The Best Defense

What happens when you cut the Air Force's pet program

While Tom Ricks is away from his blog, he has selected a few of his favorite posts to re-run. We will be posting a few every day until he returns. This originally ran on June 1, 2009.

Defense Secretary Gates's aircraft starts having mechanical problems when he is on the far side of the planet. Hmm.

"You say you need to be in Manila tonight, Mr. Secretary? Wow, tough deadline. Now, about those F-22s..."


The Best Defense

Rebecca's War Dog of the Week: The MWD Summer Postcard Series

By Rebecca Frankel

Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

Looks like we've hit the dog days of summer over here at the Best Defense workshop. While Tom is taking a well-deserved break from blogging after a long haul of book writing, I will be more or less doing the same. Except this hiatus comes just in time as I have a long haul of book writing ahead of me this summer. Instead of our regular Friday war-dog post, I'll be offering a Friday war-dog photo-postcards if you will, like this one:

Zzarr, a 6-year old Dutch Shepherd and his K-9 handler U.S. Army Sergeant Nathan Arriaga (partly hidden by Zzarr), are shown before leaving Forward Operating Base Walton to patrol with 1st Battalion 67th Armoured Regiment, Task Force Dealers in the Arghandab district of Iraq. Both Zzarr and K-9 handler Sgt. Arriaga did their first combat duty in Iraq in 2009."

If you have a good MWD photo -- or pics of a soldier stray -- from the front you think deserve a viewing here, send 'em to wardogoftheweek(at)

Rebecca Frankel, on leave from her FP desk, is currently writing a book about military working dogs, to be published by Free Press.