The number of crude roadside bombs in Afghanistan has doubled in the past year, prompting U.S. officials to rush billions of dollars of new protective gear to troops and double the number of road-clearing teams.
The campaign against the deadly devices, described Thursday by senior officials, follows Pentagon warnings of an increase in casualties in the months to come. President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of more than 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, and already, more U.S. deaths have accompanied the rise in forces.
Military officials are preparing for a nasty summer of fighting. Already, as the article notes, twice the number of Americans have been killed in the first three months of 2010 compared to the same period last year.Interestingly enough, it’s still only a third of the number of IED’s that were going off per month at the height of the Iraq War. The Joint Defeat IED task force is at it again, with 1.6 billion heading their way to figure out how to beat the roadside bombs. Question: how much money do we think the insurgents, in total, has spent on building IED’s over the past 9 years? I have no idea–maybe 50 million, but that’s a total guess, and if anyone does know, please feel free to comment–but it’s safe to say it’s only a fraction of the billions we’ve spent on protecting ourselves from them.
Anyway, not much more to say at the moment. I’ve been swamped these past two weeks a) writing, and b) preparing for a trip to Afghanistan. More to come on that, but there will be a shift in the blog from mostly Iraq related posts to Afghanistan stuff.