Defense

December 17, 2012

Pentagon warns of higher bomb threat in drawdown

American and coalition forces in Afghanistan will be more vulnerable to deadly improvised explosive devices as the military draws down troops next year, a senior Pentagon official said Dec. 13.

Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero described his concerns about what is the top cause of military and civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Pakistan in congressional testimony that also underscored U.S. frustration with Islamabad’s efforts to thwart the production of the devices known as IEDs, most of which are fertilizer-based explosives.

IEDs are responsible for more than 60 percent of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan as the war has entered its second decade. Although the number of incidents is down this year, IEDs caused 1,874 American casualties.

Barbero told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that the drawdown of some 66,000 U.S. troops next year will make American forces more susceptible to IEDs. He said fewer troops will mean travel on Afghan roads becomes more predictable, raising the possibility of more attacks. In addition, fewer troops will mean less awareness of what’s happening in the vicinity.

“IEDs will continue to be the weapon of choice against our forces,” Barbero told the panel.

Barbero, the director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, and Jonathan Carpenter, a senior economic adviser at the State Department, insisted that Pakistan, which has had more than 926 IED attacks and more than 3,700 casualties, needs to do more to stop the devices.

About 70 percent of the homemade explosives are made with ammonium nitrate from calcium ammonium nitrate, known as CAN. The common agricultural fertilizer is produced by two factories in Pakistan.

Barbero said the Fatima Group, which owns and operates the two factories, has not been cooperative. Further complicating the situation, the Pakistan government stopped all direct communication between the United States and the company. He said any contact must go through one of the Pakistan ministries.

Carpenter said the U.S. was constrained by the closing of supply lines that didn’t reopen until July of this year.

Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat and chairman of the subcommittee, said Pakistan is vital to stopping key components from making their way into Afghanistan.

“I see too many casualties at Walter Reed,” Casey said of the Army military hospital. “We need to see action.”

The officials pointed out that Treasury has imposed sanctions and the Commerce Department has added 150 names to the list of entities barred from doing business with the United States.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2014

News: After F-15 jet crash in Virginia, rescue helicopters search for pilot - Helicopters are searching for an Air National Guard pilot after his F-15 jet crashed in the mountains of Virginia this morning, military officials said.   Business: U.S. Air Force 3DELRR contract expected soon - The U.S. Air Force could award the contract for its...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2014

Russian directing new offensive in Ukraine The Obama administration believes Russia is leading a new military counteroffensive in Ukraine. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Russia has sent additional columns of tanks and armored vehicles into its neighbor’s territory. She says the incursions suggest a ìRussian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in the contested e...
 
 
LM-C5

Double Deuce

A U.S. Air Force crew ferried the 22nd C-5M Super Galaxy from the Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Ga., Aug. 25. Aircraft 86-0011 was ferried by a crew led by Maj. Gen. Dwyer L. Dennis, Director, Global Reach Programs, O...
 

 
Northrop Grumman photograph

First ever RQ-4 Global Hawk hits 100th flight on NASA mission

Northrop Grumman photograph A historical look at the first Global Hawk (AV1) during its maiden flight over Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Feb. 28, 1998. AV1 has made history again with its 100th flight in support of NASA en...
 
 

Northrop Grumman’s CIRCM system completes U.S. Army flight testing

Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures system recently completed another round of U.S. Army testing by demonstrating its capabilities on a UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. The flight test was conducted at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala., by the Redstone Test Center. The Northrop Grumman CIRCM system was subjected to rigorous conditions over a six-week period, after...
 
 
NASA photograph by David Olive

NASA completes successful battery of tests on composite cryotank

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qkGI6JeNY0E?enablejsapi=1&rel=0 NASA photograph by David Olive One of the largest composite cryotanks ever built recently completed a battery of tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Cen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>