This article first appeared in Aviation Week's Ares Weblog.
President Bush publicly acknowledged that Syria has been doing something suspicious involving nuclear development and North Korea. Following his lead, other officials are quietly dropping clues about how Syrias suspicious facility was attacked.
The Israel Air Force's stunning, undetected flight through Syria's air defenses late last year -- as part of a raid on a suspected nuclear facility -- bears electronic fingerprints similar to those left in Baghdad by the U.S. in 1991 and 2003, say U.S. military and IT industry specialists.
The raid on Syria was winked at by the U.S. which also supplied some non-participatory support, they say.
The answer to the question of why the U.S. was involved is that "The Israelis can do things [within the region and Israel's political structure that] we sometimes can't do," says a senior U.S. Air Force official with long background in black operations. Syria's construction of the facility and North Korea's participation "was an area of concern for us as well, so there was some help provided in discussing vulnerabilities and providing other knowledge [of Syria's integrated air defenses and electrical grid]. What occurred, isn't inconsistent with what happened in Iraq twice before."
So what did the U.S. forces do in Iraq in 1991 and 2003 to confound air defenses, communications and the ability to command forces in the field?