U.S. Army on Improvised Explosive Device Defeat

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are a major source of U.S. and allied casualties in Iraq. Military doctrine for confronting and defeating the IED threat is set forth in a 2005 U.S. Army field manual (excerpt, pdf).

“The proliferation of IEDs on the battlefield in both Iraq and Afghanistan has posed the most pervasive threat facing coalition forces in those theaters,” the manual states. “The persistent effectiveness of this threat has influenced unit operations, U.S. policy, and public perception.”

The manual discusses the nature of the threat, describes the defining characteristics of IEDs, and presents a framework for developing opposing strategy and tactics.

The manual has not been approved for public release and portions of the document that may be operationally sensitive are being withheld from publication online by Secrecy News.

See “Improvised Explosive Device Defeat (excerpt),” Field Manual Interim FMI 3-34.119, September 2005 (44 pages of a total 142 pages).

The 2005 document makes no mention of the explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) that have recently been described by the Department of Defense as a particularly dangerous variant of IED. See a February 11, 2007 DoD briefing on “Iranian Support for Lethal Activity in Iraq,” via TPM Muckraker.

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