War Dogs

Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love


Courageous, devoted, and fiercely loyal, military working dogs are truly man’s best friend on the battlefield. These faithful canine warriors have been active members of the U.S. military since 1942, and in recent years, they have become the single greatest advantage that allied forces have against improvised explosive devices, the signature weapon of the post-9/11 era. But war dogs are far more than their collective roles and qualities; and the dependence and trust between a man and a dog is never so dire or profound as it is on the battlefield.

In her new book, War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, Foreign Policy magazine’s Rebecca Frankel gets to the heart of these heroic animals, the connections they form with their human comrades, and how this symbiotic relationship has forever changed the way soldiers experience war. An enlightening meditation on war and the effect it has on both species, War Dogs follows Frankel into the elite and lively world of military working dogs and their handlers. Informed by interviews with top military commanders, K-9 program managers, combat-trained therapists, veterinary technicians stationed in Afghanistan, and handlers who have deployed with dogs in wars from Vietnam to Iraq, War Dogs illuminates the incredible abilities of these animals, and the unbreakable bonds that form and expand between handler and animal as they risk their lives side by side.

New America is pleased to welcome Ms. Frankel for a discussion about her book and the impact of military working dogs on the U.S. armed forces.

Join the conversation online using #WarDogs and following @NatSecNAF.


Rebecca Frankel
Author, War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love
Senior Editor, Special Projects, Foreign Policy

Peter Bergen
Director, International Security Program, New America