Taliban makes IEDs deadlier

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by jumpinjarhead, Sep 15, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Taliban makes IEDs deadlier

    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    By Rowan Scarborough (Contact)

    The Taliban has been building simpler, cheaper anti-personnel bombs made of hard-to-detect nonmetal components, increasing the number of lethal attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan, according to a confidential military report.

    The shift in the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) away from larger anti-armor bombs has allowed the Taliban to produce more weapons and hide them in more places as they strive to kill larger numbers of American forces in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province and other contested regions.

    The change in production from metal-dominated explosives to devices made of plastic is making it more difficult for ground troops to detect the buried IEDs with portable mine-detectors, creating an "urgent need" inside the Pentagon for better detection devices, the report said.

    The new Taliban tactics are disclosed in a confidential report from the Pentagon's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, portions of which were obtained by The Washington Times.

    The area around Now Zad, northwest of Kandahar, has experienced some of the most ferocious fighting for control of southern Afghanistan since the surge of 21,000 U.S. troops began last spring. News reports and military bloggers say Marines on patrol face a constant threat from hidden IEDs.

    "Although the Taliban still fights with small-arms, rocket-propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices, they have increasingly focused the role of IEDs as antipersonnel devices," the report said. "Smaller, lighter, more quickly constructed and quite often triggered by a victim-operated switch [booby trap], these antipersonnel IEDs have been a significant factor in labeling Now Zad the most dangerous location with the highest U.S. casualty rate in either the Afghan or Iraq theaters."

    The Aug. 11 report, titled, "The Taliban's Emerging IED TTPs in the Proving Grounds of Now Zad, Helmand Province," was written by an analyst at U.S. Central Command, which oversees troops in the Middle East and Afghanistan. TTPs is short for tactics, techniques and procedures.

    The shift in tactics comes at a particularly sensitive time for President Obama. Sentiments inside the Pentagon lean toward sending more troops to Afghanistan, while key Democrats oppose such an expansion as the number of casualties grows in the theater.

    The research Web site icasualties.org reports 328 NATO fatalities so far this year, already making it the most deadly since the war began in October 2001. The U.S. has lost 190 service members this year, after reporting 155 deaths last year.

    In the past two months, more than half of the battlefield deaths suffered by NATO troops were caused by IEDs. This month, of 31 fatalities, 15 came from IEDs; in August, 46 of the 77 coalition deaths resulted from these devices, according to icasualties.org.

  2. It makes me wonder where the 'Liberal Outrage Bus' has driven to. I worked in Afghanistan in the late '90s and there was much hand-wringing over beastly landmines - especially low-metal-content ones such as the Chinese Type-72 of which there were many.

    But no so much as a bleat about victim initiated IEDs (technically landmines). No beating of breasts over low-metal-content IEDs.
  3. Proves the axiom from the common law--"it all depends on whose ox is being gored."
  4. Exactly. But a crying shame that the outrage of the '90s led to many countries abandoning a very useful battlefield tool. A well laid and clearly marked minefield (with plans for removal) can make one hell of a difference on the shape of the battlefield (even a COIN battlefield).
  5. So true-same with the Chem Wpns Convention and its ludicrous position on riot control agents .