IEDs in Iraq
This article about the arms race between the U.S. military and jihadi Improvised Explosive Device (IED) makers in Iraq illustrates that more technology isn’t always an effective security solution:
Insurgents have deftly leveraged consumer electronics technology to build explosive devices that are simple, cheap and deadly: Almost anything that can flip a switch at a distance can detonate a bomb. In the past five years, bombmakers have developed six principal detonation triggers—pressure plates, cellphones, command wire, low-power radio-controlled, high-power radio-controlled and passive infrared—that have prompted dozens of U.S. technical antidotes, some successful and some not.
The IED struggle has become a test of national agility for a lumbering military-industrial complex fashioned during the Cold War to confront an even more lumbering Soviet system. “If we ever want to kneecap al-Qaeda, just get them to adopt our procurement system. It will bring them to their knees within a week,” a former Pentagon official said.
Or, as an officer writing in Marine Corps Gazette recently put it, “The Flintstones are adapting faster than the Jetsons.”