May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Feb. 27, 2006
/ 29 Shevat, 5766
Bush's grand strategy
Three and a half years ago, in September 2002, the Bush administration issued its National Security Strategy. It was, as Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis has written, "the most fundamental reassessment of American grand strategy in over half a century," since Harry Truman set America on its course in the Cold War. Today a consensus seems to be rising that the Bush administration is veering off the course it set then. Gerard Baker in the Times of London writes that the days of American military intervention are over. Reporters write that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has shoved aside neoconservatives and taken her stand with State Department professionals. It's not a bad time, then, to look back at the National Security Strategy, to see how it has fared.
When the NSS first appeared, news stories focused on its assertion that America would act pre-emptively. This was just after George W. Bush challenged the United Nations to take action on Iraq and just as Bush was pressing Congress to vote on military action. "We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary," the strategy read, "to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre-emptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country."
But pre-emption was not the only doctrine in the document. The words just quoted were preceded by a clause reading, "While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community ..." Even while claiming the right to act pre-emptively, Bush agreed to Tony Blair's plea for a second United Nations resolution to justify military action in Iraq, even though it was justified by previous resolutions and Saddam Hussein's defiance of them.
And there was more to the strategy of securing America than just dealing with immediate threats. The NSS called for "global efforts to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations." Bush critics say that he has undercut that by continuing to reject the Kyoto Protocol. But the agreement Bush concluded with India, China, Japan, Australia, and South Korea to limit growth of greenhouse gases seems likely to produce significant results, while the European countries, for all their hauteur, are failing to meet their Kyoto targets. Bush has also gone beyond the NSS by agreeing to joint military operations with India and encouraging a Japanese military presence abroad — both counterweights to Chinese military power. Also going beyond his proposals is his massive commitment to combat AIDS in Africa, which is only hinted at in the document.
In other respects, Bush has not delivered on the promises of the NSS. The Free Trade Area of the Americas, envisioned for 2005, is nowhere in sight. And "an independent and democratic Palestine, living beside Israel in peace and security," won't appear soon.
Joint venture. But there is much evidence that Bush has made good on the multilateral diplomacy that the strategy called for. He has let Britain, France, and Germany carry on negotiations with Iran; urged China, the only country with real leverage, to use it against North Korea; and worked with France in supporting the "Cedar Revolution" in Lebanon. And America is getting additional cooperation from newly elected governments in Germany and Canada.
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It may be argued that we aren't having much success stopping the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. But the NSS didn't promise success everywhere, any more than it promised military action everywhere. It proposed instead to use American power where and when possible to further "the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity." Bush has followed the National Security Strategy pretty faithfully, if not without mistakes — just as Harry Truman made mistakes in following his Cold War strategy.
What about future administrations? Truman's successors mostly followed the course he set in NSC-68 for four decades, as Gaddis shows in his new book, The Cold War. My prediction: Bush's successors, for all their criticisms (John McCain wants a larger military; Hillary Rodham Clinton says that she wouldn't have voted for military action in Iraq knowing what she knows now), will find it hard to move outside the framework of the National Security Strategy, as they take on Bush's burden of fighting what we're starting to call the Long War.
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Hard America, Soft America: Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future
America is divided into two camps, according to U.S. News and World Reports writer and Fox commentator Michael Barone. No, not Red and Blue, though one suspects Barone may taint the two groups in the hues of the 2000 presidential election. Barone's divided America is one part Hard, one part Soft. Hard America is steeled by the competition and accountability of the free market, while Soft America is the product of public school and government largesse. Inspired by the notion that America produces incompetent 18 year olds and remarkably competent 30 year olds, Barone embarks on a breezy 162-page commentary that will spark mostly huzzahs from the right and jeers from the left. Sales help fund JWR.
JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Comment by clicking here.
Michael Barone Archives
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