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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 Sept. 8, 2010 / 29 Elul, 5770

Dissension in the Ranks?

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the end of combat in Operation Enduring Freedom presidentially certified, all eyes rivet toward Afghanistan. This is the fight President Obama, when campaigning for office, called our "war of necessity." This is the theater of conflict where Obama, when debating Sen. McCain barely two years ago, promised us victory ending with the killing or capture of Osama bin Laden. Ironically, Afghanistan may also be the only war in American history with a presidential expiration date.

In his recent book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," journalist and Obama hagiographer Jonathan Alter gives us unique insight into the setting of the July 2011 deadline for the drawdown of troops from Afghanistan.

As Alter recounts the pivotal meeting, Defense Secretary Gates, Gen. David H. Petraeus, Adm. Mike Mullen and other Pentagon brass were convened at the White House to hear Commander in Chief Obama's decision on the Afghan War strategy. Vice President Joe Biden accompanied Obama to the meeting.

On their way to the conference room, Biden asked Obama whether the 18-month deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces was a target date or a firm promise. According to Alter, Obama not only responded that it was a promise, but the president subsequently went on to press General Petraeus to commit to finishing the job in Afghanistan within the 18-month deadline.

This revelation is significant because it confirms what many have suspected — that the commander in chief's withdrawal deadline is political in nature. Having made opposition to the Iraq War a centerpiece of his campaign, Obama did not want a lingering war in Afghanistan to become his own political Achilles' heel. Political, not military, objectives dictated the president's decision to set the 18-month deadline in Afghanistan.

Leaders are entitled to, and indeed must, make political calculations during wartime. War leadership has always, and will forever, include politics. But these decisions should be strategic, not tactical. A strategic political calculation is one that advances the war effort.

The corollary of Clausewitz's quip that war is an extension of politics is that without political support, armies collapse.

Offensives may be launched or delayed based on political considerations. Such considerations are as old as the Republic. The toll on morale taken by the terrible winter at Valley Forge and eroding support in the Continental Congress were considerations in Gen. Washington's decision to risk a Christmas crossing of the Delaware River to attack Hessian mercenaries. Washington needed a coup to shore up political support. Boosting revolutionary ardor kept the Revolution alive. In contrast, Czar Nicholas and Russia's ill-fated Romanov dynasty stand testament to the military consequences of political mismanagement.

So does the one-term presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Lacking a politically viable way to extricate the U.S., and his personal political fortunes, from Vietnam, Johnson instead pursued a doomed strategy of insufficient resources to achieve victory. While politically expedient in a tactical sense, Johnson's conduct of the war ultimately doomed both the war and his own presidency. Last November, with the Johnson presidency in mind, I penned "An Exit Strategy to Die For." In that column, I argued that we are better off bringing our troops home now than to ask them to risk their lives fighting for time until July 2011 rolls around and a politically expedient withdrawal commences.

Over the last year, events have persuaded me that this view remains correct. The coalition of the willing is winnowing as allies, convinced of the inevitably of a U.S. pullout, race us for the exits.

American casualties are now higher than in 2001. The chronically unstable Karzai government faces a fresh financial crisis, beseeching bailout-fatigued U.S. taxpayers to keep the Bank of Kabul solvent. Meanwhile the Taliban, burrowed into the towns and villages and biding their time in mountain fastnesses, patiently await the expiry date of Obama's necessary war.

Into this grim scenario, Petraeus has now made a play for Obama to reconsider the deadline. In a recent television interview, he said it is his duty to give the commander in chief his "best professional military advice" about whether July is too soon to remove troops. Separately, other policymakers have begun suggesting the July withdrawal may not be firm, injecting a hint of ambiguity into official statements. But in last week's Oval Office address, the president reconfirmed, precisely, that the withdrawal shall begin in July, as he ordered in his West Point policy announcement speech last year.

In the retirement speech of one of our greatest fighting generals, Gen. McChrystal — whose self-inflicted career immolation still remains unexplained, but undoubtedly patriotically motivated — we may have been given a first hint of his motivation when he observed: "Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don't want to follow cautious cynics.

They follow leaders who believe enough to risk failure or disappointment for a worthy cause."

I repeat what I wrote last November: Bring the troops home. We'll need them later, G0d knows.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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