The Best Defense

Rebecca's War Dog of the Week: Harley supports Operation Jaws in Helmand

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

Harley, an IDD dog, was one of many Marines with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion deployed on a June mission supporting Operation Jaws in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. Their goal was to clear the area of IEDs and create safe passage for  troops moving within and through the area and "to aid infantry maneuvering and delivery of supplies." Over the course of the ten-day mission, which included not only the efforts of explosive-detecting Harley, his handler, and their unit, but those of the supporting Afghan National Army teams and other Marine battalions.

Though the teams were attacked while conducting their searches -- hit with RPG rounds and small arms fire by insurgents in attempt to dislodge their efforts -- the mission was deemed a success, their finds boasting upwards of 15 IEDs and an anti-tank explosive.

"My guys did fantastic; I am super proud of them," said Staff Sgt. Gerhard Tauss. "We got into a firefight and they performed admirably; exactly how we trained them to. They kept their cool and I am lucky to have them in my platoon."

Above Harley takes a break in the back of a vehicle on June 23.

Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr

The Best Defense

Ready to go to war in Syria?

The fellas over at the Foreign Policy Initiative seem eager to intervene in Syria. They're proposing establishing "a safe zone" that would be protected by a "no fly zone."

They don't go into details of whether there would be boots on the ground.

The board of directors are Eric Edelman, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, and Dan Senor. I know some of youse will get upset by those names, but I think the first three are some of the most thoughtful conservative interventionists around. (I don't know Senor well. I think I have only met him once or twice and have never read much of what he has written.)

Personally, I am sick of Americans being involved in wars in the Middle East. I don't like this plan of keeping on trying 'til we find we all like. That said, I find it a bit awkward to explain why I thought it was the right thing to help intervene in Libya but not in Syria. I find David Ignatius persuasive (as usual) on why we should do more than we are doing, but less than Foreign Policy Initiative recommends.  

Adam Dean/Panos Pictures