Wow, special highways for Iraq
Another IED victim
U.S. Spending Billions to Stop Iraq IEDs
By CHARLES J. HANLEY, AP Special Correspondent 16 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The United States is pouring billions more dollars and fresh platoons of experts into its campaign to "defeat IEDs," the roadside bombs
President Bush describes as threat No. 1 to Iraq's future.
The American military even plans to build special, more defensible highways here, in its frustrating standoff with the makeshift munitions — "improvised explosive devices" — that Iraqi insurgents field by the hundreds to hobble U.S. road movements in the 3-year-old conflict.
Out on those risky roads, and back at the Pentagon, few believe that even the most advanced technology will eliminate the threat.
"As we've improved our armor, the enemy's improved his IEDs. They're bigger, and with better detonating mechanisms," said Maj. Randall Simmons, whose Georgia National Guard unit escorts convoys in western Iraq that are regularly rocked, damaged and delayed by roadside blasts.
Lt. Col. Bill Adamson, operations chief for the anti-IED campaign, was realistic about the challenge in a Pentagon interview. "They adapt more quickly than we procure technology," he said of the insurgents.
Casualty charts show a growing problem.
Better armor and tactics lowered the casualty rate per IED attack last year. But attacks almost doubled from 2004, to 10,593, meaning the U.S. death toll from IEDs still rose. Since mid-2005, an average of about 40 Americans a month have been killed by improvised explosives, twice the rate of the previous 12 months, according to icasualties.org, an independent Web site that tracks casualties in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the overall U.S. death rate held steady from 2004 to 2005, making IED fatalities comparatively more significant. Last month, for example, 36 of 55 American military personnel killed in Iraq were IED victims.
The bomb makers have the White House's attention. In a radio address on Saturday, Bush said roadside bombs "are now the principal threat to our troops and to the future of a free Iraq."
Bush said in a speech Monday that Iran had supplied IED components to Iraqi groups, but U.S. officials have presented no evidence to support that, nor did Bush explain why Shiite Muslim Iran would aid Iraq's Sunni-dominated insurgency.
Bush made up some more shit, unless he's saying SCIRI and the Sadrists are setting IED's.
You know , if we had secured the ammo dumps, they wouldn't be able to set all those IED's. They have a virtually unlimited supply of ammo to make into highly effective bombs. Even worse, tons of RDX is missing from the supply depots where it was held, not to mention other military explosives. They don't need the Iranians help.
Just another sign of Bush's weakness and incompetence. Billions for "special highways" in a country without a functioning government and a shaky, divided Army and police force.
posted by Steve @ 1:10:00 AM