Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2
- Sep 28, 2011
U.S. troops winning war against IEDs of Taliban - Washington Times
The U.S. military is on a path toward significantly fewer battlefield deaths in Afghanistan this year because it has become better at detecting the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops: the improvised explosive device (IED).
With the 2009 surge forces leaving the country and Afghan troops preparing to take over more of the fighting, U.S. forces are averaging about 23 fatalities each month. That number would bring the death toll to about 276 this year, compared with 317 in 2009, 499 in 2010 and 418 last year, according to statistics compiled by icasualties.org.
"The threat is still there, no doubt about that, but there have been some improvements in detection and plenty of lessons learned," said Joe Kasper, spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and a House Armed Services Committee member.
The Pentagon has spent more than $200 million a year developing and deploying devices to detect roadside bombs as they are being put into place or when they lie buried ahead of U.S. foot patrols and convoys. Its Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), which is scheduled to receive $217 million in fiscal 2013, also has put more reliance on dogs to sniff out different types of IEDs.