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December 2, 2014

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 Dec. 16, 2010 / 9 Teves, 5771

Could there be a Tet Offensive in Afghanistan?

By George Will



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Once when the French statesman Duc de Richelieu (1766-1822) was planning a military campaign, an officer placed a finger on a map, saying: "We shall cross the river at this point." Richelieu replied: "Excellent, sir, but your finger is not a bridge."

The difference between planning and accomplishing in war is on many minds as the Obama administration reviews progress, such as it has been, in Afghanistan in the 54 weeks since the president simultaneously announced the surge and a July 2011 beginning of "the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan." Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005, was recently asked (on ABC's "This Week") to assess progress there. He responded with minimalist optimism: There has been "localized improvement" in "certain areas."

Two years ago this month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, when asked about U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, stressed creation of a strong central government. Asked if Afghanistan had ever had one, he said crisply: "No." Since then, U.S. officials have learned a lot about Afghanistan, including these two related facts: The disconnect between the government and the people is worse than hitherto suspected. And the corruption is so systemic and pandemic as to be properly described as vertically integrated.

Today, in the wake of the WikiLeaks disclosures, a strong central government seems highly unlikely and perhaps unadvisable. In one leaked document, the current U.S. ambassador, Karl W. Eikenberry, wonders "how to fight corruption and connect the people to their government, when the key government officials are themselves corrupt."


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In the past 12 months, 2011 has been quietly eclipsed by 2014 as a decisive date - when Afghan security forces are supposed to be competent enough that U.S. forces can recede from combat. So the fundamental questions are: Can Afghan security forces become competent while the Afghan government remains riddled with, indeed defined by, corruption? If they cannot, can America successfully combat corruption and the Taliban, simultaneously?

A fresh glimpse of combat operations is unsettling. Writing from Afghanistan for the Dec. 4 National Journal ("The Ghost Hunters"), Yochi J. Dreazen describes troops under Army Capt. Chris Watson searching for Taliban bomb-makers who had successfully struck a U.S. convoy:

"At the end of a long and largely fruitless day, the soldiers finally spotted something suspicious. . . .A pair of black wires sticking out of the ground looked as if they might be part of a homemade bomb. . . . A bomb-disposal expert carefully dug out the wires. Instead of a bomb, he unearthed a trio of playing cards, including an ace of spades, buried carefully in the dirt. 'It almost feels like they're taunting us,' Watson said, brushing off the cards."

The Taliban is culturally primitive, so any sign of tactical sophistication is unsettling. Although it is unlikely that the Taliban leadership has as nuanced an understanding of the importance and dynamics of American public opinion in wartime as North Vietnam's leadership did, Taliban leaders surely know that North Vietnam won the Vietnam War not in Vietnam but in America.

And they surely know the role played by North Vietnam's February 1968 Tet Offensive. Although U.S. forces thoroughly defeated the enemy, the American public, seeing only chaos and the prospect of many more years of it, turned decisively against the war.

Might the Taliban's tactics, techniques and procedures (in military argot, TTP) make possible a spike in violence in some way comparable to Tet in its impact on American opinion? No one knows this, or how another attack on America, perhaps launched from Yemen, might affect public support for what are explained as prophylactic operations in Afghanistan.

Twenty-three months after the apotheosis of Barack Obama as herald of a durable liberal era, Washington's conversations are conducted in conservatism's vocabulary - retrenching, economizing and generally limiting government. Liberals watching the extension of the George W. Bush tax rates, the continuation of Bush's creation at Guantanamo and the escalation of a war Bush began in Afghanistan are increasingly dyspeptic.

Twenty-three months from now, Obama will have been reelected, or not. The outcome depends partly on whether the party's left, which provides a disproportionate portion of the party's energy, is energized. On Election Day 2012, what already is America's longest war will be in its 12th year.

Whatever one thinks of the current strategy in this war, Obama is prosecuting it with a vigor that indicates a refusal to allow political calculations to condition national security policy. This presidential virtue could imperil his presidency.

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

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

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