By lex, on May 5th, 2011
Add one more unnamed warrior to the roll of Abbottabad heroes – this one with four legs vice two:
Little is known about what may be the nation’s most courageous dog. Even its breed is the subject of great interest, although it was most likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, military sources say. But its use in the raid reflects the military’s growing dependence on dogs in wars in which improvised explosive devices have caused two-thirds of all casualties. Dogs have proved far better than people or machines at quickly finding bombs…
Maj. William Roberts, commander of the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, said the dog on the raid could have checked the compound for explosives and even sniffed door handles to see if they were booby-trapped.
And given that Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a narrow, dark hole beneath a mud shack in Iraq, the Seal team might have brought the dog in case Bin Laden had built a secret room into his compound.
“Dogs are very good at detecting people inside of a building,” Major Roberts said.
Another use may have been to catch anyone escaping the compound in the first moments of the raid. A shepherd or a Malinois runs twice as fast as a human.
And when he catches you, you’re going nowhere, fast. “Unleash the dogs of war,” Shakespeare wrote, and it appears that the SEALs have taken a page out of his notebook.
A large, well-trained dog also has an important psychological effect in that part of the world, and the very sight of one straining at his leash could be enough to inject doubt and fear into someone considering making a play.