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 June 27, 2011 / 25 Sivan, 5771

Lost in Afghanistan?

By Stephen L. Carter

A Yale University law professor argues that Obama would rather not talk about military victory. And that choice is as telling as it is troubling

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Did we win? The question came to mind after President Obama, in a prime-time address, announced a plan to draw down American forces from Afghanistan from 100,000 today to 90,000 at the end of the year and about 70,000 by the summer of 2012. He confirmed his earlier insistence that the combat mission will be completed by 2014. The president promised to bring the troops home, and he is carrying out that promise. But did we win? Are they coming home because they did the job? Or has the enormous sacrifice of blood and treasure been for naught?

The president spoke not of victory but of goals achieved and commitments fulfilled. That is the language of contemporary diplomacy and scholarship. Among sophisticates, the concept of winning wars seems so 1980s; perhaps even 1940s.

Many historians trace the reluctance to embrace the concept of victory to the Cold War, when the horror of mutually assured destruction meant that winning in the traditional sense was impossible. Thus the role of the military was re-imagined, encompassing, as Thomas C. Schelling memorably wrote in Arms and Influence, less victory than "the bargaining power that comes from its capacity to hurt." Indeed, although the point is often forgotten, the Cold War was the heyday of a pragmatic vision of foreign policy. The dominant public intellectuals of the day — Arthur Schlesinger Jr. is one exemplar — proposed that American liberalism was about solving problems as they arose, not implementing grand theories. Such world-changing dreams belonged to a discredited "messianic" age. The experiences of Korea and Vietnam seemed to confirm this philosophy.


Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

Except that, in the end, we did win the Cold War. And we have been winning ever since. The historian Paul Johnson has suggested that Americans are the only people on earth who, when a war begins, always expect to win; we so take the result for granted, says Johnson, that we do not even realize how unusual our expectation is. Indeed, with the exception of Somalia, to find anything like an American defeat one would have to go back to our swift withdrawal from Lebanon after the truck bombing of the Marine barracks in 1983. Other than that, we have won them all.

No doubt our success rate leads to a swagger we ourselves scarcely notice. Consider Matty, the disillusioned nuclear-weapons researcher in Don DeLillo's brilliant novel Underworld. Matty not only rooted for the boorish Bobby Fischer in his 1972 world chess championship match with Boris Spassky but also "identified with the public tantrums, all the rude demands…the open show of bitterness when he lost." Matty, in a sense, makes Johnson's point. Like Bobby Fischer, we expect to win them all; like Fischer, when we don't, we look for somebody to blame.

In short, whatever the fashionable language of the day, we Americans do not much like fighting merely to achieve commitments and goals. We like to win. There is a fair argument to be made that we won in Iraq — a proposition that might be admitted even by those of us who wonder whether it was worth the price. We toppled the regime with surprising ease (crushing a 400,000-man Army along the way), then dragged Saddam Hussein from his hole in the ground. We left in place a democracy that, although struggling, seems likely to survive.

In Afghanistan, we plainly won the first war — toppling the Taliban in mere weeks — and President Obama should not be reluctant to say so. But we have grown weary of the longer conflict to keep the Taliban from returning to power. If Obama truly believes the time has come for the fighting to stop, perhaps he should be guided by the example of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who famously proclaimed during World War II that there is no substitute for victory, then accepted a bitter stalemate in Korea. But he demanded a signed armistice first, and left a massive American force in place to guard the uneasy peace.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Comment by clicking here.

Stephen L. Carter is a novelist and professor of law at Yale University.

© 2011, Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC. All rights reserved.