thanksgiving break. Read more »

The World Next Week: The EU and Ukraine Discuss a Trade Deal, the European Court of Human Rights Reviews France’s “Burqa Ban,” and Mali Elects Its Parliament

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, November 21, 2013
Ukrainian and EU flags are displayed before a session of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on November 21, 2013 (Gleb Garanich/Courtesy Reuters). Ukrainian and EU flags are displayed before a session of the Ukrainian parliament in Kiev on November 21, 2013 (Gleb Garanich/Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the trade negotiations between the European Union and Ukraine, the European Court on Human Rights’ deliberations on France’s “burqa ban,” and the Malian elections. Read more »

Does Congress Shape the Conduct of American Diplomacy?

by James M. Lindsay Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The U.S. Capitol building (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters). The U.S. Capitol building (Jim Bourg/Courtesy Reuters).

Yesterday marked the 94th anniversary of one of the most significant turning points in American foreign policy history: the Senate’s vote to reject the Treaty of Versailles. By coincidence, yesterday also saw World Politics Review publish a piece I wrote entitled “Backseat Driving: The Role of Congress in American Diplomacy.” Here is an excerpt to give you a flavor of the argument: Read more »

The World Next Week: Iran Talks Resume in Geneva, Chile Votes for President, and New Space Missions Launch

by James M. Lindsay Thursday, November 14, 2013
P5+1 foreign ministers meet with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Iran nuclear talks in Geneva on November 9, 2013 (Jason Reed/ Courtesy Reuters). P5+1 foreign ministers meet with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Iran nuclear talks in Geneva on November 9, 2013 (Jason Reed/ Courtesy Reuters).

The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the ongoing Iranian nuclear negotiations, the Chilean presidential election, and the space missions launching next week. Read more »

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

by James M. Lindsay Sunday, November 10, 2013
U.S. Marine Corps Major General Michael Dana uses a saber to slice a cake for the Marines' 237th birthday (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. Marine Corps Major General Michael Dana uses a saber to slice a cake for the Marines' 237th birthday (Chip East/Courtesy Reuters).

The Marine Corps turns 238 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 »