Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

No wonder they have so many potholes lately...

Brigadier General Yves J. Fontaine of the 1st Corps mentioned something interesting in a speech today. Apparently, the number of improvised explosive device attacks in Iraq has gone up 100% over the last year. By relying more heavily on roadside bombs than on street battles, the insurgents have been able to cut down on their own casualties while still inflicting casualties on coalition forces... but is this a sign of a smaller insurgency, or just a less visible one?

IEDs also appear to be getting more sophisticated. One recent IED explosion at Al-Hadithah in western Iraq killed 14 Marines, and was, apparently, the first IED they've seen which uses triple-stacked anti-tank mines, which are apparently capable of penetrating even the best armored convoys. This new attack, plus increased used of shaped explosive charges, seems to indicate that the insurgents are learning and applying several techniques that Hezbollah found successful against the Israelis.

Given that most of the vehicles in question can't really support more armor than they're already supporting, there is obviously a significant effort going on in the countermeasures front, such as the Warlock blue and its predecessor, the Warlock Green. The initial reports on the Warlock green were mixed, as it didn't always work, only blocked a limited range of frequencies, and interfered with both friendly and hostile signals. The new Warlock blue is apparently more programmable, but will it really save lives as promised, or is the best guarantee of safety on a convoy still a matter of sharp eyes and good steering?

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