The Decline Of The IED

In Afghanistan…IEDs are more frequently used against troops on foot patrol. These, more than attacks on vehicles, tend to cause multiple fatalities. In Afghanistan, the enemy also uses more land mines, both against troops and larger ones against vehicles travelling the numerous dirt roads.

The Taliban, unable to withstand foreign troops in a gun battle, have put most of their resources into an IED campaign. Thus the number of IEDs encountered went from 2,678 in 2007 to than 12,000 last year. This year, the number is declining.

In Afghanistan foreign troops have been on the offensive this year, and more exposed to IED attacks in areas where there has not been time to clear out the IEDs. This is especially true with land mines, which are easier to plant and more difficult to avoid. The mines end up causing more civilian casualties as well, because the Taliban often don't remove the ones that did not go off, or mark the areas where they are. If foreign troops do not encounter mines, and thus have an opportunity to clear them, civilians will eventually encounter them and get hurt.


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