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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. 27, 2009 / 9 Tishrei 5770

Obama's A-Team

By David Broder



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | For President Obama, last week was rather like a major exam on his skills as a diplomat and architect of foreign policy. He can count on being tested again and again by unexpected events. But in his debut at the United Nations and as host to the Group of 20 economic powers in Pittsburgh, Obama was given more scrutiny by foreign leaders and domestic constituencies than at any other time in his young presidency.

There were no historic breakthroughs but, as far as we know, also no gaffes -- at least in part because of his ability to find the right words to make his points without offending others.

Official Washington is starting to realize that in addition to his personal skills, Obama has assembled a highly professional and effective national security team that serves him and the nation very well.

There was no guarantee that this would be the case. Before he was elected, Obama had never faced the challenge of recruiting, assigning and organizing an administration. His exposure to national security issues consisted of four years of hardly notable service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the insights gleaned from his youthful years in Indonesia.

His first -- and in some ways most important -- decision was to ask Robert Gates, George W. Bush's defense secretary, to remain in charge of the Pentagon. Gates was anything but an obvious choice. Obama had campaigned as a sharp critic of Bush policy in Iraq and had clearly signaled that he would insist on a new approach to Afghanistan. Keeping the boss of the old policies was counterintuitive -- and offensive to some of Obama's Democratic allies.

But Obama recognized Gates's strengths. And he bolstered the team when he picked as his national security adviser retired Marine general Jim Jones, another widely respected veteran of past administrations and a man of great self-discipline and few ego needs.

The choice of Hillary Clinton was the most dramatic given their history as rivals in a protracted battle for the nomination. The full story has not been told of why he wanted her and why she wanted to be secretary of state. But so far, it is working better than almost anyone could have imagined.

Clinton has applied her famous work ethic to the challenges of Foggy Bottom but seems very comfortable in defining her role as the chief executor of Obama's foreign policy, not as an independent power center. When she and Gates were chosen, the journalistic cliche was "the team of rivals," echoing Lincoln. But they are a team -- period.

In Vice President Biden, Obama picked a vivid personality with more years of experience in foreign policy than almost anyone else in Congress. Biden, as is his wont, has at times strayed from the Obama line -- but the president clearly trusts him and has given him major responsibilities.

What got me thinking about the skill with which this team has functioned was the Sept. 17 announcement that the United States was abandoning its plans for anti-missile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic and, instead of targeting long-range Iranian missiles, would use seaborne weapons to combat Iran's short-range missiles.

The decision was explained on the basis of fresh intelligence showing that the Iranians had shifted their program to emphasize the short-range weapons and that this will allow countermeasures to be in place much earlier than would have been the case under the original plan.

I'm told by the White House that the president asked for a review of the missile defense plans in March, that the Pentagon held some 120 internal meetings on the issue and that the National Security Council staff conferred 15 to 18 times, culminating in four sessions of the NSC deputies in August and September and two meetings of the principals -- the Cabinet officers and the other statutory members -- preparing for a presidential decision. All this without significant leaks. The inclusiveness of the process was affirmed by the immediate public endorsements by the Pentagon, the State Department and the intelligence agencies.

In the end, Gates, who had signed off on the original Bush plan in 2006, emerged as one of the most forceful advocates for redoing it -- another example of his intellectual and political courage.

Tougher tests undoubtedly await, but so far this team looks really good.

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