November 24, 2017

The Dogs of War

K9 Storm/U.S. Navy

DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”:

ANTONY:
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter’d with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

 

Reports of the Navy SEALs bringing a dog on their commando raid of bin Laden’s compound has led to many stories around the Web on the role of dogs in the military. ABC News has a series of photos, as does Foreign Policy.

One of the saddest stories I’ve read from Afghanistan this year was of the British soldier and dog handler Liam Tasker who was killed in March. His dog Theo died of a seizure a few hours later. They said the springer spaniel died of a broken heart.

Libya has become a battleground for mercenaries which has led to the cry, send in the dogs of war to aid the rebels against Gaddafi’s use of thousands of such mercenaries.

“The Dogs of War” is a classic Frederick Forsyth novel of European mercenaries overthrowing an African dictator.

Here’s a very moving report of British soldier and dog trainer Liam Tasker and his dog Theo:

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