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12 June 2007

The IED Fight

Given that the ongoing efforts to counter IED attacks is the primary tactical and technological level struggle of the Long War, we are continually amazed at the amount of misinformation, disinformation, and sheer ignorance which has been propagating in recent months. (If ever there were more clearly illustrated the failure of PAO and IO in this conflict, we have yet to see it.)

In terms of understanding individual experiences on the ground, this is the equivalent of airpower in the Battle of Britain, or amphibious operations in the Pacific theatre. And it is almost entirely unknown outside of the narrative of chaos that repeats endlessly in major media channels.

Thankfully, a few recent stories have begun to illuminate an otherwise clouded environment. We are not necessarily in favour of the level of detail which is being revealed about current operations and activities, but we do value the higher order effects of at last seeing parts of a much larger story told.

A global web of special operations and intelligence professionals are engaged in the fight, assisted by technical experts and veteran operational planners. In the air, there are the unseen flights “banging trons”. On the ground, there are innovations in armor and other protective designs. But other efforts have not been successful, mired in the legal and political morass which characterizes the ambiguity in which this war is prosecuted.

All the while, these tactics spread in new theatres, with serious geopolitical implications for those willing to confront them. For our enemies are clearly named, and acting in plain sight – if one but chooses to look.

But regrettably, all of the our vast capabilities available will avail us naught if we do not maintain the political will, and the moral certainty, to win this fight. This should be household knowledge - not the obscure domain of the professional. There are more stories to be told, and they should be told - in a way that protects those in harm's way from adverse disclosure but lets the truth be known. That is a task we leave to others, acting under appropriate command guidance and authorization - but it is a call that needs to be heeded.

To borrow the famous plea: Faster, please.

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