IEDs and EFPs Are Easy to Make

Over and over we've heard about the "high degree of sophistication" required to manufacture Explosively Formed Projectiles/Penetrators (EFPs), the most effective weapon used against our troops in Iraq. The weapon does exactly what the name implies - rather than using the force of the explosion to kill, that explosive power is used to form a plate of heavy metal into a supersonic molten slug capable of burrowing through inches of armor. You can see a picture of an un-exploded version here.

The video below isn't the best footage for showing the projectile streaking to target, but you can see it fly up at about a 45 degree angle to the right. The projectile provides a standoff distance of up to 80 meters, making hiding the weapons much easier for the insurgents. They no longer need to set off a gigantic bomb right under one of our tanks to destroy it and kill our men.

The Bush Administration says that because of the "high degree of sophistication" required to manufacture these weapons, they must be supplied by Iran, and therefore Iran is materially participating in the killing of American soldiers. That sounds like an act of war to me.

Needless to say, I have been skeptical about the Bush Administration line on these weapons. This war boosting rhetoric seems oddly familiar. The AP gets the facts on the ground, and guess what? I was right.
The Brits and the Americans now have fancy forensic facilities, like the CSI labs on TV, to trace bombmakers. But Lamburne, who has inspected hundreds of devices, notes that the insurgents don't try all that hard to cover their tracks. About one in five leaves behind fingerprints. "It's not ignorance," he says. "They just don't care. They may believe they're going to die fighting anyway."

How do you defeat a foe who can destroy million-dollar machines with devices that can be built off the Internet for about the cost of a pizza, especially if that foe doesn't particularly worry about dying? When the insurgency began, there were about five "master bombmakers" in Baghdad, each with a recognizable style. Their model was the roadside bombs that were used in Lebanon almost 20 years earlier by the Iranian-backed group Hizbullah. Primitive versions used rudimentary triggers—sometimes just a car battery and a long wire.

Today's IED makers have inexpensive gadgets like garage-door openers and disposable phones to detonate their bombs...And thanks to the ubiquitous videos of IED attacks shot by insurgents and put up on YouTube, they will be credited with driving us out of the country whenever we do leave...

In 2005, the teams emplacing IEDs were being paid $100 for each successful blast. Now in central Iraq the payoff is sometimes as low as $40.
Can we please not go to war with Iran over another pack of lies? Iran is a deterable enemy, who is no threat to America.

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