Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Dismounted, Shaped-charge IED

So the Taliban, such as it is, and whatever they are, are some dirty-ass cowardly son's of bitches.

I met a young man just returned from a war zone today. He lost four of his buddies on patrol one day. He called it a 'daisy chain IED'. I kinda guessed what it was but asked him about it and learned the following.

This is a series of IEDs wired to go off in sequence, and, if the timing is right, wipe out a whole platoon or more as the IEDs are spread out at the intervals our soldiers would separate from each other.

The thing I didn't know is that the bomb makers have put shape charges in many of their IEDs now. For a soldier on foot the shaped charge will take off three or four of their limbs and they bleed to death rather quickly. The force of the blast sends a superheated jet of focused energy directly up. Off come the arms and legs.

This tells me this is really all about terror and not about winning a battle or a war. A warrior would design IEDs and the like to maim and hopefully not kill. That way more resources are taken off the field of battle to care for the wounded.

But not these assholes. They are nihilistic. They don't plan on winning any battles.... they get slaughtered when they run up against our troops.... they don't plan on winning any war.... They just want pain, and they don't care if they die while doing it. Pain, horror, and the big middle finger.

The other interesting thing is that when I talk to our young men who have fired on the enemy, it's always the same answer. I ask them, "Did you get them?" (ready with my PTSD screening questions), "I hope so, Doc", or, "Damn right doc," and they are not bothered at all.

Even met one yesterday who was in so much pain from a back injury that he was going to be evacuated to the states after only serving four months of his year long tour. Instead, he got toradol injections every day from SOMEONE (not smart) in order to go OUT on patrol and close with the enemy.

This generation is my hope for a revitalization or our national character. They rock.


  1. Do you hope we pull out of Afghanistan ASAP?

  2. I have no clue. Afghanistan IS a mess. Iraq isn't. Iran is about to go nuclear. Hell, I don't know... I want to win the war, but it's not really a war as we have understood them.

  3. A warrior would design IEDs and the like to maim and hopefully not kill. That way more resources are taken off the field of battle to care for the wounded.

    Difficult, and frankly, in practice "warriors" often don't do that.

    While the insurgent types are also terrorists, in their attacks against civilians, trying to kill soldiers is just war, not a terror tactic.

    (Otherwise, aren't our snipers/SDMs terrorists?

    I maintain they're not - and that killing the enemy is a perfectly valid goal for a warrior and a soldier.)

  4. I can not argue with your logic Sigivald and some of the acronyms are beyond me. Interestingly, ran into some EOD guys today and asked them about this, their answer was interesting. They said that the shaped charge IED use in Afghanistan is simply there 'because it's what worked for them in Iraq'. He said it's their only card so they are playing it because we have killed too many of them in the toe-to-toe. He also said the population is about 8% literate and still believe there are dragons in the mountains and that most of the locals just want to farm. There was much more and I thanked them both for doing what they do. Gonna stick to what I know.

  5. In a dwindling field of Republican rubes - who do you think could end this "war" and lead our country? Or like me are you hoping for a last minute knight in shinning amour?

    Barb in AZ

  6. dear barb, let me know when you get a good answer. I used to follow politics and I am a conservatarian, but it's just too painful now. I only listen to sports radio now. let's take the Commandant of the Marine Corps and nominate him.