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Thread: Roadside Bombs & IEDs (catch all)

  1. #261
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    These are not wooden box mines, they probably come in a variety of sizes, but can be a coffee cup sized hollowed out wooden initiator, with a hole in the top that the lid is (gently) set in. flat wooden "pressure plate" with a small pointy stick that goes down into the hole to where the chemicals are (picture a round drink coaster with a sharpened dowel rod in the center). Stepping on this mixes the chemcials triggering the initiating blast. Attached to this are as many jugs of home made explosive as they care to apply buried beneath it.

    Something "The Professor" would make to defend Gilligan's Island.
    Sounds pretty much like a non-metallic twist on the old pressure plate. It is not particulary new, as far as I understand, but still the human mind at war seems never be still when it comes to harming the enemy.

    Firn

  2. #262
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    A square click is a square kilometre - and that's 1,000 x 1,000 metres = a million square metres.
    Ooops - my bad Fuchs. Darn metric system and my Yankee ingenuity these days

    Actually the mine breaker 2000 claims 1,000 square meters per hour. No matter, they are much faster than their predecessors and this also brings us back to clearing a "path" wide and long enough that the likelihood of a mine or IED getting a convoy has been substantially reduced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There's a reason for the use of explosives in battlefield demining; mechanical demining is terribly slow.
    Not sure I follow you here. Since we're talking about speed, manual demining or signal sweeping takes hours to cover ground and using explosives for demining "mines" died years ago with the advent of burn out flares. Discovering an IED doesn't always mean it is destroyed using explosives. Most are rendered safe rather than the risk of high order detonations. We also need to perform forensics and post blast forensics are more time consuming. Shooting "it" with frangible ammo or a water cannon retains most of the IED. Got to start somewhere.

    Bob's detailed description supports the need for a heavy, purpose-intended vehicle to render such devices safe. Setting off a pressure sensitive IED with a 7-ton roller 3 meters in front of a heavily armored vehicle still translates into survivability.
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  3. #263
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Real minefields (military ones) can be cleared with fuel-air explosives and other explosive means (like line charges). The variety of systems in this area is according to my impression larger (and growing faster) than with mechanical mineclearing.

  4. #264
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Real minefields (military ones) can be cleared with fuel-air explosives and other explosive means (like line charges). The variety of systems in this area is according to my impression larger (and growing faster) than with mechanical mineclearing.
    The Chinese gave us a demonstration of their so-called surface launched explosive mixture. Quite impressive triggering all the AP mines, but failed to detonate 3 out of 4 AT mines. The idea however was to reduce the time conventional mine clearance currently requires.

    If you and I were permitted to test our ideas (which will probably never happen), I'd bet a "C" note that my idea would work out better, but my vehicles would consume mucho diesel doing so

    Regards, Stan
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  5. #265
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Who might these Rhodesians be?

    JMA,

    I was referring to private discussions I had in Zimbabwe in 1985, with some ex-Rhodesian Army officers (notes not to hand, will update by PM). IIRC the Cilliers book, yes written by a South African, was critical and a Rhodesian academic who wrote about COIN.
    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    JMA,

    I was referring to private discussions I had in Zimbabwe in 1985, with some ex-Rhodesian Army officers (notes not to hand, will update by PM). IIRC the Cilliers book, yes written by a South African, was critical and a Rhodesian academic who wrote about COIN.
    Thanks David, but I am more interested in the argument than the names of individuals. After 1980 everyone developed a story based on 20/20 hindsight. The SAS opinion was that had more strategic actions been taken earlier it would have had a marked positive effect. From a military perspective it is nearly always better to take them on in their external bases before they even enter the country but then who knows what the political pressures at the top are.

  7. #267
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    From a military perspective it is nearly always better to take them on in their external bases before they even enter the country but then who knows what the political pressures at the top are.
    Concur. All Wars are 80% political! Externals were a very sound military policy, but also politically counter-productive. No mystery or anything new in that.

    Moderator's Note

    Thread closed as there is new, main thread 'IEDs: the home-made bombs that changed modern war': http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=16303
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-09-2015 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Add Note
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  8. #268
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default IEDs in S.Afg & W. Pakistan 2002-09

    A detailed open source paper on IEDs in Afghanistan-Pakistan. from the New America Foundation:[quote]by Alec Barker entitled “Improvised Explosive Devices in Southern Afghanistan and Western Pakistan, 2002-2009” (pdf).....The Internet, cash marketplaces, and informal alliances among insurgents seem to explain the extent to which bomb-making innovation crosses geographical and ideological lines much faster than it did previously.

    Hat tip to:http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/stevecoll/and the paper itself:http://counterterrorism.newamerica.n...cs/barker3.pdf
    davidbfpo

  9. #269
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The role of IEDs: Taliban interview

    Hat tip to Circling the Lion's Den, which has this ote]The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban) website has published an interview with Qari Khairullah Muneeb, commander for IED Units in the Dand Area, south of Kandahar.[/quote] Link to the website item:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....commander.html

    Some may not wish to visit the Taliban's reported PR website, so I have placed the interview on the attachment.

    Lion'd Den story ends with:
    No doubt the US Army's Joint IED Defeat Organisation will be reading this interview with interest. That organisation's budget has been increased from $2.28 billion in 2010 to 3.46 billion in 2011. Most IEDs cost less than $100 to assemble.
    So SWC can too!
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-02-2010 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Add document
    davidbfpo

  10. #270
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default IEDs: the home-made bombs that changed modern war

    Improvised Explosive Devices

    This thread was prompted by an IISS Strategic Comment, longer than most and I have used their title as the thread's title.

    It opens with:
    Sometimes called ‘the artillery of the twenty-first century’, these home-made bombs have been responsible for the majority (nearly 70%) of foreign military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the same way that most battlefield casualties in the twentieth century were inflicted by artillery.
    And ends with:
    Countering IEDs will remain a core requirement for land forces. Any force – whether state or irregular – seeking to combat Western forces will have observed the advantages that IED have given to insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. As IED are often similar in capability and employment to conventional land mines, armies may merge counter-IED efforts with broader counter-mine capabilities. It will be important for them to institutionalise approaches to countering IEDs, keeping knowledge and expertise current even in the absence of major operations.
    Link:http://www.iiss.org/publications/str...ed-modern-war/

    I know SWC has discussed some of the issues around countering IEDs and SWJ has had articles too, most notably on the MRAP acquisition process. Oddly there are very few threads easy to identify as focussed on IEDs and all these will be closed - with a caption pointing to this main thread (Yes, the dreaded Moderator at work):

    1) Wood box IEDS (re-titled The role of IEDs: Taliban interview):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=11322

    2) Oldest Vehicle borne IED? RFI:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6538

    These are both mainly historical and reflect members knowledge.

    3) Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, a single post with 3.5k views: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6335

    4) EFPs; the new AK-47?: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5414

    5) Military Claims Victory with V-shaped Truck (more the response to IEDs):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=2460
    On 27th August 2012 merged into a new thread on MRAP.

    6) MRAPs Can't Stop Newest Weapon (ditto above):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=3055
    On 27th August 2012 merged into a new thread on MRAP

    6) Fighting Roadside Bombs (started in 2005, ended 2008): http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=1055

    7) Bombs in Iraq Getting More Sophisticated (mainly Iraq 2005-2007, a closed thread):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=131

    8) Ambush, IEDs and COIN: The French Experience (not merged):http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5585

    There are a number of relevant posts (found 27th August): The role of IEDs: Taliban interview; Vertical envelopment and the IED How To Stop IEDs.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-28-2012 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Updated with x3 relevant threads
    davidbfpo

  11. #271
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    There's nothing new or modern about mine warfare on land. We've had that for a couple centuries, see 17th century mineur troops (demolitions engineers).

    The "modern" thing about it all is rather that the rebels are so vastly inferior and so much in danger in most other forms of warfare than mine warfare that their theoretically wide repertoire has almost entirely been reduced to minelaying, thuggery and occasional harassing fires.

    Earlier capability asymmetries had a different face, but looked similarly. An Amazon tribe's poison arrow ambush, Germanic small warband raids in woodland were essentially the same.
    Very little of OPFOR's repertoire still worked that the remaining active repertoire (usually a very, very careful action) was perceived way out of proportion.


    It's as complaining that you're getting itched badly by the stiff stitching ends of a double amputee. A double amputee whom you've amputated and who happened to be the best boxer in his town before he faced you.

    Does this make stiff stitching the important face of modern martial arts?
    Not really.

    It rather shows that humans adapt to almost everything, get used to almost everything. Even a little itch is a major issue if there's no other irritation.


    I bet you'd instantly forget about the itching once you get into a brawl with a really good kickboxer who breaks your arms.



    OK, this was a bit more graphic, but I basically wrote the same thing here before.

  12. #272
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Fuchs,

    I agree that the use of mines or IEDs is not 'new' in warfare. As a civilian I think there is something in the military-bureaucratic world that needs to label the re-appearance of an 'old' method as 'new' and so gain funding for example.

    On a quick scan of the linked threads it was interesting to see so many previous historical examples given, such as the local use of bicycle IEDs in a WW2 IRA bombing campaign.

    I am not aware of any comparisons made of the damage incurred in previous campaigns and more contemporary ones, so will agree with the IISS author the proportion of casualties has changed.
    davidbfpo

  13. #273
    Council Member Johannes U's Avatar
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    Default C-IED in an first entry mission

    I want to restart this thread by requoting from davidpfbo and the IISS article:
    Countering IEDs will remain a core requirement for land forces. Any force – whether state or irregular – seeking to combat Western forces will have observed the advantages that IED have given to insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    In the Austrian Armed Forces we have for different reasons neglected the issue of C-IED battle drills for a long time.
    For other reasons we now start with incorporationg them into our training.

    I have the following questions to the Council:
    How do you evaluate the IED-threat to the leading elements of an attacking InfBn when conducting a secured road march towards the line of depature during an attack?
    Do you use the same battle drills (5/25, 4 C's, Isolation, VP or however you call them?
    Who decides what is a danger and what not?
    How far in advance can you plan those battle drills?
    How do you deal with the expected delay when planing an offensive operation?


    I hope that my inquiries are clear and understandable.

    I do have some ideas and I want to share them with you as soon as I have formulated them into simpler sentences .

    Thanks in advance
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  14. #274
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default 5 nov 1605

    Guy Fawkes, AKA the mad bomber, is considered to be the very first to create an IED in 1605. Imagine had he done away with the entire British Parliament.... What would the UK be now ?

    The IED has been around for centuries but yet only in the last 15 years have we spent so much time concerned with it.

    Those that deal with these generally don't talk about it and those that end up dead don't have much to say.

    Fact is, we only spend time on any issue when people start to die. Our Mine Risk Education Program begins to dwindle because there are insufficient deaths. How ironic !

    Johannes,
    The TTPs are adhoc and each scenario differs from the last. No cookie cutter to quickly adapt to. Who ultimately decides that the AO is dangerous depends on who's in charge and their priorities.

    EOD elements are not offensive in nature... rather responsive. Delays are part of the job and they come often enough with little to no advance warning. The UNMAS plans on little more than the fact that a battle has taken place and there will be UXO.

    Regards, Stan
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  15. #275
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Stan,

    Do you agree with the quote below from a post C.J. Chivers put up on his blog last summer?

    [L]ooked at coldly the Syrian army, which began the war as the biggest man in the bar, has been on a bloody and agonizing one-direction ride. You can make a social argument here, which should serve as a warning for other crackdown artists or champions of conventional military units’ roles in the irregular wars or our age: This is the modern-day outcome of using blunt force against a potentially large, determined and angry enemy on its own turf with a bulky and a doctrinally incoherent force that must make things up as it goes. That argument will probably stand. But then come the particulars that explain how an army, which set out pitted against an essentially unarmed foe, will lose. This is where the I.E.D. fits in. Once the armed opposition mastered the I.E.D. and spiked with bombs much of the very ground that any military seeking to control Syria must cover, and Syria’s army lacked a deep bench of well-trained explosive ordnance disposal teams and the suites of electronic and defensive equipment for its vehicles to survive, then the end was written. Because the Syrian army is ####ed. And its troop must know it.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  16. #276
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    This IED hyping is BS.
    The Syrian army did not win quickly (or so far at all) because motivation (morale) is extremely important.

    The army obviously lacked men who actually wanted to fight the rebels, and did/does so even in leadership positions.


    It's astonishing how simplistic superficialities such as the hardware fashions can still cloud people's view on the real basics of warfare.

  17. #277
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    I think 3 basic trends are at work:

    1) We humans can look back at a long evolution in which trapping played a considerable role. It needs little capital input, a generally relative small amount of labour and profits greatly from intelligence and knowledge. Overall it could provide much vital return on the investment.

    2) The technological progress and economic development have vastly increased the potency , availability and variability of the toolkit.

    3) Small, protracted wars, especially with a vastly stronger side provide a set of circumstances which lets the weaker side gravitate towards the `trapping` approach.

    There are of course lots of other variables like topography etc involved but the basic trends should pretty much look like that.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

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    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  18. #278
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    Stan,

    Do you agree with the quote below from a post C.J. Chivers put up on his blog last summer?
    Hey Matt,
    Yes and no. I lean more towards comments from Fuchs and Firn. C.J. makes some valid points regarding the capabilities of the Syrian Army as well as their equipment, but the IED in Syria is not the IEDs in Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. The overall IED-related stats account for less than 5% of Syrian army deaths (although I should point out that our information is dated as the UN all but pulled out).

    The background in C.J.'s picture vs the pictures from The Atlantic indicate the Syrian Army is well on the way to total destruction. Morale among the Syrian troops as Fuchs points out must be at an all time low. That and the failure rate of Syrian and Russian ordnance, means a lot of UXO to utilize and clean up. That worries me more than the potential IED threat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Fuchs,

    I agree that the use of mines or IEDs is not 'new' in warfare. As a civilian I think there is something in the military-bureaucratic world that needs to label the re-appearance of an 'old' method as 'new' and so gain funding for example.

    On a quick scan of the linked threads it was interesting to see so many previous historical examples given, such as the local use of bicycle IEDs in a WW2 IRA bombing campaign.

    I am not aware of any comparisons made of the damage incurred in previous campaigns and more contemporary ones, so will agree with the IISS author the proportion of casualties has changed.
    It is disapointing, but there is a lot of truth in this assertion, especially when it comes to IEDs, but this is only part of the issue. Another key aspect is the media's focus and hype about IEDs, which the military in turn must dance to due to Congressional pressure (our want to be warfighters) to get after the IED problem.

    The good news is that there have been some signifcant gains in the research and development world to help address the IED threat, and tactics in some cases have appropriately evolved. The bad news is despite our attack the network as one line of effort against IEDs, we have lost a lot by focusing on the trees instead of the forest. It is amazing how many man hours and analytical focus will get diverted to a relatively insignificant tactical capability of the enemy.

    Get off the roads, control territory (can't do that from fire bases, you have to be out and about constantly), and defeat the adversary. We never would have defeated any adversary in history if we focused on defeating their rifles, their artillery, their planes, etc. We would have simply degraded their ability to fight until they adapted, unless we could have quickly pushed them to their culmination point (that isn't happening with most insurgencies). In some respects, as many have said, very little about warfare has changed over history, but our response to it has, often inappropriately.

  20. #280
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Every schoolboy knows the story of how the British Regulars stuck to the road as the marched back to Boston following the battles of Lexington and Concord, and were torn apart by Rebel snipers along the way.

    Now we are the road-bound regulars. Not so funny when the shoe is on the other foot. Weaker forces will always seek some asymmetric advantage, it is incumbent upon the regular to ignore doctrine and adapt. In Korea the Chinese ran the ridges while US forces clung to the roads. Now it is IEDs. If one makes themself a target, the enemy will use you as one.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 04-06-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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