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IEDs

By Major (retired) Chris Hunter

Published by Bantam Press (ISBN: 978 0 5930 6016 2)

Reviewed by Roger Green, Principal reviewer, U K Defence Forum

Major Chris Hunter, holder of the Queens Gallantry Medal, retired after 17 years service in the British Army. (Chris Hunter is a nom de plume)  For most of that time he worked as a counter-IED (improvised explosive device) operator in a number of high threat areas including Northern Ireland, Iraq and Columbia and since retiring in Afghanistan.  He specialised in assault IED disposal operations in support of counter terrorism (CT) units, the police and close protection teams.  He was involved in the London bombings in July 2005 when he was seconded to COBRA as the suicide terrorism expert.  Hunter is already well known as an author for his first book 'Eight Lives Down' that was about his time as a bomb disposal officer in Iraq.

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The International Security Assistance Force's strategy for defeating the improvised explosive device threat in Afghanistan can be characterised by three main elements - attacking the system, defeating the device and preparing the force.

Major General Gordon Messenger, the Chief of the Defence Staff's Strategic Communications Officer, and Colonel Peter Smith, Assistant Director of Counter-IED at Land Forces Headquarters, reiterated that the IED menace is being countered through intelligence, training and equipment at a briefing to the media in MOD's Main Building on Thursday 1 July 2010.

Reminding the audience that while improvised explosive devices are far from a new phenomenon and that around 300 are found every month outside Iraq and Afghanistan, Major General Messenger said that it was in Afghanistan that their use had become 'unprecedented'.

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Afghan News Round Up: December 5, 2012 Compiled by Elayne Jude for Great North News Service

Petraeus fallout, Kite Runner onstage, four-legged bomb disposal and Russia on the rise

How the Military are Fallen: Petraeus looks sheepish

Re Petraeus' affair with Paula Broadwell, a married woman, a former Taliban Cabinet minister turned insurgency leader commented: "The American general's sex disgrace is a slap not only to the character of the U.S. but also to the faces of Karzai and all others who are pro-Western. The bloodshed addict General Petraeus was not only after the blood of unfortunate Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also taking the chastity of married women."

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A video recently posted to the Internet depicting an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in Syria has garnered a great deal of attention. Studying the IED technology employed by a militant group is an important way to determine the group's logistics situation and trajectory. It can also be a way to discern if a group is receiving outside training and logistical assistance.

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By Alex Shone

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain the primary, physical threat to Coalition soldiers and personnel in Afghanistan. An inexpensive and immensely varied device; they pose a strategic threat to the Coalition mission in Afghanistan perpetuating instability and obstructing international objectives. Counter-IED (CIED) strategy, in theory, targets IEDs are their source to enable interdiction to the 'left of the bang'; meaning literally before they can be emplaced and detonated. However, in reality CIED efforts have played into the insurgents' hands by concentrating on dealing with IEDs once they have been emplaced. This immediate requirement has consumed the lion's share of the finite resources available. CIED strategy needs to return its focus towards interdicting the IEDs before they are emplaced, to the left of the bang.

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