In this issue

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. 23, 2006 / 25 Shevat, 5766

Without changes, the State Department isn't ready to meet today's challenges

By Max Boot

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Much of our national security and foreign policy bureaucracy has been designed to confront an enemy that no longer exists. Today, many of our biggest threats come not from other strong states but from subnational groups such as Al Qaeda or from failing states that create fertile ground from which they operate.

The Pentagon has reacted to the post-9/11 world by enlarging the Special Operations Command and placing greater emphasis on language and cultural education. It's not enough, but it's a beginning — and it's more than the State Department has done so far. The Foreign Service remains trapped in a framework straight out of the 19th century, producing diplomats whose primary skill is liaison work with other diplomats. That leaves Foggy Bottom woefully ill-equipped to deal with two particularly pressing challenges: public diplomacy and nation-building.

Public diplomacy — the fancy name for speaking to the populace of foreign countries, not just to their leaders — is more than ever necessary because of the spread of democracy. Long gone are the days when autocrats such as Otto von Bismarck and Prince Klemens von Metternich could determine their countries' foreign policy pretty much on their own. Nowadays, getting the support of foreign leaders usually requires getting the support of their voters. But, as the run-up to the invasion of Iraq proved, that's not something we're very adept at. Nor, as the aftermath of the invasion showed, are we very good at nation-building. We need a new bureaucracy devoted to this area so that the entire burden doesn't fall on the overstretched armed forces.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has unveiled a number of "transformational diplomacy" initiatives designed to address such shortcomings. Noting that there are nearly as many State Department staffers in Germany (population 82 million) as in India (population 1 billion), she announced transfers from cushy Western embassies to more hardscrabble outposts in the developing world. This will include opening a number of one-person missions in cities of over 1 million people where the U.S. currently has no representation at all. Foreign Service officers will be required to serve in hardship posts in order to get promoted. The State Department is also opening a regional public diplomacy center for the Middle East, staffed by Arabic-speakers, and an Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization, staffed by nation-building experts.

All good moves, but they don't go far enough. Public diplomacy, for one, has suffered since the U.S. Information Agency was folded into the State Department in 1999 in a misguided deal cooked up by the unlikely alliance of then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). This led to a closing of American libraries all over the world and to a downgrading of public communications in the overall scheme of things. However much Rice or her successors may stress public diplomacy, it is likely to remain a bastard stepchild in a bureaucracy run by Foreign Service officers with other specialties. Why not reopen the USIA as a separate agency with its own staff and a big boost in funding?

And why not set up a new nation-building department built, perhaps, on the foundation of the Agency for International Development? The new Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization is doing good work, but it is unlikely to get sufficient support from Congress or its own department as long as it's subsumed in a larger bureaucracy.

In any case, the skills needed for nation-building are more akin to those of the old British Colonial Office than to those inculcated by the State Department. We should open up our own version of the Colonial Office at USAID. Instead, the trend seems to be toward more closely integrating USAID into the State Department, repeating the mistake that was made with the USIA.

Don't nod off. Diplomacy may not be sexy stuff, but it is vitally important if we are to deal with looming problems before they turn into a crisis requiring tens of thousands of U.S. troops to fix. We actually need to spend more and hire more people to tackle these issues. The entire international affairs budget — which includes funding not only for the State Department and other agencies but also for foreign aid — is just $35 billion, compared with about $500 billion in defense spending. And the State Department has just 13,000 employees, not enough to fill one Army division.

But before making a bigger commitment to diplomacy and related disciplines, we need to make sure we have the right structure in place to address the challenges of the 21st century.

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The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power  

The book was selected as one of the best books of 2002 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor. It also won the 2003 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award, given annually by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book pertaining to Marine Corps history. Sales help fund JWR.

Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He is also a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and a weekly columnist for the Los Angeles Times. To comment, please click here.


© 2006, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate