There’s an interesting piece by Adam Higginbotham in this months US edition of Wired magazine.
It’s all about the US military’s escalating game of wits with insurgents in Iraq & Afganistan.
The biggest problem for the US isn’t AK47s or rocket launchers, it’s IEDs – Improvised Explosive Devices or roadside bombs. These cause more mayhem & carnage than anything else, and are built for peanuts.
It’s not the explosives aspect that caught my eye, rather the ingenious ways that they are triggered. Anything which can send a wireless signal is fair game: garage door openers, remote doorbells, cell phones, walkie-talkies, CB radios. The US’s answer to this was to buy radio jammers, 40,000 of them in fact for Iraq alone. Then the insurgents start to use Frequency Counters as triggering devices – because they detect the jammers. Then they move to using PIRs that pick up the heat signature of the Humvees. Then a US army officer decides to stick a toaster on a 10 foot pole on the front of his Humvee, to confuse the PIR. Then the insurgents set the IEDs to target back 10 feet from the heat signature. Any so it goes on… it’s almost comical… like Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote. Except of course, it’s not funny at all.
Page 138 of Wired’s August 2010 US edition.