Military Dog Surge in Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Bomb-Sniffing Dog in Afghanistan (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

With the surge of thousands more U.S. soldiers into Afghanistan has come another influx of specially trained personnel: bomb-sniffing dogs. Canines by the hundreds may eventually be sent to help fight the war against the Taliban, which relies on improvised explosive devices to attack American and allied troops. Approximately 70 dogs are already in country, and the total could reach 200 or even 300 in time.

Despite their importance to the U.S. military mission, the dogs are having a tough time getting enough food. The animals require high-quality food with enough protein and nutrients to help them survive extreme weather and intensive work, but the military doesn’t place a high priority on shipping the food. Nick Guidas, the American K-9 project manager for Afghanistan, says limited space on trucks bringing supplies in from Pakistan has often led to items such as Coke or potato chips for soldiers getting shipped before dog food.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Military Dogs in Afghanistan Short on Chow (by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press)
Trained Dogs Sniff Out Hidden Bombs in Afghanistan (by Alfred de Montesquiou, Associated Press)


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