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Old 10-28-2019, 04:41 PM
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Thumbs up Here’s the US military dog that helped take down ISIS leader Baghdadi

Here’s the US military dog that helped take down ISIS leader Baghdadi
By: Alex Ward - VOX - 10-28-19
RE: https://www.vox.com/world/2019/10/28...-trump-twitter

Photo link: https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/sEp5...25142822.0.jpg
The dog that helped take down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

One of the most discussed details of the US military raid to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is that a dog — yes, a dog — played a vital part in the whole operation.

As the notorious terrorist tried to escape capture by fleeing into underground tunnels, a trained military canine followed to keep tabs on him. It allowed US forces to close in on Baghdadi, leading him to explode the vest he was wearing, killing himself and three children he had with him.

The White House praised the animal in his remarks announcing the operation’s success on Sunday, saying “the dog was so great.” The president did note that the dog sustained injuries during the mission, but Army Gen. Mark Miller, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the canine is recovering and is already back to work.

In a nod to the high interest in the dog, Trump declassified a photo of the Belgian Malinois on Monday afternoon.

There are two things worth noting about this tweet, other than it being super sweet.

First, the dog’s name is still classified, though Newsweek’s James LaPorta reports that its name is Conan. It remains unclear why the US government or the president can’t reveal the dog’s name. When I asked experts what reason there would be to keep the name a secret, all said they had no idea.

But Mark Hertling, a retired Army officer, tweeted a pretty good reason why it’s worth keeping under wraps.

This Army Dog was instrumental “in capturing and killing” Baghdadi. That’s not quite true: the US never captured the terror leader, and he killed himself — though he did so as the dog and American commandos were in close pursuit.

First, the dog’s name is still classified, though Newsweek’s James LaPorta reports that its name is Conan. It remains unclear why the US government or the president can’t reveal the dog’s name. When I asked experts what reason there would be to keep the name a secret, all said they had no idea.

But Mark Hertling, a retired Army officer, tweeted a pretty good reason why it’s worth keeping under wraps.

“They’re the first line of defense”

Ron Aiello, the president of the United States War Dogs Association, served with dogs during the Vietnam War. He told me that tens of thousands of canines have served alongside their human handlers since World War II.


They play an important role in helping to keep US troops alive, he said. The dogs are trained for many things, including sniffing out improvised explosive devices (IEDs), snipers in trees, or enemies hiding behind bushes before an ambush. The dog and the handler, then, typically lead out in front of troops to ensure they don’t walk into danger.

“To me, they’re the first line of defense,” said Aiello.

In the Baghdadi raid, it’s therefore possible that the dog went into the tunnel not only to track the terrorist, but also to ensure that the following troops weren’t running into a trap. If the dog found an IED, Aiello noted, then the dog is trained to sit down near it so it can be avoided and perhaps dismantled.

After a military dog serves the usual six to eight years in the military, they are then put up for adoption. The government, however, won’t pay for any expenses related to the dog once it’s no longer in service. That’s why organizations like Aiello’s exist to fund medical care and even wheelchairs, if needed. Aiello’s organization just began a program to train military dogs to become companions of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, he told me.

When I asked Aiello why he’s spent decades caring about military dogs, he noted that the great relationship with the canine companion he served with in Vietnam and how he intimately understands their vital role in helping the US carry out massive operations like the Baghdadi raid.

“They’re such a great asset to our military today,” he said.

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Personal Note: Dog's have a built in empathy (this I know) they care about the caregivers and will risk their lives to ensure the safety of their owner's or providers. That's why they are called "Man's Best Friend".

Boats
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O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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