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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 Feb. 13, 2008 / 7 Adar I 5768

NATO's Afghan Stumbles

By Michael Gerson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | MUNICH — For European leftists, apparently the only thing worse than dead white men is live white men talking about death. So the Munich Conference on Security Policy — a yearly meeting of European and American military officials and experts — attracted a large contingent of pierced and angry protesters chanting unprintable slogans. After a few days at the conference listening to droning simultaneous translations and concentrated diplomatic blandness, I was fully prepared to join the protesters.


But there was one important moment. Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered the latest in a series of rebukes to European nations for not sharing enough of the burden in Afghanistan. "We must not — we cannot — become a two-tiered alliance of those who are willing to fight and those who are not," he argued. This would "effectively destroy the alliance."


For two decades, NATO's main purpose has not been "to fight" but to earnestly debate its own role and relevance. And it does have an important role. The prospect of NATO expansion provides incentives for reform from the Balkans to Ukraine. And it seems wise to maintain a military alliance of democracies in Europe, with Russia increasingly convinced that one Cold War was not enough.


But by Gates's standard — a willingness to share military burdens and sacrifice in a common cause — NATO hardly exists. During the past 15 years, Europe has taken a peace dividend so massive that the slightest military exertion leaves it bent and gasping for air. And public support for the Afghan mission is shallow across Europe. More than 50 percent of Germans believe their nation should withdraw from Afghanistan. German authorities seem proud of resisting that pressure by maintaining a contribution of 3,200 troops — a rather pathetic boast from a wealthy nation of 80 million people. Administration arm-twisting is likely to result in the contribution of few thousand additional troops by Germany and France. But no one believes this would mark a turning point in the Afghan war.


We are not merely facing another crisis of NATO as we did in the Balkans. We are facing a broad insurgency in Asia that is actively preparing for violence against the "near enemy" in Afghanistan and Pakistan — and the "far enemy" in Europe, India and the United States.


Americans are accustomed to thinking of the Afghan war as a Taliban uprising supported from havens in Pakistan. In reality, we are seeing a broad, borderless, regional revolt in the Pashtun tribal belt, two-thirds of which lies in Pakistan. In southern Afghanistan, the Taliban is pressing to retake Kandahar and other areas. In eastern Afghanistan, the Taliban are more internationalized — influenced by Pakistan and al-Qaeda — and seek both to maintain the havens and take terrorist shots at Western Europe and America. In the semi-autonomous tribal regions of Pakistan, large madrassa facilities feed a radicalism with global ambitions of murder — and radical tribal leaders put increasing pressure on settled areas.


The normal, historical response to this kind of challenge would be to pay off various tribes and turn them against each other. Pakistan has tried. The problem is that these tribes, unlike in the past, shelter a transnational threat. Terrorists and radicals exploit long-standing local grievances to gain global reach. And so our safety increasingly depends on the security and development of places such as South Waziristan and Swat — which is the real lesson of Sept. 11.


Yet every element of our response seems hobbled. In Afghanistan, corruption has flourished, and responsible leaders are in short supply. Pakistan is unprepared to fight a counterinsurgency campaign in the tribal regions — and seems only half convinced that one is necessary. Civilian reconstruction and military efforts in Afghanistan are uncoordinated. NATO military efforts in the south are reminiscent of Iraq a year ago — we "clear" but cannot "hold" long enough to "build." And while it is easy for Americans to complain about the Europeans, our military is also badly overstretched.


Success in Afghanistan and Pakistan will require a long-term commitment. America will need to take a broader military role in southern Afghanistan; the Afghan military will need to be massively expanded; the Pakistani military will need to be trained, aided and motivated to fight tribal extremists. But meanwhile, the threat of terrorism germinates, sprouts and grows to ugly maturity in one of the most remote and confusing regions of the world.


Still, NATO is not on the verge of a decisive loss in Afghanistan. We are either winning slowly or losing slowly. It is just hard to tell which.


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Previously:


02/08/08: Why McCain Endures
02/06/08: One surge that led to another
02/01/08: In North Korea, Process Over Progress
01/30/08: Compassionate to the end


© 2008, WPWG

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