Tag Archive: War Dogs


Don’t Abandon Our Dogs Of War

 

 

 

 

” We’ve all heard the expression: “A man’s best friend is his equipment.”

  You haven’t? Well you must not work for the Pentagon. There, military dogs are considered mere “equipment” and as such can be left behind when the troops come home.

  It’s a bit more complicated than that. Military dogs are enlisted (drafted actually) to identify enemy locations, to seek out bombs, and protect bases. It is dangerous, often traumatic work. The dogs are credited with saving countless U.S. and allied lives, which is why the Taliban actively targets our dogs of war. While on active service, each dog is given a higher rank than its handler.

  That is, right up until the moment these dogs are “retired.” Once they are too old, too shell-shocked or simply not needed, the dogs are automatically declared equipment that can be left behind like a latrine tent. The military sometimes says they are “retired” and become “civilians,” but the result is the same because these civilians don’t have a right to military transport home. ” 

 

Read more from Jonah Goldberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Geographic’s Profile Of The Dogs Of War

 

Picture of Marine Corporal John Dolezal posing with Cchaz, a Belgian Malinois

 

 

 

” Not all military dogs are suited to combat. Some wither in the heat or become too excited by the sounds of gunfire or explosions, even after they’ve been desensitized to them in training. Some are too loyal, too lazy, or too playful. Each dog is its own particular, sometimes peculiar, universe. Still, certain breeds generally do better than others on the battlefield, such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and especially the Belgian Malinois, which is known for being fearless, driven, and able to handle the heat.

  But what works in a given environment may not work in another. History suggests that each battle situation calls for its own breed and tactics. Benjamin Franklin encouraged the use of dogs against the Indians. They “will confound the enemy a good deal,” he wrote, “and be very serviceable. This was the Spanish method of guarding their marches.” (Spanish conquistadores were said to have used bullmastiffs against Native Americans.)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” During the Second Seminole War, starting in 1835, the U.S. military used Cuban-bred bloodhounds to track Indians in the swamps of Florida. Dogs were said to have guarded soldiers in the Civil War. During World War I both sides used tens of thousands of dogs as messengers. In World War II the U.S. Marines deployed dogs on Pacific islands to sniff out Japanese positions. In Vietnam an estimated 4,000 canines were used to lead jungle patrols, saving numerous lives. (Nevertheless, the military decided to leave many behind when the U.S. pulled out.)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the whole story at National Geographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Federalist Papers

 

 

Illustration Courtesy of US War Dogs Association