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Chapter 1. New age of warfare: How digit... > Yesterday’s “Booby Trap” is Today’s ...

Yesterday’s “Booby Trap” is Today’s IED

Today’s battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan has generated many changes in how U.S. military services conduct warfare in the twenty-first century. One evident change is how U.S. enemies are using anything they can to blow up U.S. ground forces and cause massive casualties instead of face-to-face combat as in past wars. Enemy forces that do not have superior numbers and firepower are creating IEDs as a force multiplier causing chaos and fear wherever they are detonated. Unfortunately, these devices are being used against civilian populations as well when enemy forces target local government officials, such as host nation police and security forces. This tactic has proven to stall cooperation between our military forces and the host nation government. Judges and community leaders have been the target of IED attacks in an attempt to sap the will of the local population and further the enemy’s political agenda.

In past armed conflicts, small explosive devices have been used or altered to create “booby traps,” thus wounding, maiming, and killing a very small number of soldiers. These traps were not used as a major tactic to employ against our military forces, but as a way to slow us down and create casualties to tie up two to four personnel to take care of any dead or wounded created from the trap. Don’t get me wrong, IEDs are not a new phenomenon; they just have not been as prevalent on the battle field as they are in this century.


  

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