This is one of a series of amazing images from a superb photo-essay at Foreign Policy, on the many roles played by dogs in the modern U.S army. As you may recall, the assault on bin Laden's compound was carried out by 79 humans and one dog. As with many other details we're not clear on exactly what the dog did, but it could have been a number of things, from attacking a human target (in an act of 'controlled aggressiveness') to sniffing for explosives. The dog in question may have been equipped with the latest kit for a SEAL dog: bulletproof flak jacket, infrared nightsight camera and 'doggles' (protective eyewear). Amidst all the killing machine stuff there is still room for man-dog love:
Military dogs and their handlers often form deep bonds -- it's an essential part of the canine-handler relationship that is specifically built into their training regimen. The personal attachments are often so intense that it can take weeks of training before a dog can begin working with a new handler. Not only are these dogs fierce assault weapons, they are loyal guardians. When Private First Class Colton Rusk was shot after his unit came under Taliban sniper fire during a routine patrol in Afghanistan, Rusk's bomb-sniffing dog, Eli, crawled on top of his body, attacking anyone -- including Rusk's fellow Marines -- who tried to come near him. Rusk did not survive the assault, but Eli was granted early retirement so he could live with Rusk's family.