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 August 12, 2009 / 22 Menachem-Av 5769

Empower the local Afghan tribal chiefs

By Tony Blankley

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I have talked with soldiers from Afghanistan — both American and British, both in the ranks and field-grade officers — in an effort at making sense of what we are doing there. The White House and Pentagon publicly say they are reassessing policy in Afghanistan. It is well that they should. So far, both means and goals are confused.

The initial phase of the war, which started Oct. 7, 2001, had a clear and necessary purpose: to destroy the Taliban regime that gave succor to those who attacked us Sept. 11. That promptly was accomplished in a shrewdly designed operation that combined a light American presence with a maximum effort at working with local and regional forces hostile to the regime. However, as the Taliban continue the fight (with their Pakistan redoubts), short of permanent American occupation, what is our plan?

In a partially public, partially hush-hush review of policy between the administration and the new commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander has said the Taliban has gained the upper hand, extended their fighting to formerly stable areas and increased their technological sophistication. The general has said publicly that he still is considering a request for more troops — above the current number, 68,000 American troops — which itself reflects the earlier administration decision to increase troop levels by 21,000 military souls.

Gen. McChrystal also has said publicly already that he would almost double the size of the Afghan military and police. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Afghan army would increase from 135,000 to 240,000, and the police would increase from 82,000 to 160,000. That alone implies a substantial increase in American troop levels — both to train all those new Afghans and to lead and support them in heightened levels of fighting — which, the general says, is necessary.

But last week, the general was called to a previously unscheduled private meeting in Belgium with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, after which it was announced that McChrystal's new war plans would be postponed.

Last week, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell seemed to be undercutting the significance of Gen. McChrystal's review, stating: "This is not akin to the much-anticipated Gen. (David) Petraeus assessments that we got in … 2007. … The assessment will not be, despite some erroneous reporting that I've seen, a work product that includes specific resource requests, if indeed there will be additional resource requests. … The assessment will focus … on the situation on the ground and the way ahead, but it will not offer specific resource requests or recommendations."

Some important experts are concerned that those words — and that rushed private meeting in Belgium — suggest that the administration is politicizing war policy and not giving sufficient respect to military recommendations.

While I agree with that assessment, I don't chastise the administration for it. Ultimately, high war policy is a political decision for which the president is responsible. Consider the very proper roles of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill and David Ben-Gurion in the wars they actively led in strategic and even tactical decision-making.

At the highest levels, war-fighting policy often becomes historical and political judgment — and thus presidential. For example, it would appear that a policy that calls for substantially increased troop strengths for both the American and Afghan forces implies a policy that aspires to build a strong central government in Kabul capable of permanently suppressing the Taliban. But the long history of Afghanistan suggests that, unlike Iraq (or Japan and Germany after World War II), Afghanistan is not likely to accept a strong central government.

According to several of the troops with whom I talked, a policy that merely wants permanently to suppress the Taliban could be more surely gained by fully empowering the local tribal chiefs and warlords to go after the Taliban — who, though of the same Pashtun tribe as many Afghans, are considered different subsets of the tribe and thus foreigners worthy of enthusiastic slaughter.

Afghans hate foreigners, whether Macedonian, British, Russian, American or Pakistani Pashtun. I am told that America's tendency to want to get the military job done ourselves is offending the local friendly fighters. We have trouble letting go of responsibility. We are not hated quite yet. But we need to leave soon, or we will be.

Also, we cannot deny the locals the revenue from the poppy fields and hope to befriend and empower the local tribal chiefs and farmers. It would be better if we simply bought the whole yearly crop (approximate cost $2 billion to 3 billion — but far cheaper in both dollars and American lives than the alternative) and directed it to the legal pharmaceutical market. Thus, the Afghans would keep their desperately needed money (and their traditional tribal relations and culture); the Taliban wouldn't get its cut; and we would keep the heroin off the streets of Europe and America.

If we insist on our current policy of trying to prop up an inevitably corrupt and feeble Kabul central government and supplant the traditional tribal leaders with a national army and 100,000 American troops in the field, it all will end in tears.

We should support the tribes that have cheerfully and courageously driven out all foreign intruders for thousands of years, not try to build a national government that they will equally cheerfully massacre — as they have for thousands of years.

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.


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2009, Creators Syndicate