May 6th, 2010
11:51 AM ET

Combating the No. 1 killer of troops in Afghanistan

Improvised explosive devices — or IEDs — are the No. 1 killer of NATO troops in Afghanistan. And although more than 40 nations are fighting in the ISAF coalition there, none of them have the kind of experience and resources the U.S. has in finding and eliminating these deadly bombs by insurgents.

The U.S. military put that expertise to use at a recent conference at the Joint Multinational Training Command in Germany to show dozens of its NATO partners the latest methods of combating IEDs as well as try to standardize the training and gear.

"It is very important to share the best practices immediately for all the others," says Ltc. Mati Lampinen of the Finnish Army. "So that is the most important thing. To share the best practices and then get them to the soldiers on the ground."

Training included mock IED materials.

Computer games simulate the environment where IEDs are likely.

Mock explosions help train in counter-measures to those heading to Afghanistan.

Training included a demonstration of a mini-drone.

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Filed under: NATO • Troops
soundoff (235 Responses)
  1. Fred Brun

    To solve the IED problem is quite simple. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan! The reason for getting out of both wars is because they are illegal. These are American wars. The Allies (Coalition of the willing) are just so much International cover for the US. Imagine no more IED problems!

    July 29, 2010 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  2. General Dr Bad.

    Look at these comments and answers. What bothers me most is you do not even see what is wrong with this mentality.
    do not blame me for these deaths nor maimings.
    you did it. not i.
    from rumsfield to obama from turner to beck.
    to you.
    such Cowards you are, afraid of even words.
    as you whine free speech.

    May God save your troops from you.
    Obviously you cant even read.
    Not My Troops. Not My War. Not My Problem. Have "Fun".

    July 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mike clark

    ETERNAL VIGILANCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS!

    July 24, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. BB36

    It's good to share the learnings of war and protect those at risk. But it's a never ending process of adaption. Once the military nullify one type of IED method, another will appear.

    In the long run, it's better to minimise the reason for their deployment. You can never attempt to occupy another sovereign country without created hatred, so perhaps another way needs to be found.

    July 23, 2010 at 3:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. frank

    Here's a very simple solution to IEDs. March the Gitmo prisoners down the road in front of our troops. When we run out of prisoners, start using villagers since they already know where the bombs are located, END OF PROBLEM

    July 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Heng

    Boobytraps U.S. Army Instruction Manual Tactics, Techniques, and Skills Plus Mine Countermine Operations from Amazon, has been helpful.

    July 19, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jack

    US is fighting a war that cannot be won. US should limit their losses and get out of Afghanistan. Democracy can never work in Afghanistan. Pakistan will ensure it never does. Besides, the Afghans themselves do not want democracy. Befriend Taliban to minimize our losses, hand over the reigns of Afghanistan to them and get out of there.

    July 19, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ash

    Why not deal with the mess we have made for ourselves and let our kids live well and in peace in the years to come, not burdened with paying for our wars:
    1. If we made a mistake and invaded Iraq due to Bush/Cheney lies and a hawkish military/contractor nexus, so be it... but let us get out and do it quickly.
    2. Let us understand that a Muslim mind cannot be changed despite what the moderates and liberals think. Islam demands a creed from Muslims that is so intolerant of non-believers that co-existence is at best tenuous. Look at EVERY COUNTRY in the world WITH EVEN A SMALL MUSLIM POPULATION and what do you see? Mayhem. So we are we kidding?
    3. And we all know that the only reason we are engaging the Islamic world is Oil. Otherwise would we ever care about Middle East or Arabs? Or for that matter Pakistan? !
    4. We cannot keep paying Haliburton, Blackstone and all those defense contractors out of money we borrow from China forever; we cannot also keep DISTRIBUTING CASH in Iraq and Afghanistan WITHOUT RECEIPTS, this madness has to stop.

    Given this, how to we end it? How did we end WWII? Plain and simple. Quick and dirty way is to bomb the place we know terrorists are holed up, we have lots of unused munitions from yesteryears lying around... why not use them, we do not need precision, we need simple destruction. NO ONE EVER WON THE AFGHANS, let us bomb the damn place and get out... you cannot tame these people into democracies.. anyway since when did we stop backing dictators and start backing democracies?

    Let us cut our losses, save our kids and people and rebuild America for ourselves... we are wasting money that is not even ours while letting China take over huge global resources and extend its reach!

    July 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jim

    We have become a national security state. As a result we have chosen military action as our FIRST response. Our military do their best to accomplish their mission regardless of its political effectiveness. As a result, our military budget is the largest in the world and takes up at least half (actual) of our national budget. Our soldiers are brave and the officers do their best to accomplish their mission. The question is what missions are actually worth doing. I am certain that if the military budget would be cut substantially, this would lead to a military government in fact. Since we are the world's superpower, we have an ample supply of recruits and veterans. I doubt that our taste for war will decline as long as we choose war as our governments FIRST choice of action.

    July 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ari

    The U.S should get the hell out of Afghanistan and use the resources for humanitarian asisstance. To those war advocates (be it politicians, zionist cowards etc..) you should volunteer or be sent to the front line instead of sending young soldiers to waste their lives there. This will end this senseless war faster.

    July 17, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matthew

    hello everyone.
    Iraq and Afghanistan war made our Army stronger.
    If you don't believe in U.S. Army then you don't have believe in God.
    I have a lot of faith in the U.S. Armed Forces.
    Make us proud guys.
    May God continue to bless our men and women in uniform

    June 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LuxuryMaximum

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    June 4, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paul NC

    Wow, I think Imy post got blocked ........ and I said some nice things too.

    Anyway, it's time to stop trolling

    To our troops and the families that "stand and wait":
    You are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. May you walk safely through the dark places
    you go. May the devine watch over you.
    Your bravery, courage and comittment will not be forgotten as long as I draw a breath.
    Thank you

    May the devine also watch over the innocent and keep them from harm's way.

    I, for one, have not forgetten the dream that was and can be the United States.

    May 17, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Paul Ronco

    That's because you're an idiot.

    May 16, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ric

    Maybe in hindsight, a few dozens nuclear missiles in Afghanistan, wiping out all things living, might have been the easiest solution. There would have been an uproar from many but it would have also sent a clear message out: Don't *&^% with the USA !!

    May 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Pete

    It seems that CNN is reluctant to give others the same freedoms they are assured by the first amendment. I am a veteran Marine, my son is a Marine currently in Afghanistan and his grandfather was a Marine during the Korean war. Nothing makes us angrier than seeing someones freedom of speech, that we military people pay for, taken away.
    My son is in his third tour in three years. He hates it there. He says he would rather be at home going to school, surfing and hanging out like the rest of us.
    Seems that those who have nothing to lose (Bob), will continue to harass those of us who have everything to lose there and for what? No one knows why we are there anymore. My son, his buddies, his leaders. Iraq is already showing signs of falling apart and then what? These tactics being used against us are guerrilla tactics, David versus Goliath, and they work. My sons life is worth more then anything we will gain in Afghanistan. Regardless what any of you think, this war is not about revenge, it is and has always been about OIL.

    May 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  17. General Dr Bad.

    Consider this My Official resigination.
    AS of Midnight tonight e.s.t.
    I turn over full Command as well as responsibility of any of YOUR troops.
    NO Longer MY Troops. NO Longer MY wars. NO Longer MY problem.
    dont ever bother me again.

    May 16, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  18. General Dr Bad.

    Im not the one having trouble with reality here.
    Once again all you do is waste my time.
    And show again why america is being destroyed and its Troops Murdered for no reason but your ignorance.
    And of course YOU do not adres even one point I make nor go check any facts.
    AS you smart off to the wrong man.

    May 16, 2010 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  19. 5 combat tours

    Do you think Dr. General Bad has herpes? I understand it gives you a false impresion of grandure in it's later stages.

    May 16, 2010 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
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