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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 10, 2004 / 21 Sivan, 5764

White House insiders themselves failed to grasp Reagan's strategic genius

By Jack Kelly


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http://www.jewishworldreview.com | His enemies, and many of his friends (including me) failed to appreciate the genius of Ronald Reagan's strategy for defeating the Soviet Union.


I was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force during Reagan's second term. At the time, there was considerable debate within the administration and (especially) on Capitol Hill about the wisdom of going forward with procurement of the B-2 Stealth bomber.


I was against it. The B-2's ostensible job was to roam around the Soviet Union after the nuclear war had started, looking for Soviet rail mobile missiles to bomb. Since the Stealth was estimated to cost upwards of $120 million a copy, I thought the money could be better spent on weapons that might keep the nuclear war from happening in the first place.


But I didn't understand what that "dumb cowboy" did.


"His strategy was to spend (the Soviets) to death," said retired Vice Admiral J.D. Williams. "It worked."


The B-2 was an integral part of this strategy. The rule of the thumb is that it costs about three times as much to defend against a bomber as it does to pose the threat, and no defense is ever completely leak proof.


There are means of detecting a Stealth, but they require major investments in technology.


The Soviets, moreover, would have to spend as much to guard against 10 B-2s as against 100. If the Soviets didn't defend all of their borders, they would be vulnerable, no matter how many (or how few) B-2s we had. Given the immenseness of the Soviet Union, this was a fiscally impossible task.


President Reagan's plans for missile defense were another nail in the Soviet Union's financial coffin. As a practical matter, it was technically impossible in the 1980s to construct a "leakproof" defense against Soviet missiles. There were just too many of them. And we couldn't have afforded to build such a defense, even if it were technically feasible.


But even a partially effective defense would deprive the Soviets of the confidence that they could launch a disarming first strike.

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Two to three nuclear warheads need to be targeted on a missile silo to be sure of taking it out. But a disarming strike on our retaliatory capacity had to be timed to the microsecond, because of the problem of fraticide (the detonation of the first nuclear warhead destroys or knocks off target subsequent warheads). If we would be able to take out just a few Soviet warheads, lousing up the sequence, the fratricide problem becomes essentially unsolvable.


To retain the threat of a disarming first strike, the Soviets were faced with a technological challenge they didn't have the ability to meet, and a financial challenge they didn't have the resources to meet.


Reagan compounded their problems by authorizing Bill Casey, his wily CIA director, to sabotage the Russian economy. The Soviets in those days were stealing as much Western technology as they could, because their own sclerotic system was unable to keep up. Casey let them steal software that contained hidden malfunctions, software that was used in the natural gas pipeline the Soviets were building to Western Europe.


"The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion ever seen from space," wrote former Air Force Secretary Thomas Reed. The Soviets lost their chief source of hard currency, and had to wonder ever after if there were Trojan horses in other technologies they were stealing from the West.


Reagan engaged the Soviets indirectly by supporting anticommunist resistance movements in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola and Mozambique. He was the first president since the Cold War began to put the Soviets on the defensive, but he did so in a way that minimized the risk of a direct military confrontation.


And Reagan engaged the Soviets morally by called the "evil empire" by its right name. This appalled Western intelligentsia, but it resonated with ordinary people the world over.


In his final address from the White House, Reagan told the story of a sailor, patrolling the South China sea, who came upon a boatload of refugees, hoping to get to the United States. "Hello, Freedom Man," one of them called out.


Ronald Reagan has left us for the real "shining city on a hill." Farewell, Freedom Man.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2004, Jack Kelly