Gaya, an explosive detection dog with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, awaits a command. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)
U.S.-trained bomb-sniffing dogs sent to ally Jordan are losing their will to work and dying due to improper care, a recently released Department of State inspector general evaluation found.
The U.S. has been sending these specially trained dogs to Jordan for years as part of the extensive Explosive Detection Canine Program (EDCP). Since 2008, at least 10 of the dogs have died from medical problems. Other canines were found to be living in unhealthy conditions that the IG report characterized as "disturbing."
"Canines lose their effectiveness when their quality of life is poor," the report read.
There are a million ways to be killed or wounded on the modern battlefield: bullets, bombs, drone strikes, a tomahawk-wielding SEAL Team 6 operator. But dogs? For jihadists squaring off with Western forces in the Middle East, the threat is real, and a group of ISIS militants learned that lesson the hard way when they recently ambushed a group of elite British commandos with the Special Air Service in Iraq. And they (or their corpses) have the bite wounds to prove it.