Archive for the 'Dogs' Category



Georgia Woman’s Dog Attacked By Coyotes

BY Herschel Smith
3 months, 3 weeks ago

AJC:

Trish Gallup was walking her three dogs Friday morning in Smyrna when one of them, Radar, just started running.

She told Channel 2 Action News that a pair of coyotes took three bites out of Radar, leaving Boomer and Tracker unharmed. Pictures showed the missing tufts of hair on Radar, an 85-pound Labrador.

A picture of a coyote on the path at the River Line Soccer Park on Oakdale Road was posted on Nextdoor, reports Channel 2, and many people responded saying they have also seen them around.

Wildlife experts told Channel 2 Action News that an attack on a large dog like Radar is unusual.

What isn’t unusual is coyotes in “transition areas” — think treelines or areas where cut grass fades into other types of vegetation.

Dr. Tina Johannsen with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources told Channel 2 that they have received 650 calls into their regional offices about coyotes this year, which is a standard amount.

“They’re just going from point A to point B looking for something to eat,” Johannsen said.

Aren’t we all.

Johannsen recommended keeping cats and small dogs fenced in or on a leash.

She also wanted to remind folks that it’s legal and encouraged to kill the creatures.

For a second year, the “Georgia Coyote Challenge” is in effect. Those who kill the most between March and August could get a lifetime hunting license.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that a spokesman said 83 hunters turned in a total of 195 coyotes during the 2017 challenge period.

That’s a big dog (in the video) and yet they still attacked him.  And note that what was once a lone predator is now roaming in packs.  Again I say, these aren’t Coyotes – they are Coywolves.  Killing them is the right way to handle them.

But there is this warning.

Animal advocates groups criticized the “challenge” by saying it doesn’t work and is inhumane.

Killing them doesn’t decrease the numbers, and besides that, even if it did, we shouldn’t do it.  Or something.

Gunfire Becomes A Dinner Bell

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

The Outdoor Wire:

Ethologist Dr.Valerius Geist in British Columbia is the former program director of Environmental Sciences at U. Calgary, and he is known world-wide for his studies and writings about large game animals. Val recently sent me an e-mail about something that hunters should be aware of.

What prompted Val’s e-mail is that he had just received a newspaper article from Germany http://wolfeducationinternational.com/wolfe-am-hochstand-auf-der-lauer-wolfe-at-the-high-stand-in-wait/ reporting that German researchers, analyzing photographs of traps, animal feces, tracks, and other traces, found 60 wolf packs are now living across the country,13 more packs than a year ago. Overall, there are now between 150-160 adult wolves in Germany.

In Val’s research on wolves and their relationship with people, which I described in an earlier article, http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/features/230658 he found that in countries where most people don’t hunt with guns or own them – Siberia, India, Kazakhstan, etc.– wolves are more likely to attack people. Whereas in North America, where firearms ownership is greater, when people fire shots toward wolves, typically they keep their distance.

The German article, however, reports something different.

German hunters are reporting that when they’re out in the woods, and they shoot a red deer, fallow deer, roe deer or wild boar, wolves immediately show up. It’s common knowledge that predators like wolves, coyotes, and bears will feed on the remains of game animals. However, in Germany the wolves don’t seem to want to wait until the downed animals have been dressed, they aggressively approach the carcass and the hunters.

[ … ]

According to Val, “This is the first report I have ever heard about wolves being drawn to hunter’s gunshots. However, that bears can and do attack hunters is definitely known in North America.” A number of those we contacted agree.

These are some of the responses.

Jim Low, a retired Alaskan game warden, says, “A gunshot on Kodiak Island attracts bears.  Many deer hunters have killed deer on Kodiak Island only to have a Kodiak brown bear show up and want to dine on venison.”

Joe Hosmer, former Pres. of the SCI Foundation, agrees. Joe says: “I have seen this black tail hunting on Kodiak Island. When a deer is shot the bears come running!  The hunter needs to give up the deer and move on,” unless you also have a bear license.

And then there’s this.

Hunters approaching a kill or a blood-trail with their single tracking dog are in danger of losing their dog to a wolf pack. In 2016 in Wisconsin, wolves killed 41 hunting dogs. https://www.wpr.org/record-number-hunting-dogs-killed-wolves-2016

Be careful out there.  A good dog will give his or her life for you.  And I’ll give mine for my dog.  After all, a man can’t live forever, and it matters how he dies.

Around these parts, a Coywolf doesn’t howl.  When I’ve been out with my dog at times, I just see their eyes.  They don’t announce their presence.  That’s why I carry a gun with me wherever I go.  I intend to make sure neither of us has to give our lives for the other.  I think General Patton had something or other to say about that.

Bear In The House, But A Dog’s Love Knows No Bounds

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 3 weeks ago

Via correspondent Fred Tippens, NY Post:

GROTON, N.H. — New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department says a 71-year-old woman suffered serious head injuries from an encounter with a bear in her home.

The department says the bear somehow got inside the woman’s home about 1:15 a.m. Tuesday in Groton, a rural community in the central part of the state. The woman, who uses a wheelchair, was hospitalized. Authorities haven’t been able to talk to her yet.

WMUR-TV reports evidence suggest the bear was trapped in the kitchen area before its encounter with the woman. The bear managed to get out of the home afterward.

Fish and Game officers said they are searching for the bear. They are concerned the bear may have rabies.

The moral of the story is that you’re not safe anywhere, and not just from two-legged threats.  How close do you have a gun in the house?

More:

This golden retriever has a heart of gold.

 

The loyal pup risked his snout to protect his owner from being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Paula Godwin, from Anthem, Arizona, was on a hike Friday morning when she almost stepped on the dangerous viper, she wrote in a Facebook post.

But Todd swooped in and saved her, she said.

“He jumped right in front of my leg where I surely would have been bit,” she wrote.

Todd, who is less than a year old, tackled the rattlesnake but ended up getting bitten on the nose.

I’m shocked that this dog is alive, but since my Heidi has been bitten by a Copperhead I know that dogs do better with snake bites than humans.  Still, this is a rattlesnake.

Got dogs?

Bears Just Don’t Care, And Coywolves Only A Little Bit

BY Herschel Smith
5 months ago

Charlotte Observer, news from Atlanta.

A Georgia woman screamed in fright as a bear climbed through an open window and into her minivan, tore up a child seat and ate her lunch.

“A bear beat me to my lunch today and is now hanging out in my van for over an hour and I have set the alarm off multiple times!” Carrie Watts posted on Facebook with her video of the bear.

Watts was working as a caretaker in a home Tuesday on Lake Burton, in the northeastern corner of the state, when she looked outside as the large black bear munched away., Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA-TV reported.

The bear ate her sandwich, chips and cookie, Watts told WSB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Atlanta.

“I panicked. I started screaming,” she told WSB-TV.

She set her minivan’s alarm off multiple times to no avail, Watts posted on Facebook. The bear stayed in the vehicle for an hour before leaving, she posted.

I don’t think a car alarm is going to do the trick dear.  In other news of Coywolves, they are where you might least expect them.

A coyote has been terrorizing two East Bay neighborhoods, killing at least four dogs and injuring several others in people’s backyards in the past month.

One of the attacks happened last week in Danville when a coyote leaped a six-foot high fence of a home and went after two dogs who lived there. Though the dogs survived, other pets were not so fortunate.

Nine-year-old Lucy is recovering from surgery after a coyote attacked her in her own Alamo backyard on July 6. Kent Molinaro says he was in shock when he looked out the window and saw his Jack Russell Terrier.

“I see a coyote with Lucy in his mouth,” Molinaro said.

[ … ]

“All of a sudden he made a funny bark and I saw one of the two dogs being carried to the back fence of the yard,” said Danville resident Dave Bruce.

As the dog was being attacked, another pet nipped at the coyote until he dropped him.

And much farther to the East.

Police in Burlington, Massachusetts, are reminding residents to be vigilant after a coyote possibly attacked a dog on Thursday night.

Authorities said a Winn Street resident reported that a wild animal, potentially a coyote, came into her backyard at about 8 p.m. and grabbed her 9 pound Maltese, pulling it into the woods.

Responding officers searched the perimeter of the woods but were unable to locate the dog.

“This was a very unfortunate situation where a resident lost her beloved pet,” Burlington Police Chief Michael Kent said.

[ … ]

To prevent those attacks, police recommend the following tips:

  • Keep pets on leashes at all times if outdoors
  • Do not approach, feed, pet, or try to interact with wildlife
  • Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten wild animals with loud noises or bright lights

Hey, does a .45 ACP count as a loud noise?

I guess the moral of the story is that a bear just doesn’t give a shit about anything.  A Coywolf, only a little bit.

Dog Shot Protecting Teen During Home Invasion

BY Herschel Smith
9 months, 3 weeks ago

News from Des Moines:

A 16-year-old boy says his dog made all the difference when armed intruders busted into his house on Wednesday. It happened just after noon, in the 1400 block of South 234th Street in Des Moines.

Javier Mercado was home alone with his German Shepherd, Rex. He gives his loyal companion all the credit for saving his life.

“I feel like if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today telling you this story,” said Mercado.

He says around noon, he heard a noise and looked out a window. He saw a car he did not recognize.

“I heard the sliding door break, and it is made out of just glass so it shattered really loud,” said Mercado. “My dog ran downstairs, and it just started barking and barking. I heard one guy scream, ‘the dog bit me, get the dog.'”

Javier grabbed his cell phone, hid in a closet, and called 911.

“I could hear my dog, like, really close to me in the bathroom with me, just barking. And the man comes upstairs,” said Mercado. “I heard one gunshot and several after that, and my dog just cried after every shot that hit him.”

He wanted to rush to Rex’s side, but the dispatcher told him not to.

“I thought he was dead for sure. I broke down,” said Mercado.

By the time police officers arrived, the intruders were gone. Mercado spent nearly an hour hiding in a closet before it was safe to come out.

Then he received a call telling him Rex was still alive. His dog had been taken to BluePearl, an emergency pet hospital, in Renton. Rex had gunshot wounds in his neck and hind legs that required surgery.

For Mercado, the relief that his dog even survived was followed by the reality that his family does not have the money to pay for Rex’s medical bills.

“I was worried, my parents were worried. My dad said he was going to start working every Saturday, saving up,” said Mercado.

But in a short amount of time family, friends and the community have come through with a fundraiser for Rex. A GoFundMe page was started, and already thousands of dollars have been raised.

Mercado is so grateful. All of his focus right now is on his German Shepherd.

“That he just pulls through everything and comes home,” said Mercado.

That’s his hope for Rex, now hailed the “Hero Dog.”

I have a very big, very soft spot in my heart for dogs.  The first time I read this article my initial thought was, “Let me tell you something boy, don’t you ever hide in a closet while a faithful dog takes the fall for you.  I’ll step in front of my dog to keep her from being shot.  You’d better go get yourself a gun right now.”

But then I re-read the article, and he is a teen.  He can’t have a gun.  The dog is a hero.  Dogs are faithful.  Got dogs?

Got Dogs?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year ago

KCENTV.com:

CENTRAL TEXAS — A Killeen woman has shared disturbing video of an attempted burglary in an effort to warn other residents to be on alert and to keep the would-be thieves from targeting anyone else.

The footage was captured on a Vivint home security system around 1:08 a.m. Nov. 18 in the 2200 block of Fieldstone Drive off of Willow Spring Road in Killeen.

The victim said she heard glass break toward the front of her house. When she went into her living room, she realize someone had broken her window. So, she called 911.

While the woman was on the phone with 911, a guy in a jersey knocked on her door and asked if she was okay. But, the woman claimed the male in the jersey was only a distraction to allow the other guys to approach with guns.

She said the trio was going to rob her but saw she had four dogs and ran away.

When police arrived, officers said they found the guy in the jersey in front of the house claiming to be a concerned neighbor. As the victim suspected, police later determined he was involved, so they arrested him. Investigators also located two suspicious vehicles nearby. They determined the occupants in the vehicles were the other suspects in the incident and arrested the occupants in both.

In total, four adults were arrested and one juvenile was taken into custody. All five were charged with burglary of a habitation. The four adults were identified as Gjavion Smith-Williams, 17, Davieon Reed, 22, Jamal Marbury Jr., 18, and Daquan Lavant, 18.

It brought a smile to my face to see the hoodlums run away in that video.

Next up, news from Canada.

It is an amazing tale of survival.

Dog walker Annette Poitras spent more than two days lost in the backcountry of Eagle Mountain in Coquitlam with three dogs.

They were all rescued alive and safe Wednesday afternoon, and now more details are coming to light about how they survived the rain and the elements.

Marcel, Annette’s husband, told Global News on Thursday that the dogs helped his wife stay alive.

“One of them was cuddling [her] and one of them was on guard and the other one was looking for food,” he said.

Annette was with a collie named Chloe, a boxer named Roxy and a puggle named Bubba. They didn’t leave her side, even though one of them initially wandered off when Annette fell and hurt herself.

But luckily, that dog came back and then all four of them stayed together until they were rescued.

Despite having no water or food, it appears the group took care of each other as best they could.

“[At] one point, the last night — when it was torrential rain — the short-haired boxer, [Roxy], was cold, so [Annette] took off one of her rain jackets to put over the boxer,” said Marcel. “To keep it warm.”

Annette also learned a survival tip from the dogs.

“She happened to notice one of the dogs was digging a hole to sleep in,” explained Marcel. “[The undergrowth], it’s very spongy, it soaks up a lot of water. So she started sweeping away all the brush and everything to get down into the dirt and kind of made herself a little well to sleep in. She learned from the dogs.”

I don’t think it was “lucky” that the one dog came back to her, but then, I don’t believe in luck or chance.  I doubt that the dog who hunted for food came back with anything for her that could be eaten unprepared, but I also doubt that she had much of a chance for survival without the dogs.

Got dogs?  If you want companionship, faithful, loyal and loved family members, and committed partners for your protection, you can’t do any better than dogs.

$262K Settlement For Owner Of Dog Killed By Police

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 10 months ago

USA Today:

The owner of a dog shot and killed by police in 2012 will receive a $262,000 settlement from Commerce City in Colorado, according to a city spokeswoman.

On Nov. 24 2012, three Commerce City Police officers responded to reports of a “loose, vicious dog.” Police said Chloe, a 3-year-old dog, aggressively ran toward the officers. During the encounter, Officer Robert Price, shot and killed the dog.

The dog was first shocked with a stun gun and then shot multiple times. A neighbor took cellphone video of Chloe’s death, which was a key piece of evidence in the case.

The viral video showed Chloe cowering and trying to escape.

Price was found not guilty of animal cruelty charges in 2013.

The Animal Law Center says the $262,000 settlement is one of the largest of its kind.

Chloe’s owner, Gary Branson, was out of town when she was shot.

Okay, I have several comments after reading this, and after watching that horrible video in full.  First, dog owners should make arrangements for the dog at all times.  They are part of the family.  A loose dog when you’re out of town is unacceptable and irresponsible.

That said, the police are obviously guilty of animal cruelty and the one doing the shooting should have gone to prison just like Michael Vick.

The officer in the very first part of the video is an overblown, bloated fat ass, and doesn’t need to be on the police force anywhere.  The female officer is worthless, and doesn’t understand how to handle the dog.  As I’ve said before, “Voice commands are critical, and voice inflection, tonality and timbre (or tone color) make or break your communications with the animal.  Learn it.  Practice it.  Do it.  Take time with it, and if you live in a dense urban area where you cannot work with farm animals, travel on the weekends to a place where you can, or move permanently.  It’s that important.”

Within five minutes, I would have been petting Chloe and she would have been laying on her back with me scratching her belly.  The officers are hicks and goobers.  They know nothing.  They are worthless.

Just as bad as it pertains to future engagements, the final officer who shot Chloe – Robert Price – used his handgun with one hand, the other hand flailing wildly behind him.  No kidding.  Watch the video.  No, no, Robert.  Do it this way.

What the hell are they teaching these boys in Colorado?  Are they teaching them anything at all?  My God, I would hate to meet up with these morons, any one of them.  To me, they seem dangerous in their ignorance.  The dog was no danger.  The only danger was because of the idiot cops that day.  I hope all the cops in the Commerce City Police Department aren’t that stupid.

A final word about the settlement.  I hate it when the city suffers the financial harm for malicious acts of their cowardly police officers, but maybe with enough huge settlements of this sort, cities will begin to hire people who can think.

Robert Price should go to prison, and he certainly shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun.  How do you feel about costing your city $262K, Robert?  Pretty bad?  You should.  How do you feel about killing Chloe, Robert?  Pretty bad?  You should.

More On Animals, Cops, Logistics And Survival

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 8 months ago

As a followup to my article Note To Cops And Survivalists: The World Is Full Of Animals, Embrace It!, Mountain Guerrilla posted a piece on animals and logistics (via WRSA), although he didn’t link back to my article.

Mosby spends some time rehearsing an Army field manual on animals and logistics, with some good suggestions for the proper use of horses.  Then he poses this.

Do you know how to ride a horse? I don’t mean sit on a horse in the lesson arena either. Have you ever ridden a horse across country, through the brush? Across steep terrain. Like I said, I’m not an expert, but I’ve done both of these enough to know…and witness…untrained people fall off horses all the fucking time in rough terrain, seldom with healthy results. Have you ever actually sat on a horse ALL day long? I helped some neighbors pack a camp into the Bob Marshall Wilderness area a couple of years ago. I’d always wanted to get into the backcountry of the “Bob,” and it seemed like a much easier alternative to walking in. What would have been a two-day round trip for them turned into a four-day trip because, after sitting on a horse for 16 hours straight on the ride in? I literally, could not walk the next two days, let alone get back on the horse to ride out. It was not pretty, at all…and I’m in pretty good condition.

Check.  All of the above.  I have fallen off, been thrown off, bitten, run over, kicked, and just about anything that can happen on or around a horse.  I have ridden horses all day long, and I do mean all … day … long, and gotten on to do it again the next day.  And the next day.  And the next day.  I have fed them, herded them, doctored them, and assisted them to mate.  If you’ve never witnessed horses mating first hand (and I’m not talking about watching the Discovery Channel), it can be a violent affair.  I’ve ridden with saddles and then also (in my much younger years) bareback over mountain tops along narrow trails while running the herd).  The hardest ride was bareback and (on a dare) without a bridle, only the halter.

From the age of fourteen and beyond into my early twenties, I worked weekends and summers at a Christian camp above Marietta, South Carolina named Awanita Valley (and Awanita Ranch in Traveler’s Rest).  We trained and trail rode horses, fed them and cared for them, hiked the trails and cleared them of snakes and yellow jacket nests (have you ever been on a horse when it came up on a yellow jacket nest?).

When we weren’t doing that, we were cutting wood, hauling supplies, digging ditches, and baling hay.  My boys did the same thing, and Daniel later (before the Marine Corps) worked for Joey Macrae in Anderson, South Carolina, an extraordinary professional horseman, breaking and training horses.  I have ridden in the rain, blazing sun, and snow.  I have seen my son Joshua and his horse buried up to his thighs in snow, and watched him ride the horse up from sinking in the drift and stay on him while keeping the horse and him safe.

Why is all (or any) of this important?  Because as I tried to convey in my earlier post, it is critical to have an understanding and mastery over animals, especially if what we think will happen in America really happens.  And Mountain Guerrilla is right about logistics too.  But I’m not so sure that the Army was the first to field this idea.  See my article on Marines and Mules.  The Small Wars Journal had discussion on the importance of animals to logistics long ago.

The problem is that the Marine Corps has forgotten the lessons, and I’m afraid that the Army will never really take them to heart.  The modern U.S. military is techno-weighted down, with gadgetry, doohickeys, and reliance on constant logistics.  The so-called big dog is a symptom of this sickness, as is the huge budget for DARPA every year.  Truthfully, I think this is all related to the effete pressure for gender neutrality in the military.

But don’t you forget these lessons.  Plan ahead.  Learn how to make fire, how to purify water, how to fight, how to make your way around terrain, and how to navigate with maps and a compass (rather than using GPS like the liar Marine Corps officer candidates who were found out during officer’s school).

And learn animals.  Your life will be better for it.  This goes for cops too.  Lina Inverse makes an interesting point.

It just occurred to me that this puppycide policy is extremely unwise, because the desensitization works both ways. Every time a thug in uniform needlessly kills a family’s dog, that family in turn is that much more ready to return the favor someday….

It’s what Mike Vanderboegh calls losing the mandate of heaven.  At one time in our history, constables were respected and admired.  Children wanted to talk to them, show them respect, and even be like them.  Nowadays, with enough rifles pointed at women and children while screaming obscenities, with enough dead animals, with enough abuse and danger from cops, it may not be long before the people turn on cops.

If you’re a cop, you don’t want that to happen.  Believe me.  You don’t want that to happen.  You want to maintain the “mandate of heaven.”  If you lose it, you’ve lost everything.

Make sure to drop by Mountain Guerrilla and read his informed article.

Is She A Tough Girl Or A Sissy?

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 2 months ago

I watched this weekend at my son Joshua’s house as Heidi (my Doberman) decided that she wanted to meet the dog next door, and she jumped a four foot privacy fence.  I assumed that the fence would be a barrier to her and I didn’t have her shock collar on.  I assumed wrong.

And you’ve seen the video of bears jumping up and down on their front legs to warn you before they attack?  A couple of weeks ago I witnessed Heidi exhibiting the same behavior.  She barked so loudly that she hurt my ears, while each bark was timed with her paws landing on the floor.  I don’t recall who she saw on the sidewalk, but she was pissed, and I wouldn’t have wanted her outside at the moment.

And then there is this.

Heidi_Couch

She literally arranged the pillows, crashed on the couch, and then pulled the blanket over her.  I kid you not.  At about 85 pounds, her long legs have to hang off.

Shhh! … don’t tell my wife.  Heidi isn’t allowed on the couch, and if my wife knew about this Heidi would be done for.  In a throw-down between my wife and Heidi, Heidi doesn’t stand a chance.

Return of the Marine Corps Red Cells

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 12 months ago

From Marine Corps Times:

Commandant Gen. Jim Amos is bringing back “red cell” groups, which he used while commanding Marines in Iraq, to study enemy tactics.

The groups formed of officers and staff noncommissioned officers were handpicked to analyze the enemy threat, including tactics, techniques and procedures on the front lines, and determine the necessary operations to defeat that threat.

Now, Amos hopes to bring the groups back for use in Afghanistan.

Amos’ cells in Iraq included an eclectic group of personnel with backgrounds in intelligence, information operations, logistics, ground combat and civil affairs. What Amos wanted from them, said a former cell leader, were frank assessments and open discussion that challenged conventional thinking. He ended each meeting by reminding his staff: “Let’s do it to them before they do it to us.”

A red cell “is a great way to insist you get a group of people looking at things differently than anyone else,” said retired Col. Gary I. Wilson, who coordinated Amos’ cell with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing at Al Asad Air Base in 2003 and 2004.

Amos’ operational principle was “don’t wait for something to happen, make it happen,” Wilson said.

When insurgents began to fire SA-16 anti-air missiles, Amos “immediately modified his tactics,” ordering more nighttime flights and adding survivable gear and equipment to helicopters, said Wilson, who later led one of Amos’ cells with II Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq.

But before we discuss Amos’ concept, there’s an important report from The New York Times:

QURGHAN TAPA, Afghanistan — The hill wasn’t much to behold, just a treeless mound of dirt barely 80 feet high. But for Taliban fighters, it was a favorite spot for launching rockets into Imam Sahib city. Ideal, American commanders figured, for the insurgents to disrupt the coming parliamentary elections.

So under a warm September sun, a dozen American infantrymen snaked their way toward the hill’s summit, intent on holding it until voting booths closed the next evening. At the top, soldiers settled into trenches near the rusted carcass of a Soviet troop carrier and prepared for a long day of watching tree lines.

Then, an explosion. “Man down!” someone shouted. From across the hill, they could hear the faint sound of moaning: one of the company’s two minesweepers lay crumpled on the ground. The soldiers of Third Platoon froze in place.

Toward the rear of the line, Capt. Adrian Bonenberger, the 33-year-old company commander, cursed to himself. During weeks of planning, he had tried to foresee every potential danger, from heat exposure to suicide bombers. Yet now Third Platoon was trapped among mines they apparently could not detect. A medical evacuation helicopter had to be called, the platoon moved to safety, the mission drastically altered. His mind raced.

“Did I do the right thing?” he would ask himself later.

Far from the generals in the Pentagon and Kabul, America’s front-line troops entrust their lives to junior officers like Captain Bonenberger. These officers, in their 20s and early 30s, do much more than lead soldiers into combat. They must be coaches and therapists one minute, diplomats and dignitaries the next. They are asked to comprehend the machinations of Afghan allies even as they parry the attacks of Taliban foes.

As commander of Alpha Company, First Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, Captain Bonenberger was in charge not just of ensuring the safety of 150 soldiers, but also of securing the district of Imam Sahib, a volatile mix of insurgent enclaves and peaceful farming villages along the Tajikistan border.

Analysis & Commentary

The good Captain is working so hard he is likely losing very badly needed sleep.  He has been given an impossible mission.  Population-centric counterinsurgency with too few troops, too little time, too few resources, a corrupt government, and an American electorate who doesn’t understand what pop-centric COIN is or why one would need to conduct such a thing.

But allow me a pedestrian observation, if you will?  The American electorate knows at least a moderate amount about life-s decisions, and they set policy.  The American Generals are waging pop-centric COIN, but America expects us to be killing the enemy.  We shouldn’t be engaged in nation-building, but killing the enemy is complex when they hide amongst the people, and when some of them are the people.

The trouble with Captain Bonenberger’s trek up the hill wasn’t that he didn’t do everything he should have.  True enough, mine sweepers can only do so much.  The olfactory senses of dogs has proven to be much more reliable and informative in IED detection, and the Captain’s team should have had several good ones.

For reports of IEDs and dogs, see:

Combined Strategies Help IED Fight

Bomb Dogs See Action in Afghanistan

Training Dogs to Sniff Out IEDs

Bombs Frustrate High Tech Solutions

Marines Plan to Deploy More Bomb Dogs

And many more reports.  Forget the high tech solutions.  Defer to the only ones to whom God has given this skill – dogs.

But there is a deeper point to be made here.  We are trying to hold terrain when we do a march up a hill to secure it from the enemy.  He has been there, he has laid his traps and weapons, and we cannot match his knowledge of the terrain.

This all reminds me of our attempts to make the electrical grid in Iraq robust enough to withstand attacks from Sadr’s militia.  There aren’t enough engineers in the world to do such a thing.  Sadr’s militia had to be killed (and still must be).

In the case of the Captain’s hill, it would have been better to have spent his time putting up gated communities, taking census of the population, kicking in doors at night, and finding and killing the enemy.  As it is, not only did the Captain lose men, but he failed in his mission to secure the terrain – at least, initially.  There would seem to be a better way.

Returning to General Amos’ red cells, understanding Taliban TTPs is a step in the right direction.  But during the brutality of war, brutality that affects not only men but equipment, dogs are better than electronic equipment, mules are better than robots for transporting supplies, the backs of Marines is better than trucks that break down over impossible terrain, and finding and killing the enemy is better than trying to anticipate his next move with a crystal ball, with all due respect to Sun Tzu.


26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (679)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (33)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (15)
Ammunition (56)
Animals (21)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
Antonin Scalia (1)
AR-15s (138)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (66)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (70)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (17)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (12)
Body Armor (18)
Books (3)
Border War (8)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (35)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (2)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (9)
CIA (26)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (216)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (139)
Department of Homeland Security (20)
Disaster Preparedness (3)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (12)
Donald Trump (2)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
El Salvador (1)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (2)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (26)
Featured (180)
Federal Firearms Laws (18)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (926)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (15)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (42)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (819)
Guns (1,427)
Guns In National Parks (3)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (8)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (12)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (16)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (71)
India (10)
Infantry (4)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (23)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (379)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (59)
Islamists (89)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (80)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (9)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (3)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (3)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (2)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (14)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (8)
Logistics (50)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (252)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (41)
Memorial Day (4)
Mexican Cartels (27)
Mexico (36)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (4)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (5)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (23)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (34)
NATO (15)
Navy (22)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (3)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (57)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (218)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (54)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (2)
Pizzagate (21)
Police (365)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (398)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (146)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Rifles (1)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (75)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (29)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (240)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (27)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (19)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Supreme Court (3)
Survival (20)
SWAT Raids (54)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (3)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (94)
Thanksgiving (8)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (16)
TSA Ineptitude (11)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (5)
U.S. Border Security (14)
U.S. Sovereignty (17)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (3)
Uncategorized (55)
Universal Background Check (3)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (216)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (3)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (6)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (59)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (20)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2018 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.