The Water's Edge
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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 White House on January 20, 2021. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

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. If you are lucky enough to have today off, enjoy it. Read More

Transition 2021
Transition 2021: How Much Foreign Policy Leverage Is Trump Leaving Biden?
Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: The Biden administration may have less leverage to strike winning deals than he, and many of his critics, might think.
2020 in Review
Ten Most Significant World Events in 2020
Four years ago stories appeared asking whether 2016 was the worst year ever. Well, 2020 has 2016 beat. You would have to go back to 1968 to find a year filled with as much turmoil. Yes, the past twel…
  • Elections and Voting
    The 2020 Election by the Numbers
    It’s almost over. Yesterday Electoral College electors convened virtually or in person in state capitals across the country to cast their votes. The result was what everyone expected, the election of…
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: Should a Retired General Be Secretary of Defense?
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Biden’s nomination of General Lloyd Austin to be secretary of defense raises questions about civilian oversight of the military.
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: The Looming Iran Crisis
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Iran will likely provide an early test for Biden and his national security team.
  • United States
    Ten Anniversaries to Note in 2021
    Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. Two thousand twenty witnessed many significant anniversaries: the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War …
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: Do Germans Believe America Is Back?
    President-Elect Joe Biden has his work cut out for himself in his effort to restore allies’ trust in U.S. foreign policy.
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: Should Lame-Duck Presidents Make Major Foreign Policy Decisions?
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Donald Trump is using all the powers of his presidency and creating a host of problems for the incoming Biden administration.
  • Transition 2021
    Transition 2021: When Presidents Don’t Concede
    Each Friday, I look at what is happening in President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition to the White House. This week: Trump puts the transition process in limbo and Biden begins building his team.