It is not uncommon that in times of war, soldiers from other sides are captured as prisoners. However, the Taliban’s latest captured soldier is in fact not human; allegedly, they have captured a British military canine.
Although many of the facts at this point remain unclear, a few details are surfacing from the Taliban and the pentagon as to how the unfortunate pooch became the latest prisoner of war in Afghanistan.
Reportedly, during an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) raid on December 23, 2013, a dog went missing. ISAF officials confirm that a British military canine whose name was Colonel went missing during that raid, and it appears as though the captured dog in question fits the bill of Colonel.
Officials cannot confirm the nature of the raid or the fate of the dog’s handler, but apparently the firefight was not at night. Sometime during the raid, a military working dog reportedly went missing.
Allegedly, the dog’s function was primarily that of intelligence and surveillance. Taliban spokesmen indicated that the dog was kidnapped with a specialized harness, GPS locator, flashlight, and camera.
With a media release, Taliban spokesmen announced their canine POW. Video taping and bragging about their accomplishment, they also claim that their terrorist fighters killed four American soldiers.
In their video, the dog is prominently shown. Along with five bearded men, Colonel was video taped and he appeared to be on a chain leash that held by one of the militants.
However, there are a lot of unknowns in regards to the story. The time and place are, as of now, unknown. Furthermore, the Taliban and other terrorist organizations have long had the strategy of releasing their videos a significant time after they had actually been made.
More importantly, the condition of the military canine is unknown. It is entirely unprecedented for the Taliban to capture a dog in the midst of combat, as far as any reports can confirm at least, and there is some speculation over whether or not Colonel is in good condition. In fact, it would not be entirely unusual for him to already be dead.
Throughout much of human history, domesticated dogs have been used effectively in conjunction with standard military operations. The American military along with its partners in the Middle-East have used canines to mainly sniff out the detonation cords of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Hundreds of dogs have been used by coalition forces in support of a variety of missions. In Afghanistan, both sniffer and protection dogs serve critical functions that humans could not perform as effectively. Combined, the US military has utilized some 578 dog teams in Iraq and Afghanistan; sadly, since March of 2011, 4 military dogs have died in Afghanistan.
There is no word as of yet as to whether or not the British or the Americans are planning on making a transfer of some sort with the Taliban to retrieve the military canine in question. Some have argued that the capture of a member of the military, human or not, is something that requires the full attention of officials involved.
By Brett Byers-Lane