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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 17, 2010/ 5 Tamuz 5770

Waiting games in Afghanistan

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Evidently Hamid Karzai did not get the memo on terminology. U.S. military commanders have stopped using the word "operation" to describe the drive, now delayed, against the Taliban in Kandahar, Afghanistan's second-largest city. This word connotes danger and stirs dread among the population, whose allegiance is the prize for which counterinsurgency is waged. But Afghanistan's president, speaking there on Sunday, anticipated a "purification operation," saying "this operation requires sacrifice."

It has been four months since Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, in words that reflect the military's embrace of nation building, "We've got a government in a box, ready to roll in" to Marja. It took longer than expected to reach a more inconclusive outcome than expected in that town of about 80,000, which last month McChrystal called "a bleeding ulcer." Hence the delay from spring until autumn in tackling Kandahar, with its population of perhaps 800,000. It is, he says, "more important we get it right than we get it fast."

Fast, however, is U.S. policy. In his reverent new book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," Jonathan Alter reconstructs the administration's deliberations about Afghanistan in autumn 2009. Vice President Biden, walking with the president to the decisive meeting with Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was assured by Obama that the policy of beginning a significant withdrawal in 2011 was a direct presidential order. Alter reports that Obama, whose mantra for the military was "Do not occupy what you cannot transfer" -- what you cannot soon make Afghanistan's responsibility -- said to Petraeus, "I want you to be honest with me. You can do this in 18 months?"

Petraeus: "Sir, I'm confident we can train and hand over to the ANA [Afghan National Army] in that time frame."

Obama: "If you can't do the things you say you can in 18 months, then no one is going to suggest we stay, right?"

Petraeus: "Yes, sir, in agreement."

Mullen: "Yes, sir."

Perhaps, but Time magazine reports that NATO trainers say 90 percent of Afghan enlisted recruits cannot read a rifle instruction manual, ANA officers routinely steal enlistees' salaries, soldiers "sell off their own American-supplied boots, blankets and guns at the bazaar -- sometimes to the Taliban," and "recruits tend to go AWOL after their first leave, while one-quarter of those who stay in service are blitzed on hashish or heroin," according to an ANA survey.


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Time says keeping the ANA functioning costs $6 billion a year. The Afghan government's tax revenue is $1 billion a year. Americans have provided $26 billion for Afghanistan's security forces, so far.

Biden told Alter: "In July of 2011 you're going to see a whole lot of people moving out. Bet on it." Bet on this, too: The Taliban will increase the tempo of fighting between now and November, when the NATO meeting in Lisbon will assess the evidence of success in Afghanistan. It took 2,520 days for the war to take 500 American lives; it took 627 days for it to take the next 500.

The administration will review Afghanistan strategy in December, but last week Defense Secretary Robert Gates, defining success down, expressed the minimalist hope of "making some headway" by then. While the administration boasts of having a "boot on the neck" of BP, Britain wonders whether its severe budget crisis, which is aggravated by the evaporating value of its once largest corporation, should be ameliorated by withdrawing the 9,500 British troops in Afghanistan. Canadian and Dutch combat troops begin withdrawing this summer.

Perhaps it was coincidental that after several weeks of bad news from Afghanistan, on Monday there was good news, of sorts, about what Obama has previously called Afghanistan's "vast potential." The New York Times reported that "senior American government officials" say Afghanistan has "nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits," which might fundamentally alter the nation's economy "and perhaps the Afghan war itself."

This could be true only on the fanciful supposition that this wealth can be tapped in 13 months or, even more fancifully, that the war will grind on for many years, until the infrastructures of extraction industries are built in a nation whose current gross domestic product is $12 billion. This "stunning potential," in Petraeus's description of the minerals, will encourage the perception that the U.S. engagement there has something to do with economic aggrandizement, will aggravate Afghanistan's pandemic corruption and will intensify the Taliban's determination to prevail in a place where even good news has, like a scorpion, a sting in its tail.


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