Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Rebecca’s War Dogs of the Week: Obama’s entourage of 30 sniffer pups

By Rebecca Frankel Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent President Barack Obama flies off on his big trip to Asia this week, and traveling with him, among others, will be 30 bomb-sniffing military dogs. Working security detail for the president has its perks — these dogs will be traveling in style, staying in 5-star hotels where ...

PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images
PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

President Barack Obama flies off on his big trip to Asia this week, and traveling with him, among others, will be 30 bomb-sniffing military dogs.

Working security detail for the president has its perks -- these dogs will be traveling in style, staying in 5-star hotels where they can receive the kind of proper care they need, including special diet food sent ahead from home and a temperature-regulated environment to help the dogs adjust to a new climate.

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

President Barack Obama flies off on his big trip to Asia this week, and traveling with him, among others, will be 30 bomb-sniffing military dogs.

Working security detail for the president has its perks — these dogs will be traveling in style, staying in 5-star hotels where they can receive the kind of proper care they need, including special diet food sent ahead from home and a temperature-regulated environment to help the dogs adjust to a new climate.

Some of these reports of the dog detail traveling with the president — like others alleging that the cost of Obama’s trip is a $200 million per day expense — seem a little sketchy.

But according to an English-language website based in India, a source inside the Mumbai travel agency arranging transportation for Obama’s service detail told reporters that the preparations for Obama’s sniffing dogs have been in the works for months when prior to the trip, the U.S. consulate "asked for more than 10 customised cars for dogs during the president’s visit" to apparently "move with the president’s convoy. …"

The cars, apparently, had to be specially outfitted: "For the comfort of the dogs, the back seats in the cars were removed and the interiors were refurbished to ensure they [sic] were no sharp edges." The source added, "Never before, have we seen such VIP treatment for animals."

It seems the arrival of one U.S. military dog in Obama’s bomb-sniffing troop to India — allegedly named "Khan" — is already causing something of a media storm.

Yes, we Khan!

 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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