On the day after Osama bin Laden's assassination, we came across a throwaway line among the stories on the 9/11 mastermind's death: The U.S. commando team that took down the al Qaeda head was made up of 79 soldiers -- and one dog.
Good thing, then, that we already had Chief Canine Correspondent Rebecca Frankel on staff -- who was a grizzled veteran of the war dog beat for Tom Ricks's Best Defense blog. Frankel knew intimately the value of dogs in the military -- a long legacy harkening back to World War II -- and with thousands of their counterparts today serving with valor from Baghdad to Kabul.
Thus was born the War Dog photo essay, which, along with its successor, became FP's most successful feature ever, with a whopping 11 million page views. Frankel continues to write a weekly column for Tom Ricks's Best Defense blog, where she profiles canines and their trainers on deployments across the world's war zones.