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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 May 25, 2006 / 27 Iyar, 5766

Securing Baghdad is a numbers game

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The inauguration of a coalition government suggests that the situation in Iraq is not as gloomy as some opponents of the war claim. But the aftermath also shows that the situation is not as sunny as some supporters of the war believe.


At least 30 people were killed in a series of bombings and shootings in Baghdad on Sunday; many more were injured. By Baghdad standards, that was not an exceptional day. But in just about any other city on the planet, it would be off the charts. By way of comparison, Los Angeles County (population 10 million) averaged 1.4 homicides a day in 2005.


Supporters of the war note that much of the violence in Iraq is confined to four of 18 provinces. True. But you can't ignore the continuing instability in the capital. Baghdad is much more important to Iraq than Washington is to the United States. With at least 6 million residents, it has a quarter of the country's population, and it is not only the political capital but the center of media, business and culture.


That's why anyone who cares about the future of Iraq should be alarmed by the postings of a pro-democracy Iraqi blogger named Alaa at messopotamian.blogspot.com. "The situation in Baghdad is deteriorating from day to day," he writes. "Very soon, if this situation continues like this, the city is going to be brought to a complete standstill and paralysis…. Whole sections of the city have virtually fallen to gangs and terrorists."


Omar Fadhil, another pro-democracy resident of Baghdad who blogs at iraqthemodel.blogspot.com, pleads for security forces to do more to bring the capital under control. He suggests doing "intense cordon and search operations," neighborhood by neighborhood, and setting up "tough checkpoints" on every road leading in and out of the city to "inspect each and every passenger and vehicle" until "all of Baghdad becomes secure."


Fadhil's idea is straight from the classic counterinsurgency playbook. This kind of "clear and hold" strategy has succeeded in countless countries, most recently in Iraq, where a variant was used last year by the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment to pacify Tall Afar, a Sunni city in western Iraq. What worked in Tall Afar could work in Baghdad — if the American and Iraqi governments were to provide more troops.



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The pacification of Tall Afar, a town of at least 150,000, required 3,800 American and 5,000 Iraqi soldiers. That's a ratio of one American per 40 civilians. In Baghdad, there are currently three American combat brigades, or about 8,600 troops. That's a ratio of one American per 698 civilians. No wonder the capital is so unsafe.


Even if you add in Iraqi security forces — about 9,000 Iraqi soldiers and 12,000 national police officers are deployed in Baghdad — there is still a woeful shortage of security. The problem is compounded by the fact that many of the uniformed Iraqis belong to political militias, criminal gangs or insurgent groups. Residents don't know whom to trust.


To gain control of the situation, an American officer who has served in Baghdad suggested to me the need to deploy at least 35,000 U.S. troops (six brigade combat teams, plus support personnel), two Iraqi army divisions (20,000 men), and 30,000 competent Iraqi police officers. That would give you a total of 85,000 security personnel, or one per 71 inhabitants — still lower than the ratio in Tall Afar but much higher than it is today.


Although the U.S. Army and Marine Corps are badly overstretched (they should have been enlarged years ago), they could still provide at least three more brigades for Baghdad. But the odds of that happening are slim. Since U.S. troops entered Baghdad in April 2003, the primary imperative of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and his senior generals has been not to win the war but to minimize U.S. troop presence. There are legitimate reasons for not being heavy-handed, but the upshot is that there are enough American troops in Iraq (130,000) to aggravate the locals but not enough to restore law and order.


On those few occasions when troop levels have been temporarily increased (around election time), there has been an improvement in safety. But Rumsfeld seems determined to ignore this lesson. Unless the administration rethinks its dogmatic aversion to more boots on the ground, the new Iraqi government will be hard put to protect its people.

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BOOT'S LATEST
The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.



Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


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