The Water's Edge

The Water's Edge

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

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The Resolute desk pictured in the Oval Office on January 20, 2021. Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

The President's Inbox Episodes by Topic

The President's Inbox (TPI) has produced more than two hundred episodes since it debuted in November 2016. The topics covered have ranged from Afghanistan to China to human rights to Russia to the role of women in foreign policy. To make it easier for listeners to find episodes on related topics, this blog post organizes TPI episodes by topic. The list is updated each week. Read More

United States
TWE Celebrates Presidents’ Day
Today is Presidents’ Day. It is a TWE tradition to recognize the forty-five men—and they have all been men—who have been president on Presidents’ Day with the following essay, which has been revised …
United States
A Presidents' Day Quiz
Monday is Presidents’ Day. To get you in the proper celebratory mood, TWE presents its tenth annual Presidents’ Day quiz. If you are feeling up to it, you can try the quizzes from 2012, 2013, 2014, 2…
Transition 2021
Biden’s Inaugural Address to a Divided America
Joe Biden gave the nation a much-needed civics lesson today in the guise of an inaugural address. His message was impossible to miss—America’s strength lies in American unity. It is a simple, almost …
  • Transition 2021
    Remembering the Best (and Worst) Presidential Inaugural Addresses
    In two days, Joe Biden gets to do what only thirty-nine other Americans have ever done: deliver a presidential inaugural address. It is a tough task to do well under any circumstance. It’s even tough…
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: What Can Biden Get Done?
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden faces substantial obstacles in his bid to remake U.S. foreign policy after four years of America First.
  • Transition 2021
    Ten Things You Probably Don’t Know About Presidential Inaugurations
    By now you no doubt have heard that President Donald Trump will skip President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday. Given Trump’s role in inciting last week’s mob attack on the Capitol Buil…
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: A Divisive and Damaging Presidency Nears Its End
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The mob that stormed the Capitol Building this week highlighted how Donald Trump’s presidency has left the United States worse off than when he started.
  • 2020 in Review
    Ten Good Foreign Policy News Stories in 2020
    Two thousand twenty will go down in the books as a very tough year. It’s of no comfort that historians say it ranks just eighth in terms of the most stressful years in U.S. history. Our lives were di…
  • 2020 in Review
    Ten World Figures Who Died in 2020
    I wrote yesterday about ten Americans who died in 2020 who shaped U.S. foreign policy during their lifetimes. But Americans are not the only ones who influence world affairs. Below are ten world figu…
  • 2020 in Review
    Ten Foreign Policy Notables Who Died in 2020
    Year’s end is a time for taking stock, counting successes, and assessing failures. It is also time for remembering those who are no longer with us. Here are ten Americans who died in 2020 who through…