Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Dogs of War

U.S. soldier and his dog leap off the ramp of a helicopter

Who would have guessed one of the most interesting stories I came across after the death of Osama bin Laden (great summary) would be about the role of canines in the military:
Dogs have been fighting alongside U.S. soldiers for more than 100 years, seeing combat in the Civil War and World War I. But their service was informal; only in 1942 were canines officially inducted into the U.S. Army. Today, they're a central part of U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as of early 2010 the U.S. Army had 2,800 active-duty dogs deployed (the largest canine contingent in the world). And these numbers will continue to grow as these dogs become an ever-more-vital military asset.

So it should come as no surprise that among the 79 commandos involved in Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in Osama bin Laden's killing, there was one dog -- the elite of the four-legged variety.
I recommended the who article quoted. It's short, full of great links and more wonderful photographs of humans and their animals.

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