Home
In this issue
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 June 2, 2014 / 4 Sivan, 5774

The Obama Doctrine: Whether it's spelled with a capital or lowercase 'D,' it is both expansive and narrow

By David M. Shribman




JewishWorldReview.com | For nearly two centuries the United States has conducted its Western Hemisphere diplomacy according to the precepts of the Monroe Doctrine, promulgated in 1823 and designed to keep European powers out of hemispheric affairs. America’s involvement in Latin America was expanded substantially by the 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which proclaimed American willingness to intervene in the region. And America’s reach was extended again by the Truman Doctrine of 1947, designed to contain communism as the Cold War chilled.

Have we just witnessed the expression of the Obama Doctrine, at once more expansive and less ambitious than the doctrines that preceded it?

In two important speeches in recent days, President Barack Obama has shrunk the U.S. role (in Afghanistan, for instance, where troops are to be withdrawn by the end of 2016) even as he expanded the country’s global footprint (primarily in Africa and Asia, where the president says new terrorist threats reside).

At the heart of the Obama Doctrine — a term that he never used and that may be an over-interpretation of its scope — is the notion that the principal threat to American security comes from a discrete but exceedingly worrisome source.

That threat, according to Mr. Obama, comes not from nation-states, which prompted the doctrines of James Monroe, Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Nor does it come from a centralized terror organization like al-Qaida, the prime preoccupation of American national-security efforts for the last dozen years.

That threat also does not come from “trouble spots” — a classic Cold War locution applied to Berlin, the Korean peninsula and Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia — but from troubling rogue groups in places such as Yemen, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, Somalia and elsewhere.

The president could not have made this more plain: “For the foreseeable future,” Mr. Obama said, “the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism.”

That sentence, spoken at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, contained none of the “Mission Accomplished” bravado of George W. Bush after the second invasion of Iraq nor any of the soothing reassurance about the eclipse of al-Qaida that Mr. Obama has offered in years past. Both expressions today look worse than premature. They look naive — and dangerous.

The twin Obama speeches were designed to counter Mr. Obama’s twin rivals, domestic and foreign.

His domestic opponents reacted coolly, asking why the president would provide public notice to the Taliban of the exact moment when U.S. troops would no longer provide a substantial obstacle in Afghanistan and arguing that the president’s initiative was just another misbegotten judgment to match those he made regarding Syria and Russia.

The reaction of overseas rivals was more difficult to measure, reflecting the fact that the new emphasis in American national security is aimed at, in the phrase employed by Mr. Obama, a “diffuse threat.”

Even so, the notion that the United States was embarking on a new era was underlined by an intriguing, even irresistible, coincidence: the primary-election defeat of Rep. Ralph M. Hall, a 91-year-old Texas Republican, on the same day Mr. Obama declared that it was “time to turn the page on a decade” of foreign policy focused on wars in central Asia.

Mr. Hall’s defeat ensures that the new Congress to be seated in January will have no veterans of World War II. Nine American presidents were in one way or another involved in that conflict. All of them, and scores of lawmakers on Capitol Hill, were shaped by the debacle of European appeasement at Munich, by the Allied effort that defeated Nazi Germany and Japan, by the development of American nuclear power and by the growing rivalry with Soviet Russia.

Their view of the world was dominated by the great powers that dominated the world, and though they prosecuted and funded wars at Inchon and around the 38th parallel, and during the Tet offensive and the Vietnamization effort, they took their lessons from Pearl Harbor and D-Day and inevitably regarded Washington, London, Paris, Berlin and Rome (plus the United Nations headquarters at Turtle Bay) as the centers of diplomacy and power.



Whether what Mr. Obama spoke about this week deserves spelling “doctrine” with an uppercase D or a lowercase one, he set out a more modest American role (expanding American “reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin or stirs up local resentments”) even as it establishes a wider security horizon (in Asia and Africa).

In the Cold War, American attention tended to be concentrated on one place at a time — in Europe right after World War II as the Soviet bloc expanded, in Asia as China fell to the Communists and Korea became the setting for a difficult “police action,” in Vietnam as Americans divided over whether Southeast Asia might become a communist “domino” and then in Africa as proxy wars were fought in Congo and Angola.

This new threat requires a worldwide focus, which is to say no particular focus at all.

And, in truth, Mr. Obama’s vision may be more descriptive than prescriptive, as the United States seems already to have adopted this doctrine.

The power politics of the 19th and 20th century has seemed passe throughout the Obama years, which is one reason the response to the Russian advances in Ukraine seemed so tepid. Large nation-states still dominate the globe and threats still reside in countries such as Iran and North Korea. But most of the gunfire and explosives come from decentralized terrorist cells scattered about the globe.

It is those groups that have the attention of Mr. Obama and that prompted his proposal for a $5 billion Counterterrorism Partnership. And it is those groups whose activities the Obama Doctrine — flawed or limited or perhaps too modest — is designed to counter.

The doctrines that preceded Mr. Obama’s were conceived as long-term if not permanent themes in American foreign policy. The longevity of Mr. Obama’s doctrine will be determined by whether it succeeds or fails in the short term.



ARCHIVES

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

David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

© 2014, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast