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judiCial RefoRm

a New Day Dawns

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DEFUsing
the threat
oRGANIZATIoN SeekS To THWART USe oF IMpRoVISeD expLoSIVe DeVICeS
MiCHAEL CoDERRE/jieDDo PUBlic affairS

“We have worked hard as an institution and as a coalition of nations to ensure that we can identify those threats before they reach our shores. And if they reach our shores, [we can] identify and prevent them before they can take action.”
— Gen. victor E. Renuart Jr.,
Commander of U.S. Northern Command

ith increasing frequency, criminals, insurgents and terrorists worldwide are using the improvised explosive device, or IED, as their weapon of choice to kill, intimidate and influence. In Mexico, the recent and unexpected rise and intensification of IED attacks underscores a chilling reality: The IED threat is not limited to Iraq and Afghanistan and will persist beyond those theaters as a weapon with global reach. This past fall, anarchists plagued Mexico City with multiple IED attacks targeted at Mexico’s economic center. The groups vowed to continue using the IED as a tool to achieve their goals and as a method to wield political influence. The cost in time and resources to employ an IED is minimal, and those using them are often funded by the narcotics trade, have unlimited access to information through the Internet and have readily available access to materials. Adversarial networks, including drug cartels, Marxist groups and anarchist groups, may shift to the IED as increased security and counternarcotics successes decrease access to conventional weapons and increase incentive to use improvised weapons. Mexico must prepare for unconventional threats as it continues a sustained, effective fight in an entrenched drug war. Following the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, the Mexican government coordinated a response that protected its citizens, defused any threat to its continued global economic trade and prevented a more serious global influenza pandemic from occurring. A coordinated, collaborative and proactive strategic response to the global IED threat would attain similar strategic benefits. As was seen in Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom, unexpected high-profile attacks resulted in very serious political, economic and security ramifications.

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CooRDinAtion AnD PREvEntion Aware of the strategic and global nature of the threat, the Joint IED Defeat Organization, or JIEDDO, works closely with those responsible for homeland defense and regional security to prevent improvised explosive devices from gaining a significant foothold in North America. JIEDDO’s extensive coordination and collaboration between military, government and law enforcement personnel extends domestically and internationally. As the U.S. Department of Defense’s counter-IED lead, the organization works closely with all U.S. combatant commands — including Northern Command and Southern Command

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— to integrate counter-IED planning into the broader scope of bilateral and multilateral planning. “We have worked hard as an institution and as a coalition of nations to ensure that we can identify those threats before they reach our shores. And if they reach our shores, [we can] identify and prevent them before they can take action,” Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., commander of U.S. Northern Command, said when he spoke to homeland security and defense experts in November at the National Homeland Defense Foundation Symposium VII in Colorado. JIEDDO supports Northern Command and its identification of threats through the JIEDDO Counter-IED Operations Integration Center, which analyzes information gathered throughout the global intelligence community and integrates it. JIEDDO also has explosive ordnance disposal experts who can greatly enhance the training of domestic and international first-responder agencies tasked with disarming and destroying IEDs. If legally authorized and formally requested through the U.S. Department of Defense, the organization also retains significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets that can assist Northern Command and Southern Command to help defeat regional IED campaigns. JIEDDO’s support of the U.S. law enforcement and homeland security community extends to its Mexican counterparts, within bilateral cooperation and collaboration agreements. By using JIEDDO’s expertise, these communities are better prepared to prevent, respond to, investigate and prosecute IED-related crimes. The organization’s success in attacking enemy networks, detecting and defeating devices, and training provides the community with the latest lessons learned and best practices for overcoming IEDs. JIEDDO personnel engaged outside of the U.S. rapidly report on how various adversaries are employing the improvised explosive device, and that information is disseminated throughout the organization’s network of partners. This information assists U.S. law enforcement entities in preparing policies, training and response models to counter possible IED threats throughout North America. The Pentagon’s current hands-on experience in detecting, countering and responding to IEDs is an invaluable resource that regional law enforcement agencies can and should exploit. To confront and counter the threat, JIEDDO is reaching out to other government agencies to increase coordination of IED prevention efforts across lines of operation and between disparate branches of the government. A broad network of partners from many other agencies and organizations allows JIEDDO to cut across traditional information barriers and provide relevant, timely and credible information at the tactical edge of IED prevention. n
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ExplosivE tErminology
one of JIeDDo’s most important missions is to create a common language that police and Soldiers can use to identify improvised explosive devices. The Weapons Technical Intelligence IeD Lexicon was developed with close cooperation and coordination among the U.S. military, the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies. “The lexicon ensures that the United States and all NATo nations — as well as other partner nations — are talking the same language when it comes to IeDs, ” said Lt. Col. Mark Wickham, a United kingdom officer who serves as JIeDDo’s Weapons Technical Intelligence, or WTI, expert. “Clearly outlining the common terms for IeDs and other improvised weapons enables better information fusion, from the tactical to strategic level. ” Comprehensive in scope, the lexicon defines terms ranging from basic IeD design and components to tactical outcomes of IeD employment. “At each phase, information is gathered to build a common picture of enemy capabilities, inform commanders of new developments, and support material developers in building necessary countermeasures, Wickham said. “The lexicon ” encourages accurate reporting and analysis from the moment the IeD is found. ” Weaving together forensic and technical analysis, the WTI process identifies unique characteristics of improvised explosive devices and their components on the battlefield to provide intelligence to ongoing operations across the globe. Upon initial examination, the devices are sent to battlefield labs for in-depth technical analysis. The information collected is used to provide evidentiary support to the prosecution of bomb makers. The devices are sent to government and military forensics labs across the globe for more detailed, national-level analysis. The forensic and technical data is also used in counter-IeD training support to provide the most realistic scenarios possible. Though there are no explicit plans at this time, a Spanish-language version of the lexicon is anticipated as the document evolves.
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