There are many facets to what makes a good, innovative company, these days. Great products. Competitive prices. Top-notch service and support. A symbiotic relationship with one’s customers. Even the Pentagon, it seems, is in on that last one. Go to the Defense Department’s Web site and you’ll find a contact us button–and, rather unsurprisingly, you’ll find it gets used a lot.
As well as all the usual conspiracy theorists’ twaddle, some people take it upon themselves to suggest ways that the U.S. Army could do better…
“Bears have scent detection that is far superior to bloodhounds,” reads one idea. “Trained bears with GPS and day/night cameras around their necks might be able to hunt down the scent of Osama Bin Laden, even in and through any caves and tunnels. Overnight, parachute some bears into areas Osama Bin Laden might be. Attempt to train bears to take off parachutes after landing, or use parachutes that self-destruct after landing.”
First of all, it seems, train your bear.
And then find an old pair of Osama’s underpants for the ursine forces to cop a whiff.
Odd though the suggestion might be, it’s not that odd when you consider how animals are used in warfare and covert operations. The DoD spent $2 million trying to find out if bees could be trained to sniff out roadside bombs. The U.S. Navy has trained dolphins to detect sea mines, and dogs are regularly used to search out IEDs in Afghanistan. The Austrian special forces have even taught their sniffer dog, a Belgian Shepherd, to jump out of a plane at 10,000 feet.