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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Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris sits behind President-Elect Joe Biden as he proposes an economic relief package to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wilmington, Delaware, on January 14, 2021. Tom Brenner/Reuters.

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. Read More

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. 
  • United States
    Thanking America's Veterans
    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…
  • United States
    Happy 245th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!
    The U.S. Marine Corps turns 245 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 …
  • Election 2020
    Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Election 2020 Is Almost Over, Maybe
    Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: where things stand four days before Election Day.
  • Election 2020
    Campaign Foreign Policy Roundup: Biden and Trump Debate Foreign Policy, Kinda
    Each Friday, I look at what the presidential contenders are saying about foreign policy. This week: foreign policy was a topic at the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.