In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 14, 2005 / 5 Nisan, 5765

U.S. moves to solidify its influence in the Caucasus

By George Friedman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In a little-noticed detour from his swing through Central Asia and Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made a stop April 12 in Azerbaijan. There, sources say, government officials agreed to host U.S. forces at three bases in what, in all likelihood, would be a long-term arrangement. A day earlier, U.S. State Department envoys met with leaders in a breakaway region of neighboring Georgia, signaling strong interest in ending that country's secessionist conflicts.

The implications of these two events — quite apart from the broader U.S. offensive into Moscow's traditional sphere of influence, where it has been supporting opposition movements in ousting authoritarian regimes — are significant. Clearly, the United States is moving to solidify its influence, both physically and via proxy, in the Caucasus — the soft underbelly of Russia.

No matter how much truth there might be to the Bush administration's public justification for its policy offensive in the region (democratization), Moscow's immediate conclusion (that Washington intends to annihilate Russia as a regional power) can be argued with equal force and logic.

The U.S. strategy in this region is complex: Moscow is correct in its belief that Washington has launched an assault against Russian influence, but the game is much larger than that. Together with Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan form a land bridge between the Black and Caspian Seas, and thus represent in important transport corridor for Caspian and Central Asian energy supplies that have attracted huge investments from the West.

At the same time, exerting control of the Caucasus would complete the United States' geopolitical encirclement of Iran. This, coupled with a string of other political investments through central Asia, would give Washington new leverage and power projection capabilities smack through the middle of what, during the Cold War, was considered "enemy" territory and, to the south, breeding grounds for Islamist militant movements.

The risks are high in both the near and long term.

First, consider the situation in Georgia, the first former Soviet republic in which Washington helped to secure pro-Western regime change. On April 11, the U.S. State Department made the not-insignificant step of sending delegates to the capital of Abkhazia — a pro-Russian province that has maintained de facto independence since a bloody war in the early 1990s — to "encourage" leaders to settle their differences with Tbilisi (where, incidentally, President George W. Bush will meet with his Georgian counterpart, Mikhail Saakashvili, on May 10). A similar message probably is being sent to leaders in South Ossetia, another pro-Russian province that seeks independence as well.

This marks the first time that the United States has involved itself in the strictly domestic affairs of former Soviet republics, rather than seeking to effect national-level policies and orientations.

There is a simple reason for this: Throughout the region, Josef Stalin carved out state boundaries in such a way that no single republic would contain undivided nationalities or ethnic groups, and all would be utterly dependent on Moscow as Soviet entities. As its interest in the region deepens, Washington will find itself inheriting some level of responsibility for resolving the ethnic conflicts and tensions that are among the most enduring aspects of Stalin's legacy.

This is true not only in Georgia, but next door in Azerbaijan as well, where Rumsfeld reportedly has secured Baku's agreement to offer up three former Soviet bases as "lily pads" for U.S. forces and aircraft. The agreement likely will generate momentum for Washington to help resolve Azerbaijan's long-running feud with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. To this end, the Americans are working with Yerevan as well; a renewed war in this area could unravel all of Washington's carefully laid plans.

In fact, if the United States is to succeed in its long-term objectives, it cannot afford to surrender even the most marginal of breakaway provinces to Russian influence. In essence, Washington faces the need to keep the entire region a stable and airtight bastion of pro-U.S. sentiment. Seemingly inconsequential places like Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which would be the most logical backdoors for Moscow to reinsert itself, will be rigorously — and likely repeatedly — examined.

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George Friedman is chairman of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA," it's one of the world's leading global intelligence firms, providing clients with geopolitical analysis and industry and country forecasts to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. Stratfor's clients include Fortune 500 companies and major governments.

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