Best Defense
Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Rebecca’s War Dog of the Week: A Day in the Life of Basco

By Rebecca Frankel Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent Meet Basco, patrol explosive detector dog with the 627 Security Forces Squadron currently on assignment in Afghanistan. Basco and his handler, Sgt. Matthew Templet, have recently been on patrol with ANA soldiers in and around an abandoned village in the Zari district of Kandahar province. The following ...

By , a former contributing editor to Foreign Policy.
559532_110107_wardogc107902427b2.jpg
559532_110107_wardogc107902427b2.jpg

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

By Rebecca Frankel
Best Defense Chief Canine Correspondent

Meet Basco, patrol explosive detector dog with the 627 Security Forces Squadron currently on assignment in Afghanistan. Basco and his handler, Sgt. Matthew Templet, have recently been on patrol with ANA soldiers in and around an abandoned village in the Zari district of Kandahar province. The following images are of Basco and his team as they attempted to root out lingering explosives in these now-empty villages turned into battlefields by the Taliban some three years ago.

Here Basco balks as Sergeant Templet tries to coax him down a tunnel near an abandoned house in Loya Derah village to search for explosives.

Basco and his unit patrol the Zari district of Kandahar province on Dec. 27, 2010.

U.S. soldiers and an Afghan National Army soldier from Basco’s crew inspect old used unidentified devices discovered in an abandoned house during a walking patrol in Payin Deh village on Dec. 29, 2010.

Sergeant Templet and Basco search for bombs in Haji Ghaffar village on Dec. 27, 2010.

Photos by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images, caption info via Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks is a former contributing editor to Foreign Policy. Twitter: @tomricks1

Read More On Afghanistan | War

More from Foreign Policy

The USS Nimitz and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and South Korean Navy warships sail in formation during a joint naval exercise off the South Korean coast.
The USS Nimitz and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and South Korean Navy warships sail in formation during a joint naval exercise off the South Korean coast.

America Is a Heartbeat Away From a War It Could Lose

Global war is neither a theoretical contingency nor the fever dream of hawks and militarists.

A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, during a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. People sit and walk on the grass lawn in front of the protester and barricades.
A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, during a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. People sit and walk on the grass lawn in front of the protester and barricades.

The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy

The reality of fighting Hamas in Gaza makes this war terrible one way or another.

Biden dressed in a dark blue suit walks with his head down past a row of alternating U.S. and Israeli flags.
Biden dressed in a dark blue suit walks with his head down past a row of alternating U.S. and Israeli flags.

Biden Owns the Israel-Palestine Conflict Now

In tying Washington to Israel’s war in Gaza, the U.S. president now shares responsibility for the broader conflict’s fate.

U.S. President Joe Biden is seen in profile as he greets Chinese President Xi Jinping with a handshake. Xi, a 70-year-old man in a dark blue suit, smiles as he takes the hand of Biden, an 80-year-old man who also wears a dark blue suit.
U.S. President Joe Biden is seen in profile as he greets Chinese President Xi Jinping with a handshake. Xi, a 70-year-old man in a dark blue suit, smiles as he takes the hand of Biden, an 80-year-old man who also wears a dark blue suit.

Taiwan’s Room to Maneuver Shrinks as Biden and Xi Meet

As the latest crisis in the straits wraps up, Taipei is on the back foot.