Sheer Incompetance

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by MikeMcc, Oct 25, 2004.

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  1. You do if you're a US administration that doesn't listen to its military commanders and commits too few troops to hold down a country the size of France. The UN alone identified 500 priority sites, most of them spread over hundreds of acres.

    Our battlegroup turned up stocpiles of RPGs, AKs and explosives in almost every school and barracks in southern Iraq. Multiply that across the country and you've got a disposal problem which far outweighs the ability of the occupying forces to deal with it.

    Careless in this case, and possibly with lethal consequences, but understandable in the circumstances.
     
  2. how many ied's would that make?
     
  3. Well, PIRA kept going for years on a few tons of Semtex and I'm sure they have plenty left...
     
  4. Less than a kilo of the same stuff brought down Pan Am103 over Lockerbie. :cry:
     
  5. I note that some of the PE is described as "RDX" - Research Department eXplosive - ie British.

    Oops.

    :oops:
     
  6. The Yanks are calling it "rapid detonation explosive". It may be French.
     
  7. Who gives a fcuk who made it. I suspect the bang is virtually the same!!!
     
  8. Well done Poindexter!
     
  9. I saw an email from liason officer in Bagdad that was sent to the EOD cell at MND(SE) last summer. The amount of explosives and ordnance -'captured enemy ammunition' - 'CEA' was becoming a bigger issue. At the time the coalition headquaters estimated that there were '600,000 short tons (tonnes?)' or the equivalent to a third of the entire US ammunition stock pile. They estimated that with an entire brigade working on it plus a hefty civilian contract it would take at least 6 years to dispose.

    Work was also going on in the MND(SE) AO to fence off the areas where bomblets had been dropped. Whilst fencing off 1 'goose egg' the sappers could see locals stripping out the fencing they were putting in...

    So its very diffficult to secure contaminated areas or ammunition dumps. Best then to prioritise and destroy those items posing greatest threat. As EOD operators on the ground we were told, 'RPGs cause a grave threat to force protection therefore all RPGs should be destroyed as a priority'. The following week it was discovered how many shoulder launched Surface to Air missiles there were lying around (especially close to Basra Airport)... 'SAMs pose a grave threat to force protection therefore all SAMs should be destroyed as a priority'. Then people started thinking about mortaring places like the Palace... 'Mortars pose a grave threat to force protection therefore all mortars should be destroyed as a priority'. Then information came from the Americans about the use of tank and arty rounds as main charges in diasy chain IEDs... 'Projectiles pose a grave threat to force protection.....' There may have been concern over hand grenades aswell ie the ease with which crowds could mob the vehicle in traffic and someone post a grenade into the vehicle (this was before the rioting and the issue of window grills)....

    Well is you add all that up to deal with as a priority thats probably about 60+ % of all the CEA...

    Saddam may not have been big on human rights hopsitals etc, but to be fair he was good at stockpiling ordance and building palaces (OK not very good palaces....)
     
  10. A Look at Explosives Missing in Iraq

    By The Associated Press

    A glance at the destructive power of the nearly 380 tons of conventional explosives the International Atomic Energy Agency says have gone missing from a former military installation in Iraq (news - web sites):

    HMX: High melting explosives, as they are scientifically known, are among the most powerful in use by the world's militaries today. HMX, also known as octogen, is made from hexamine, ammonium nitrate, nitric acid and acetic acid. Because it detonates at high temperatures, it is used in various kinds of explosives, rocket fuels and burster chargers.

    RDX: Also referred to as cyclonite or hexogen, RDX is a white crystalline solid usually used in mixtures with other explosives, oils or waxes. Rarely used alone, it has a high degree of stability in storage and is considered the most powerful of the high explosives used by militaries.

    PLASTIC EXPLOSIVES: Experts say both HMX and RDX are key ingredients in plastic explosives such as Semtex and C-4, puttylike military substances that easily can be shaped. Libyan terrorists used just 1 pound of Semtex in 1988 to down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.

    C-4 or its main ingredients were used in the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole (news - web sites) in Yemen that killed 17 U.S. sailors. Traces of RDX were found in an investigation of explosions that crippled two heavily fortified Israeli tanks, indicating Palestinian militants have obtained at least small quantities of the extremely potent material.

    Just 5 pounds of either plastic explosive would be enough to blow up a dozen jetliners, experts say.

    NUCLEAR USE: Experts say HMX can be used to create a highly powerful explosion with enough intensity to ignite the fissile material in an atomic bomb and set off a nuclear chain reaction.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&e=3&u=/ap/20041025/ap_on_re_mi_ea/nuclear_agency_iraq_glance
     
  11. RDX, HDX etc are generic. Any half decent chemical manaufacturer shouldn't have too much problem knocking them out.

    They stick it in shells, so it isn't that expensive.

    Is this 600,000 tonnes of HE the Weapon of Mass Destruction Bliar was on about? By the time you've made about 6,000,000,000 x 1kg IEDs with it, I expecty that it probably will be. (if the maths is wrong, then I was a C-Stream MA student. You pays ya money...)
     
  12. RDX = Research Department Explosive. Originally British developed but made and used by just about everyone these days. Also known as hexogen, cyclonite and cyclotrimethylenetrinatramine. Try saying that when you're pished. No, in fact, just try saying it. Forms 88% of PE 4 and C-4. The rest is plasticiser. Is also used as a filling for shells, mortar bombs etc but is usually mixed with TNT to aid the filling process.

    HMX = High Molecular weight Explosive. Basically a development on RDX, but uses good old hexamine! More powerful than RDX but a damn sight more expensive to make, so only used in limited applications where a very high velocity of detonation is needed.

    And just for the record, PIRA's and every bloody journalist's favourite, Semtex-H is a mix of RDX, PETN and plasticiser. PETN = pentaerythritoltetranitrate is the white powdery stuff in det cord. For you slappers out there, it was also used as the booster charge in WW2 German air dropped bombs. Also known as penthrite.

    Hows that for being an explosives nerd? :oops:
     
  13. Heard a report from a NBC embed journo that when US Troops arrived at the site during the invasion no explosives were found and they left. So there was nothing to guard...the IAEA says they last saw them there in January. 8O