Man's Best Bomb Detector


Danger Room points to it:

Drones, metal detectors, chemical sniffers, and super spycams forget ‘em. The leader of the Pentagon’s multibillion military task force to stop improvised bombs says there’s nothing in the U.S. arsenal for bomb detection more powerful than a dog’s nose.

Despite a slew of bomb-finding gagdets, the American military only locates about 50 percent of the improvised explosives planted in Afghanistan and Iraq. But that number jumps to 80 percent when U.S. and Afghan patrols take dogs along for a sniff-heavy walk. “Dogs are the best detectors,” Lieutenant General Michael Oates, the commander of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, told a conference yesterday, National Defense reports. That’s not the greatest admission for a well-funded organization nearly $19 billion since 2004, according to a congressional committee tasked with solving one of the military’s wickedest problems.

(Photo: A US Marine of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, puts his sniffer dog near a roadside bomb while anti-explosives squad members check final details to blow it up, during a 48-hour operation in attempt to hold back insurgency activities in a stronghold Taliban area in Marjah, Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, on April 1, 2010.  By Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images.)