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].
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.