‘Unsatisfactory performance [with] an incomplete strategy’

Insider: IED Fight Has “Strategic Flaw”

Go read at Danger Room.


  1. Just out of curiousity. Why don’t we call these what they are? – LANDMINES. All we are doing by giving them a fancy new name is exagerating the technical abilities of the enemy and giving the left-wing anti-mine demonstrators an out to ignore these weapons that they have been agitating to outlaw…

  2. Gotta agree with DJ on this. I’ve never really been sure what the reasoning was for working so hard to call them IEDs. As DJ says, it almost sounds like we’re glorifying the capabilities of the enemy by giving the weapons a technical-sounding name. On the surface, it seems that the ‘improvised’ part of improvised explosive device should make them less capable than purpose-built weapons. Could it be that making them sound so much scarier is a way to make the military’s inability to effectively deal with them seem less troubling? Elevating the IED to a higher class means it’s not so unexpected that we’re still struggling to counter them? Being unprepared for land mines would be unacceptable, but being unprepared for IEDs is okay? If so, does that mean if a shooting war with a nation who owns a navy means we’ll be facing ‘improvised submersible boats’ that we’re unable to protect against because we didn’t know they’d be such a threat? Or did ‘IED’ start out as a derogatory term for the things and over time their effectiveness has elevated the term?

  3. To be fair, just calling them ‘mines’, at least in my head, brings up the image of a pre-packaged device manufactured specifically for this purpose. You could argue that it’s not important to call out the ‘homemade’ nature of these, but if you want to seperate them from the regular issue deal, you can’t just say ‘mine’. You can also call them ‘homicide bombers’, because it’s technically accurate in cases where the suicide bomber is intending to kill people, but ‘suicide bomber’ describes a more specific scenario.

  4. You could just call them ‘bombs’, that’s really all they are as far as I can tell. Some explosive in a package, something makes it go boom. Or not, depending on how poorly it’s made.