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IED Hit Rate Demands More Action Against the Human Network

Michael Oates, the recently retired director of JIEDDO, has admitted that efforts to counter the IED threat are not working effectively in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, where US troops have stepped up the fight to clear a concentrated network of Taliban strongholds.

According to official figures, insurgents planted 14,661 IEDs last year “a rise of over 60% on 2009“ with the total coalition death toll at 1882, but the issue seems to have become less about the level of training that troops undergo or of their understanding of these devices as it is about a shortfall in combating those burying them in the sand.

Bolstering MRAP
Included among the recent boost in US efforts to combat the threat are a $7 billion injection into MRAP vehicle development, an increase of around 70 “route-clearance” teams, and a more concentrated effort to blanket the skies with surveillance UAVs and blimps over Afghanistan, the total number of which is likely to double by the end of the year.

Speaking to reporters earlier this month, Oates explained a few home truths when it comes to the intricacies of dealing with a type of insurgency that is at once well-trodden and tricky to identify.

For one, a regional variance exists throughout Afghanistan, revealing that the materials, methods and sophistication of the devices varies dramatically.

Read and watch the full interview here:


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