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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 June 2, 2011 / 29 Iyar, 5771

Gates' verdict: Pentagon's biggest enemy is itself

By Michael Barone




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Defense Secretary Robert Gates leaves office this month as widely respected as any public figure in America today, appreciated for his willingness to return to public service at a moment of high danger in Iraq and to faithfully serve presidents of both parties.

Initially skeptical of George W. Bush's surge in Iraq, Gates did much to ensure its success. Not always in agreement with decisions of Barack Obama, he carried them out and defended them ably. Whether you agree or disagree with his decisions, it's hard not to admire his intellectual honesty and candor.

All of which makes some observations in his valedictory speech at the American Enterprise Institute last week disturbing.

Gates spoke of "institutional obstacles in the Pentagon -- cultural, procedural, ideological -- to getting done what needed to get done" and the need for "fundamentally reshaping the priorities of the Pentagon."

He insisted that the defense budget "is not the cause of this country's fiscal woes," but conceded that "as a matter of simple arithmetic and political reality," defense cuts "must be at least part of the solution."

He did not lament, as he might have, that Obama declined to put money into shovel-ready defense procurement in his stimulus package. Rather, Gates defended projected reductions in the future as being much less in percentage terms than the one-third decline in defense spending between 1985 and 1998, when the Pentagon went on "a procurement holiday."

He noted that he cut or cancelled 30 procurement programs that would have cost $300 billion. But "the proverbial low-hanging fruit," he said, "have not only been plucked, they have been stomped on and crushed."

Moreover, he conceded that $700 billion in new procurement and R&D since 9/11 "has resulted in relatively modest gains in actual military capability." The Pentagon's "buying culture" has put us on "an unsustainable course, where more and more money is consumed by fewer and fewer platforms that take longer and longer to build."

That sounds like we are headed to the future famously predicted by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine that "in the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one aircraft," to be shared by the Air Force and Navy, with the Marines getting it one day during leap year.

Gates also noted that his efforts to reduce "massive administrative and support bureaucracies" was "something akin to an Easter egg hunt. My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as 'How much money do you spend?' and 'how many people do you have?' "

Gates recommended sweeping changes in military retirement rules and increases in co-payments and premiums in the Tricare health care system for military retirees -- changes that he conceded will encounter fierce institutional and political resistance. Otherwise, increasingly large chunks of defense spending will go to things that don't improve military capabilities.

All of which is dismaying to hear from an experienced and knowledgeable defense secretary in his fifth year in office. One of the problems of any successful military establishment -- or, really, of any long-standing bureaucracy -- is that it becomes encrusted by enormous dysfunctional barnacles that make it increasingly difficult to cruise ahead on its appointed missions. Pretty enormous barnacles, to hear Gates tell it, and really hard to scrape off.

In his memoir "From the Shadows," written after he left the CIA directorship in 1993, Gates likened the U.S. national security apparatus to a giant ship that changes course only with great difficulty and much less sharply from one administration to another than suggested by political rhetoric.

In that context, his speech last week sounded almost like a throwing up of hands. He accepted without demur the current president's top-line limits on defense spending, and he acknowledged that he is leaving hugely difficult challenges for his successors. He noted that over the last 30 years we have never once predicted in advance where our military forces would be engaged; there will always be plenty of what his predecessor Donald Rumsfeld called unknown unknowns.

"The American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression and the most effective means of preserving peace," he insisted. But at best it will be "a smaller, superbly capable military" that "will be able to go to fewer places and be able to do fewer things." An optimistic vision of the future, but a scarily modest one.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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