Home
In this issue
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 Nov. 7, 2008 / 9 Mar-Cheshvan 5769

Testing the New President

By Linda Chavez


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Vice-president-elect Joe Biden issued a prescient warning in the last days of the presidential campaign: If Barack Obama were elected president, he would be tested by a major international crisis soon after taking office. Biden was wrong about one thing: The test has come even before President-elect Obama is sworn in.


Within hours of Obama's impressive victory, another new leader, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, warned that Russia would deploy short-range missiles capable of hitting NATO territory if the new American president goes ahead to build a missile defense system to protect Europe. It's unclear where a President Obama will come down on this issue. He's been on both sides during the campaign.


The idea of an anti-missile defense system, of course, is not new. The United States has been working on an anti-missile system to protect our territory since the Reagan administration. The Strategic Defense Initiative — often derisively dismissed as "Star Wars" by its critics — fundamentally changed the way the U.S. approached the idea of nuclear war.


Through much of the Cold War, the United States based its defense almost entirely on a good offense: mutually assured destruction (MAD). We would have so many weapons that the Soviets would realize that an attack on us would be suicidal. If they launched a surprise nuclear attack on us, enough of our missiles would survive to retaliate against them, and annihilation would be the fate of both sides.


But Reagan changed the equation. Essentially abandoning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which allowed the Soviets and the U.S. to set up anti-missile systems to protect only their two capitals, Reagan announced he would explore building a defense shield to protect the entire country.


Some 20 years later, U.S. technology in this area has advanced to the point that we are capable of deploying a limited system to protect our allies. Last year, the U.S. announced that negotiations were under way with some of our friends in Europe to deploy anti-missile systems on their territory. For some of those allies, the primary threat they fear is a nuclear-armed Iran. Although, Poland, with whom we've now signed an agreement, also fears a newly belligerent Russia. But the Bush administration has been at pains to reassure an insecure Russia that any American-deployed system would be purely defensive — a so-called "hit-to-kill" strategy in which a missile's technology would not even include explosives but would rely on intercepting a nuclear missile before it hit its target.


Russia has now made it clear to the incoming president: Move ahead with deploying 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic and we will deploy short-ranged missiles near Poland. So what will our new president do? The last time Russia flexed its considerable muscle by invading Georgia, candidate Obama at first acted as if both sides were equally to blame. He later righted himself, condemning Russia as the aggressor.


But those were just words — after all, the only thing a candidate has at his disposal. On Jan. 20, President Obama will have to take action. As Abe Greenwald, my fellow blogger at Commentary magazine's Contentions wryly noted, "In Russia, we now witness ice-cold realism at its most intractable. This is an enemy that advances when we blink."


President-elect Obama is busy with preparations for the transition to his new office. But the Russians won't wait — and neither will our enemies. Obama must signal that there will be no major shifts in American foreign or defense policy, irrespective of all the campaign rhetoric about change. He could do so by quickly announcing his picks for secretaries of state and defense. I doubt Colin Powell wants another term at state, but perhaps he would view defense as a new challenge. At the very least, such a choice would inform Russia that despite partisan wrangling in election years, the United States remains committed to protecting our allies and ourselves, and a President Obama has no plans to change that.

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


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

Linda Chavez Archives


© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles