Monday, January 22, 2007

Building a Better Enemy

I hate it when we do that. We've been in Iraq and Afghanistan for too long. Why, you might ask? Because our enemies have become smarter by watching us and learning our tactics and SOP's over the past 5 years. Now, instead of dressing as Iraqi military and police to gain access to our troops.. they're disguising themselves as US troops. For the first time ever, US troops have been killed by insurgents who walked the walk, talked the talk, and dressed the part. They accessed the Karbala compound in vehicles mimicing ours (uparmored SUV's with the "keep back" signs on the back), dressed as US soldiers and acted with the confidence of US soldiers, entered a meeting between US and Iraqi military, opened fire, and killed 5 of our guys. None of the Iraqi's in the meeting were killed- just the Americans. Then they got back into their vehicles and simply drove away.... In the drop of a hat, the infiltrated our base, killed our men, and drove away unharmed.

IED deaths are increasing as well, due in part to the newer, more deadly Iranian built bombs. Before our guys were being maimed by IED's... now, they're being killed. John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Feb. 2, 2006, saying, "Tehran's intention to inflict pain on the United States and Iraq has been constrained by its caution to avoid giving Washington an excuse to attack it."

The Iranian IED's are more lethal than the previous IED's due to their construction and design. The devices are easily hidden and detonated by motion detectors that cannot be jammed. When exploded, the copper disc becomes a molten liquid bullet that can penetrate the thickest armor the United States has. According to Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief and an ABC News consultant, "They penetrate the armor of an M1 Abrams tank. They're shape charges. They go through anything, and they are very lethal." And worse yet... Clarke says there's no defense against these explosives at this time.

Between June, 2003 and December, 2004, 264 US soldiers were killed by IED's. In 2005, that number jumped to 407. Between January 2006 and January 2007, 438 US service members were killed by IED's, including the worst month in the history of this war: 68 were killed by IED's in December, 2006. Clearly since the beginning of 2005, IED deaths have dramatically increased.

Our enemies are getting to know us too well- our tactics, our strengths and weakenesses, our vehicles, our bases, our routines, and our uniforms. Something needs to change. NOW.


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