Robots and bees to beat the Taliban

From The Sunday Times

Robots and bees to beat the Taliban

The homemade IED is the extremists’ deadliest weapon and America is spending billions on trying to combat it. We are granted access to this secret, smart and bizarre world
Christina Lamb

Ever more sophisticated equipment is being tested at the Aberdeen proving ground in Maryland to counter the threat

The soldier breathes loud and fast as he lays a timed charge on an explosive in a Baghdad street. “I want these people to know if they’re going to leave a bomb on the side of the road for us, we’re just going to blow up their f****** road,” he growls, walking away. Before he can reach safety, an Iraqi punches a code into a mobile phone. The explosion sends the soldier flying in a cloud of dust and debris.

The opening eight minutes of the Oscar-nominated movie The Hurt Locker bring to light the terrifying work of bomb disposal units. The special effects may be Hollywood, but there is no exaggerating the horror of IEDs, the improvised explosive devices that are by far the biggest killers of British and American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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