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How to Stop Landmines and IEDs From Killing Soldiers Now

How to Stop Landmines and IEDs From Killing Soldiers Now

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Published by john
Paper discusses the overall failure of high-tech counterIED methods to protect the average foot soldier. The versatlity and adaptability of the low-tech IED are reviewed, and how low-technology countermeasures can be used and adapted to defeat the IED. The paper references recent reports on the spending of the high-tech sector. For example, 26 of 56 of JIEDDO's most expensive projects are listed as overhead because they have produced nothing. At the same time, the Armed Forces has refused all testing of low-technology methods. This refusal, in light of the high-tech spending and failures, is unconscionable.
Paper discusses the overall failure of high-tech counterIED methods to protect the average foot soldier. The versatlity and adaptability of the low-tech IED are reviewed, and how low-technology countermeasures can be used and adapted to defeat the IED. The paper references recent reports on the spending of the high-tech sector. For example, 26 of 56 of JIEDDO's most expensive projects are listed as overhead because they have produced nothing. At the same time, the Armed Forces has refused all testing of low-technology methods. This refusal, in light of the high-tech spending and failures, is unconscionable.

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Published by: john on Sep 29, 2011
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01/16/2012

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HOW TO STOP LANDMINES FROM KILLINGSOLDIERS NOW
By
John S. Janks
September 22, 2011
Copyright 2011 ©
eager Detection Systems, LLCAll Rights Reserved
1
 
PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER 
“It has been a general historical lesson of the many insurgencies over the past three hundred or so years that there is always, repeat, always a low-technology solution to any advanced technology capability.”
For the past ten years the Department of Defense (DoD) and its research arm the DefenseAdvanced Research Program (DARPA) have spent $billions developing high-technologycountermeasures to Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). In 2003, a special unit, theJoint Improvised Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), was established to deal solelywith these devices. It has become obvious that relying on high-tech solutions to protectour service men and women has been a failure.They have made matters worse by falling into the
myopia syndrome
, which restricts their view to high-tech countermeasures mostly developed by large defense contractors. Manysmaller companies were excluded from the process and low-technology solutions arerejected without evaluation and testing.Especially in the last year, investigative reports have begun appearing detailing themilitary’s spending on high-technology countermeasures and just what that spending hasachieved. Those reports reveal a shocking world of large defense contractors receivingenormous sums of money with little or no oversight, and providing the service man andwoman on the ground with precious little defense against the IED. JIEDDO, theorganization designed to detect and develop counter IED measures, is reluctant to publishany information about how many lives the high-cost countermeasures are saving andwhere the money is being used.
1
Other recent reports (discussed in the text) likewise present a picture of waste and abusefor countermeasures that do not protect the troops, if they reach them at all. Theinsurgency has demonstrated conclusively that low-technology weapons are effective,inexpensive, and highly adaptable. Nevertheless, even these investigative reports, important as they are, merely expose thedepths of the myopia syndrome that controls the thinking of the leadership at DoD andJIEDDO.This paper takes the next step. It not only shows the failure of high-techcountermeasures, but provides
low-technology solutions
 that every serviceman andwoman can use to
 protect himself/herself 
against their number one threat, the
IED
..INTRODUCTIONFrom the first deaths by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in June of 2003, the U.S.Department of Defense has been on a frantic search for the magic silver bullets that will
“The American Problem-High-tech vs Low,”
Get a Grip!
eager Detection Systems, LLCAll Rights Reserved
2
 
quickly and easily destroy these horrific devices used by the insurgents against a high-tech opponent. Much money and time was given to research groups and companies of alltypes to quickly provide our troops with protection from IEDs. Eight years in Iraq andten in Afghanistan have shown they have not found it. Part of that is because the IED isso adaptable, and another part is that military leaders were seeking solutions from onlythe high-tech sector.The Improvised Explosive Device (IED), often dubbed “
The Signature Weapon of the9/11 Era
,”
2
is lethal, easily concealed and simple to construct. Its greatest asset, whichwill ensure its presence on the battlefield, is its low cost.The U.S. military was not prepared for the IED. Instead, the U.S. Army was designed tofight a fast, high technology war, requiring large quantities of supplies brought to thefront via supply lines (that were later vulnerable to roadside bombers). Combat engineershad not been trained in dealing with IEDs either. Metal detectors were practically uselessas Iraqi drivers use ditches to dispose of their soft drink cans. Much like their  predecessors in earlier wars, combat engineers were reduced to probing the soil withmetal rods. Nonetheless, by 2005 fully 70% of American casualties were caused byIEDs.
3
 Research accelerated to include universities and corporations. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awarded numerous U.S. universities grants ranging from$150,000 to $300,000 per year.
4
Many of the nation’s largest military contractors wereawarded $millions and high-tech companies quickly began development programs. Therewere many promises and expectations were high. For example, Ionatron of Tucson, AZ, promised to send their remote controlled vehicle, traveling at 35 mph to send a surge of electricity that would disable hidden explosives up to 1,000 yards away. Companyspokesman Mark Carallo said the device proved 90% effective in their field-tests to date[2005].
5
More and more money and effort was put into finding a solution to the IED. Aseparate program designed to deal solely with IEDs, the Joint Improvised ExplosiveDevice Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), grew from small beginnings in 2003 to a 1,900member staff and a budget of nearly $21 billion at present.
1
 Many large projects were robot and computer based. While they may have looked goodin the laboratory or on paper, these devices were beset with problems that made themonly marginally successful, if at all. Many other programs were delayed getting to thetroops in the field. All the while casualties continued to mount.
6
SWORDS, an armedrobot supposedly ready for combat in 2008 began by turning its guns on US troops.
7
TheArmy’s Future Combat System, highly dependent on sensors, was described by RandAnalyst John Gordon:
“So many of these future concepts are predicated on very, very high levels of situational awareness, butthere’s precious little evidence we’re going to get there from here, particularly in a cluttered groundenvironment.”
8
 
Many high-tech solutions have proven to be unsuccessful and at huge costs. In 2006, themilitary bought 3,800 radio jammers at a cost of $79,000 apiece from General Dynamics.
Copyright 2011 ©
eager Detection Systems, LLCAll Rights Reserved
3

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