Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

CISR envisions a world where people can build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of conflict and disaster.

We help communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative and reliable research, training, information exchange, and direct services such as:

Mine Risk Education
Peer Support
Management Training
Scientific Research
Who I Follow

Sgt. Mike Dowling and Rex were deployed to Iraq’s infamous “Triangle of Death” in 2004. COURTESY OF MIKE DOWLING


CAMP PENDLETON – The second RPG round blew Cpl. Mike Dowling off his feet.

The Marine had never seen combat before, but in 2004, he found himself in the thick of battle in Iraq’s infamous “Triangle of Death.”Boom!

The blast from the rocket-propelled grenade slammed him into the ground, along with a fellow Marine, Sgt. Rex.

As Dowling recounts in his just-published book, the explosion must have knocked him out cold for a second:

"I come to with Rex on his feet, eyes white with fear and searching wildly in the smoke and dust to find me.

"Then he’s on top of me, madly licking my face. If my dog could talk I know what he’d be yelling right now:

"Wake up! Get up! Show me you’re alive!"