The Best Defense

Rebecca's War Dog of the Week: risky business in Afghanistan

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

The suave looking war dog in this photo is wearing doggles -- not goggles, doggles -- and yes, these are real. Military dogs wear doggles specifically designed to protect the eyes of working dogs from dust and debris. Soldiers rely on the heightened senses of these dogs which far surpass those of a human, and so the dogs' handlers take the precautionary measures necessary to protect them, keeping a careful watch on their vitals and the care they receive in the field. 

This German Shepherd is wearing his doggles while Chinook helicopters take off during an air assault operation by U.S. soldiers in Parwan province, Afghanistan on May 11.      

U.S. Army/Sgt. Jason Brace/flickr

The Best Defense

China’s minerals diplomacy and you

If you saw the news item the other day that China, in a huff over some oceanic turf claims, was threatening to cut off the export of certain rare minerals to Japan, I bet you shrugged and turned the page.

But Business Week offers up the intelligence that U.S. smart bombs also rely on neodymium, an essential part of magnets on the fins that guide smart bombs. Guess who dominates that market? "The Pentagon has been incredibly negligent," Peter Leitner, a former trade adviser at the Defense Department, reassuringly tells BW. "There are plenty of early warning signs that China will use its leverage over these materials as a weapon."

Interested now? Good. My CNAS colleagues Christine Parthemore and Will Rogers run a blog titled "Natural Security" that specializes in issues like this. Minerals, energy and the political effects of climate change -- it's a growth market.

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