With long faces the Generals started to march out of President Ego's Office (ergo, President Obama's Office).
The fix was in - for every 100 troops the President sends to meet General McChrystal's request for a 40,000 troop insertion into Afghanistan, the Pentagon (and more particularly the United States Air Force; USAF) will have to stand down a front-line combat aircraft.
For the full complement of 40,000 troops that means 400 front line aircraft.
As President Obama had put it, "Times are hard; Biden is on my left flank, McChrystal on my right flank and Pelosi with her fangs in my rear end ... so this is how it's going down. 400 combat aircraft taken out of service."
One enterprising General came up with a brilliant idea, "Do a deal with those Iranians, tell 'em we will give them 400 of our standard F16 fighters - the real McCoy F16."
"How's that General", responded President Ego, "McCain will have his fangs on both my cheeks."
"Simple," said the General, "We deplete our airbases in Italy - we only have early versions of our F16 fighters in Italy - who would attack Italy?"
The President not getting the gag, "So what does that do for us?"
"Do you play chess" said the General in a non-questioning tone, quickly adding, "Mr. President".
The President still not getting the military gag, "Explain."
"Russia is secretly exporting S300 missiles to Iran - the S300 radars will 'paint' the standard F16 fighters and home in on the them in preference to the Israeli F16 type 'es'."
"F16 type ES?"
"Yes Mr. President, we've been shipping them to the IAF (Israeli Air Force) for months now, type 'es' stands for extra-stealthy (or 'extra stir-fry' as our hot dog pilots call them, chuckled the General) - we can't spot them even if they are painted with our X-band radar."
"Neat", said the President, "... but I need to think about it."
"Type D," mumbled the Generals as they left the room (as in President Ditherer).