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Intelligence What do we know, need to know, and how do we get there?

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Old 02-08-2010   #241
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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
This sounds like a pile of misunderstandings.

Mechanical mineclearing works - although not every system on all soils.

It's way too slow. It's too slow for patrols, way too slow for convoys and it's also too slow for breakthrough battles. It was used in the latter with relatively good success under special circumstances, though.
Precisely my point – mechanical clearing devices were designed for specific tasks and conditions. Operating them out of their intended environment merely reduces their effectiveness and leads some to believe they are useless. A lot more goes into leading a mechanical demining team than just driving or operating robots. The same can be said for choosing the right detector for the soil and target.

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The simple "minebreaker vehicle at the head of convoy" concept (as with that South African-inspired vehicle with the trailers) can be used for road sweeps, but it's useless for small unit movements/patrols.
I guess that would depend on the vehicle’s application. I would not pretend to keep up with a convoy. I would however employ the vehicle sufficiently ahead of the convoy in a suspect area. I’m not advocating mechanical demining as a convoy protection vehicle, just another tool in the kit bag that has some proven advantages. Instead of riding around in an MRAP awaiting detonation, I suggest destroying an element that the enemy can no longer use.

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Mechanical mineclearing is a sideshow in part because it doesn't help patrols or convoys much.
It's furthermore a sideshow because 100%, god-like mineclearing would not even come close to winning the war. It would merely take away another tool fromt he enemy, liit him to less options, probably further reducing the intensity fo warfare and thus the likeliness that we run out of steam before they do because it lasts too long and isn't worth the huge costs in comparison even to the best-case victory scenario.
Exactly – reduce the enemy’s options and save lives. You then have anecdotal evidence of mechanical demining not helping a patrol or convoy ? I'm unaware of this tactic ever being employed.


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Now if you think that my speeds are off then feel free to tell which system is faster in practical use.
As the fastest system is made in Germany and you contend these machines are all slow, I’ll let you do your own homework

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Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
"square click", that would be a square kilometer as far as I know.

I don't know anything short of a nuclear bomb with this kind of capability.

"square click", that would be a square kilometer as far as I know.

A system of great 10m width (way too optimistic) would need to drive 100x1000 m per hour = 100 km/h (62 mph) plus instant turns to achieve that kind of performance.
An armoured combat engineer battalion may be able to clear mines that quickly.
Yep, one square kilometer or 1,000 square meters.

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It works at a maximum rate of nine meters per minute... at a rate of up to 1,000 square meters per hour under optimum conditions

... destroys mines faster than they can detonate
As you may have feared, it can be remotely operated and, it's been around since 2001.
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Old 02-09-2010   #242
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A square click is a square kilometre - and that's 1,000 x 1,000 metres = a million square metres.


There's Keiler. Its operating speed is 1.5 to 4.5 km/h - mediocre walking pace at best. The width is 6.35 m

4.5 km/h * 6.36 m = 4,500 m /h * 6.35 m = 28,575 sq m/h
That's 1/35th of a square klick. That's of course total theory, the upper end of the imaginable given its tech specs. The real performance is more like creating two or three gaps in minefields (few hundred metres deep) during the course of a combat day.

Minebreaker is an even more rare vehicle and its producer claims a performance of 1.5 to 2 ha (Hektar) per day. That's up to 2 x 100 x 100m = 20,000 sq m.
Its width is approx 4m, and a day of work has most likely about 8-10 working hours.

Finally there is the R/C MAK Rhino. A report from Croatia tells about 150,000 sq m cleared in 14 days. That's 15% of a square click in two weeks.
The average was apparently about 10,700 sq m per day of work.


There's a reason for the use of explosives in battlefield demining; mechanical demining is terribly slow.
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Old 02-09-2010   #243
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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.
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Old 02-09-2010   #244
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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.

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Old 02-09-2010   #245
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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.

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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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Old 02-09-2010   #246
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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.
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Old 02-09-2010   #247
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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.
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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Old 04-13-2010   #248
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010   #249
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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.
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Old 04-13-2010   #250
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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
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Old 04-15-2010   #251
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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
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Old 09-02-2010   #252
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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:
Quote:
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!
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Old 02-27-2016   #253
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Default The problem with Biometrics at War

An excerpt from a forthcoming book, All the Ways We Kill and Die, by Brian Castner tells the story of the hunt for the bomb-makers of Iraq and Afghanistan:http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the...metrics-at-war

It ends with a telling point:
Quote:
Because that’s the funny thing about using biometrics. The only way to find one person is to find everyone.
From the author's website:
Quote:
This is the story of an American family at war, and the men and women who fight this new technology-heavy and intelligence-based conflict. I interviewed intel analysts, biometrics engineers, drone pilots, special operations aircrew, amputees who lost their legs, and the contractors hired to finish the job. They are all hunting a man known as al-Muhandis, The Engineer, the brains behind the devices that have killed so many soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old 03-09-2016   #254
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From WoTR and from a different angle:http://warontherocks.com/2016/03/tra...-than-answers/

The author's bio:
Quote:
Sarah Soliman led U.S. Special Operations Command’s first Identity Operations team in Afghanistan, as chronicled in the book “All the Ways We Kill and Die.” She is an Emerging Technology Trends Project Associate at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and is pursuing her doctorate through King’s College London’s Department of War Studies. She can be reached @BiometricsNerd.
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Old 03-13-2016   #255
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Default Castner’s writing is as horrifying as it is illuminating.

The previous two posts were copied here from the Biometrics thread, they refer to this book subject of a review of Brian Castner's new book All The Ways We Kill and Die

See:http://taskandpurpose.com/ied-rocked...-battlefield/?

I am slightly puzzled this thread has had no updates since 2010, even if it was closed approx. a year ago. Anyway it is open for now!
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Old 02-15-2017   #256
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Default IS and the car bomb IED / VBIED

A comprehensive explanation of the use, construction and more of IS VBIEDs from an unheard blogsite, but recommended today via Twitter. The history and adaptability of the Islamic State car bomb. I say comprehensive from my "armchair".

Link: https://zaytunarjuwani.wordpress.com...tate-car-bomb/

The author is Swedish. There are numerous photos and stats.

From the conclusion, the first paragraph:
Quote:
The VBIED is not something that anyone is ever going to be able to eliminate from the battlefield, and IS have mastered the art of its usage. VBIEDs are the most central and core tenet in their philosophy of war, and has allowed them to project a military power far more sizable than their actual military force.
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Old 05-02-2017   #257
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Default The IED won: how can we respond now?

Hat tip to WoTR for this article by a veteran EOD officer, who seeks to review the challenges posed by IED use and the counter-response:https://warontherocks.com/2017/05/ho...nd-innovation/
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Old 05-03-2017   #258
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Hat tip to WoTR for this article by a veteran EOD officer, who seeks to review the challenges posed by IED use and the counter-response:https://warontherocks.com/2017/05/ho...nd-innovation/
Just read the article David, thanks for posting.

My response would be that the lessons of Northern Ireland were overlooked. The Catholic population there resented the trappings of occupation and the seeming imposition of martial law, which benefited the adversary Protestant population and its paramilitaries. The sight of armored cars and helicopters would infuriate Catholics and draw the attention of the PIRA which sought to attrite British forces. The British were successful when they used a special forces/intelligence combination. Instead of a visibly heavy presence, plainclothes military and police intelligence officers would spy on the PIRA, whose members would find themselves suddenly arrested or ambushed.

Returning to Afghanistan, it would have been better for Coalition forces to traverse mined areas in helicopters, to barrack themselves securely and counter Taliban subversion with a network of plainclothes intelligence officers and special forces operators, backed by conventional reinforcements if necessary. Moreover, the Pashtuns were marginalized to a degree, with other ethnic and sectarian groups comprising the majority or disproportionately large shares of the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army.
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