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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 June 22, 2006 / 26 Sivan, 5766

NATO's Afghanistan challenge: Alliance faces its greatest threat in the same place the Red Army foundered

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 to contain communist expansionism in Europe. When the Soviet Union collapsed, the widespread expectation was that NATO would go the way of the Warsaw Pact. Instead, the alliance's role has grown since the end of the Cold War. In 1995, it fought its first war, to pacify Bosnia, followed by the 1999 conflict over Kosovo, where a NATO peacekeeping contingent remains. But it is in Afghanistan, a country about as remote as you can get from the Fulda Gap in Germany — where NATO once prepared to fight the Red Army — that the North Atlantic alliance faces its latest, greatest test.

In 2003, NATO took command of the International Security Assistance Force, which had been created to supplement the efforts of a U.S.-led coalition in stabilizing the onetime lair of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. At first, the ISAF was limited to Kabul, but it gradually expanded to assume control of the relatively peaceful northern and western provinces. This August, it will take control of the far more dangerous areas in the south, where a major Taliban offensive is underway. If all goes well, the ISAF could take over the equally insecure eastern provinces as early as this fall. This would give NATO the lead role throughout Afghanistan, although more than 10,000 U.S. troops would continue to operate independently in the country as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Last week, I flew from Brussels to Kabul and Kandahar along with U.S. Marine Gen. James Jones, NATO's military commander, to see how its operations are progressing. Our delegation — which included journalists, retired generals and government officials — saw some reasons for optimism as well as considerable cause for concern.

On the plus side, the ISAF is that rare coalition in which soldiers from more than 30 nations, including such non-NATO allies as Australia and Macedonia, work together in relative harmony. In the Combined Joint Operations Center in Kabul, soldiers from different nations work side by side at computer terminals. Everyone communicates in English. The only way you can tell them apart is by the national flags on their shoulder patches.

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Our group saw a small example of cooperation in action as we rattled over Kabul's abysmal roads in vehicles operated by the British army and protected by a contingent of hulking German military policemen in baseball caps that advertise gun maker Heckler & Koch.

Of course, protecting a group of visiting VIPs is one thing; protecting the people of southern Afghanistan from the Taliban and their narco-trafficker allies is a lot more difficult. This task has fallen primarily to 3,000 British, 2,200 Canadian and 1,500 Dutch troops. The other members of the ISAF prefer to serve in less perilous areas.

This points to one of NATO's biggest challenges — getting members to volunteer troops, and to do so without placing too many caveats on their deployment. In addition to limits of geography (many troops won't operate in the south or east), there are also tactical limits. For instance, some soldiers are not allowed by their governments to use chemicals like tear gas to disperse unruly crowds. This can become a major headache for ISAF commanders when figuring out how to deal with riots of the kind that rocked Kabul in May.

In theory, the ISAF is supposed to concentrate on the softer side of counterinsurgency, providing development aid and security, while U.S. troops focus on hunting down bad guys. In practice, the distinction can be hard to draw. NATO troops in the south can engage in "proactive self-defense," whatever that means. Fleshing out this nebulous mandate will be up to commanders on the spot, and the widespread expectation is that British and Canadian troops will be more aggressive than their more cautious Dutch colleagues.

It is a daunting task that NATO has taken on in a country that ranks 173 out of 178 on a basic index of human development, and one whose economy is more dependent on illegal drugs and foreign aid than any other nation. But one diplomat on our trip discerned a silver lining in this dark reality. Having served in Iraq, he found that Iraqis' expectations were unrealistically high because they remembered boom times in the 1970s and 1980s. Afghans, by contrast, have known nothing but war and poverty for the last quarter of a century. Their expectations may be just low enough for NATO to satisfy.

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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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