12 Jan 2012

Remember the Kandahar Cougar?

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NYM last September linked reports of sightings by US forces in Afghanistan of a mysterious large wild cat.

Michael Yon (who I’m reluctantly linking, despite his being on my shit list these days for devoting so much of his blogging recently to narcissistic attempts to play crusading journalist taking on the American military high command) has fresh photos from someone in the field today.

The pictures (taken from a helipcopter north of Kandahar) are clearly of a Jungle Cat (Felix chaus), an Asian critter a bit larger than a lynx or bobcat (20-24″ — 48 to 61 centimeters) running 22-37″ — 55 to 94 centimeters in length. The body color and tail markings are pretty distinctive. Try Google Images for comparable pictures.

3 Feedbacks on "Remember the Kandahar Cougar?"


Since this post contains disparaging comments about Michael Yon, I feel free to come to his defense. I’m no Yon groupie but agree with him in this instance. Yon’s “crime” is that he has documented a case where the bureaucracy associated with Army medevac procedures cost a soldier his life. I say that one life lost in this manner is one too many. When minutes count, half hour delays kill.

The crux of the issue seems to be that the Army has interpreted the Geneva Accords in a manner that prevents them from arming medevac helicopters. They won’t fly unless they have gunship escort. Sound reasoning I suppose if you’ve got gunships available. The Air Force and Marines arm their medevacs and get the job done. In the instance Yon writes about, the Air Force was ready to go but the Army decided to wait until a gunship was available. I don’t think much about turf-protecting rules, Geneva Accords, or “collateral damage”; pick the man up and get him to an appropriate medical facility immediately.


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