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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 29, 2006 / 3 Tamuz, 5766

Staying the wrong course in Iraq

By Max Boot


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For the last three years, the Bush administration has pursued a policy of wishful thinking in Iraq, operating under the hope that some deus ex machina — either elections or the capture of insurgent leaders — would salvage a deteriorating situation. Well, Iraq has now had three successful nationwide ballots. Saddam Hussein has been captured. Abu Musab Zarqawi has been killed. And still violence continues to intensify in Baghdad and the Sunni provinces to the west and north.

The situation is particularly dire in Iraq's capital. In May, according to the Los Angeles Times, 2,155 homicides occurred in Baghdad, 85% of the national total. "The situation has worsened considerably in the last couple of months," blogger Alaa wrote at messopotamian.blogspot.com on June 16. A week later, the New York Times reported that the chaos was spreading even to the Mansour district, Baghdad's Beverly Hills. "It's falling to the terrorists," said one resident. "They are coming nearer to us now. No one is stopping them."

This dire assessment cannot be dismissed as knee-jerk negativity from media naysayers because it matches the picture painted by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. In a June 6 cable reprinted in the Washington Post, he reported that local embassy employees were finding it difficult to function outside the Green Zone amid rampant crime, fundamentalism and sectarianism.

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has launched Operation Forward Together in an attempt to regain control of his own capital. This crackdown is in only its second week, and it is too soon to tell if it will work, but there have been several terrorist atrocities since it started. The problem is that Forward Together relies heavily on police officers who are so sectarian and corrupt that they are part of the problem, not the solution.

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No extra American (or Iraqi) soldiers have been sent into Baghdad. Former viceroy L. Paul Bremer reported that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez told him in 2004 that with two extra divisions, "I'd control Baghdad," but those extra divisions — 35,000 to 40,000 soldiers — have never been forthcoming.

Instead, news leaked out this weekend that a drawdown of U.S. forces may take place starting in the fall. It is possible that this withdrawal plan, like earlier ones, will be shelved, but this announcement sends the wrong message at a critical time. The message is that the Pentagon is more concerned with finding an exit strategy than a winning strategy: precisely the charge that Republicans level at Democrats.


I have never been a dogmatist on the issue of troop levels. I was not one of those who criticized the original invasion force in 2003 for being too small. There were enough troops to take Baghdad, and there were legitimate reasons to fear that sending too many Americans would cause a backlash. Better to have focused on supporting Iraqi security forces — except there were none to support. The Iraqi army was dissolved by the U.S., and no serious effort was made for a whole year to field a replacement force, creating a security vacuum that has never been filled.

By now it should be obvious that the "light footprint" approach has not worked. It has increased, not decreased, resentment of the United States because Iraqis are aggrieved by the breakdown of law and order. Yet there appears to be no serious rethinking of this flawed strategy at either the Pentagon or the White House.

The administration may think it doesn't have any more troops to send. It's true that the armed forces are overstretched and need to be enlarged, but there are still just 150,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq out of 2.6 million in the active-duty ranks, reserves and National Guard. More soldiers could be found to police Baghdad if this were deemed a top priority.

Some in the administration may think that increasing troop numbers, which may bring more casualties, would be political poison. But what's really hurting Republicans politically is not the number of troops in Iraq, or even the continuing casualties. It's the perception that we're not winning. If a heightened troop presence could establish security in Baghdad, the president and his party would reap a reward at the polls.

The fact that the administration continues to "stay the course" with a losing strategy suggests the need for a change of strategists. The president needs a new secretary of Defense — and possibly new generals — who would be more focused on finding a way to win rather than to withdraw.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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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