The Best Defense

What NDU looked like from the Pentagon: A big fat pain in the butt

A former Pentagon official writes:

[Y]ou probably should have mentioned that the 'real reason' everyone hates NDU is because it's where the OSD SES/seniors go to 'hide' after their political appointments/connections expire with a change of administration. [T]his typically happens after the election, but before the new crowd of appointees arrive. [T]hen, from NDU, these guys thumb their noses at the JCS and the new political appointees at OSD, and hope they can survive -- at NDU -- until their team returns. [T]he JCS especially hates this -- and you can't really blame them. [I]f there is any partisan difference in this practice, the dem[ocrat]s to it way more than the rep[ublican]s do, probably because more dem[ocrat]s typically originate from academia. [I]'ve watched this happen over the last 30 years, and had to deal with it when I was [at OSD].


The Best Defense

The Syrian shootdown of the Turkish jet

My first thought was that Syria shot down the Turkish F-4 because the Turks were probing Syrian air defenses. But then I remembered that the U.S. aircraft patrolling the northern Iraq no-fly zone flew out of Incirlik, Turkey, which meant that they zoomed along the northern Syrian border for years. We must have learned an awful lot about Syrian operations, and shared almost all of it with our Turkish friends, and other members of NATO.

So what more might there be to learn? Probably a probe to see how much deterioration there has been in Syrian defenses in the last year. But that would be a good use of a drone, no? (And are we sure there was a pilot in that F-4?)

The Israelis clearly also know a lot about Syrian defenses. 

Meanwhile, Turkish jets conducted air strikes in northern Iraq. Interesting neighborhood.