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December 2, 2014

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 Oct. 4, 2010 / 26 Tishrei, 5771

Pound-foolish on national security

By Michael Gerson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A month ago, with much fanfare and relief, President Obama announced that American involvement in Iraq was entering a post-military phase. "Our dedicated civilians -- diplomats, aid workers and advisers -- are moving into the lead to support Iraq," the president said. The State Department would begin taking over training and capacity-building roles previously performed by the Defense Department, in preparation for the departure of all American troops by the end of next year. This phase of the Iraq war was dubbed "New Dawn."

Congress has responded to this strategy by cutting funds for civilian efforts in Iraq in ways that may undermine hard-won achievements and endanger American lives. Resources were reduced in the 2010 supplemental spending bill and slashed by the Senate Appropriations Committee in the 2011 budget. This week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- in a rare instance of one Cabinet secretary fighting for another department's funding -- responded: "The Congress took a huge whack at the budget the State Department submitted for this process of transition. And it is one of these cases where, having invested an enormous amount of money [in the war], we are now arguing about a tiny amount of money, in terms of bringing this to a successful conclusion."

These actions have gained some attention for the possible risks they pose to diplomats, trainers and development experts operating in a dangerous place without a military shield. The State Department is seeking helicopters and mine-resistant vehicles. It will need to hire thousands of security contractors with skills they don't cover on the Foreign Service exam: recovering downed aircraft, bomb disposal, retrieving dead and wounded personnel.

But the problem is larger than Iraq. These cuts reveal a pound-foolish approach to the budget that could damage American security in the coming era of austerity.

There is broad conceptual agreement that the civilian tools of security -- development, diplomacy, technical assistance to strengthen weak governments -- have never been more important. The concept was a tenet of the last president's national security strategy. It is a commitment of Obama's new global development policy. It is a centerpiece of the military's counterinsurgency doctrine.

And yet: Nearly every year the congressional budget and appropriations committees cut the international affairs portion of the budget from the president's request by a higher percentage than any other appropriation. It is a tempting, easy political target.

Some conservatives have an instinctive distrust for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. They prefer to give funding to the Defense Department, whose contributions to American security seem more tangible -- as tangible as a tank. Some liberals are suspicious of using development to achieve national security goals, as though the use of public money was sullied by serving the public interest. So they like nation-building in a place like Bosnia, but not in Iraq.

The tightness of the next few budgets will only strengthen these ideological objections. But cuts in development and diplomacy funding are essentially irrelevant to the fiscal debate, since the category of international affairs represents about 1.4 percent of the federal budget. Without entitlement reform, such cuts are meaningless. With entitlement reform, such cuts are unnecessary. Reducing foreign aid is purely symbolic -- but still damaging.

It deadens a part of our national conscience. America's relative prosperity and its founding commitment to universal human dignity turn opportunities into obligations. The rights of women in Afghanistan have value to us. The entirely preventable deaths of African children from malaria offend us and move us to action. Remove these moral instincts from American foreign policy and we may remain a great power -- but we will cease to be recognizably American.

There is, however, a less idealistic argument. The worst challenges of our world -- terrorism, drug trafficking, human trafficking, criminal gangs, refugee flows, pandemics -- generally emerge from weak states, ungoverned regions and hopeless parts of the planet. By encouraging hope and progress, health and good government, we add to the security of America. This is obvious in Iraq, where a failed state would infinitely complicate American interests. It is equally true in Pakistan, Nigeria and other strategic places.

This widely held bipartisan conviction is about to tested in a very practical way. The Republicans, if they win control of Congress in November, have pledged to reduce federal discretionary spending to 2008 levels, with an exception made for national security programs. Will development spending be granted national security immunity? It should be. If it isn't, both our ideals and our interests will suffer.


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Comment on Michael Gerson's column by clicking here.



Previously:



09/28/10 Babylon on the Potomac
09/27/10 Our reluctant commander in chief
09/21/10 Blue strongholds are becoming Democratic graveyards
09/17/10 For the GOP, a bittersweet brew from the Tea Party
09/15/10: Insanity's great enablers
09/13/10: The lost communicator
09/08/10: Will 2010 midterms be 1994 all over again?
09/01/10: Obama's economic wandering
08/27/10: Miracles from abroad
08/25/10: Address these issues in order to strengthen the Tea Party
08/20/10: The lost promise of Barack Obama
07/23/10: Obama's greatest nightmare
02/04/09: The Reality of Innocence
01/07/09: The Risks in Obama's Ambitions
12/31/08: Support Obama Will Need
06/13/08: Prince Charles, Organic Conservatism Icon
06/11/08: No longer a bankrupt political joke but still overshadowed
04/23/08: McCain's anger management
04/10/08: A Country for Old Men
03/06/08: Does the America Need a Hug?
03/06/08: Obama's First 100 Days
02/29/08: Words Aren't Cheap
02/22/08: He Said, They Said
02/20/08: Dying silently in Zimbabwe
02/15/08: Hillary's Unappealing Path
02/13/08: NATO's Afghan Stumbles
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


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