Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News   

$10 Billion Pentagon Program Fails To Defeat IED Threat In Iraq

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   3 comments
Author 3990
Message Marc McDonald
By MARC McDONALD

Taking a look at the latest troop casualties from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq, it quickly becomes apparent that IEDs remain a lethal threat to the U.S. military. In April, May and June, IEDs killed at least 54 U.S. troops, causing over half the 104 combat deaths suffered by the military in those three months.

It's clear that the U.S. military's $10 billion program to defeat the IED threat isn't working. The program (officially called the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization) was launched by the Pentagon in 2005 to foil IED attacks.

The program has increasingly come under fire as ineffective and poorly run. As WorldTribune.com reported in September, the program is a "boondoggle" that a Joint Forces Staff College review concluded is "mired in red tape and has relied excessively on technology."

Astonishingly, the U.S. has now spent more on this anti-IED program, in equivalent dollars, than it spent on the Manhattan Project installation that produced plutonium for World War II's atomic bombs.

Insurgents have enjoyed great success with IEDs, despite the fact the devices are remarkably low-tech and are often detonated with ordinary remote controls or cell phones.

What is particularly stunning about the whole IED saga is the fact that ordnance used in these devices was looted by insurgents in the first few weeks of the Iraq War. The Pentagon admits that over 250,000 tons of ordnance was looted--enough to build 1 million 500-pound bombs.

One might wonder why arms depots across Iraq were left unguarded in the early stages of the war. Well, it appears the U.S. military had higher priorities.

One of the few buildings left untouched by looters in April 2003 was the massive Oil Ministry building in Baghdad, which was heavily guarded by U.S. troops. When U.S. forces entered Baghdad, they immediately surrounded the building with 50 tanks, while sharpshooters positioned themselves on the roof and in the windows.

Oil fields in Iraq were also heavily guarded in the early days of the war. Amnesty International criticized the attention placed on controlling oilfields, which it noted must have taken "much planning and resources."

But while the U.S. military lavished great care on securing the Baghdad Oil Ministry and Iraq's oil fields, hundreds of arms depots remained unguarded in April 2003.

Five years later, the ordnance looted from those arms depots continues to be used to build IEDs. And despite spending $10 billion to defeat IEDs, the Pentagon has yet to come up with an answer to this lethal threat to our troops.

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Marc McDonald Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

The creator of the progressive site, BeggarsCanBeChoosers.com, Marc McDonald is an award-winning journalist who worked for 15 years for several Texas newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, before he quit his day job and set up shop (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Five Lingering Unsolved Mysteries From the JFK Assassination

Rush Limbaugh: America's Biggest Welfare Recipient

The Great Depression of 2008

Mark Levin: The Most Extreme and Frightening HateWing Talker of Them All

Steve Jobs Represented Much Of What's Wrong With America's Economy Today

Wild West Era Had Stricter Gun Control Than America Has Today

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: