Battleland

Blast Effects

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War is action v. reaction. The insurgents got the upper hand in Iraq with their improvised explosive devices. We countered with $40 billion worth of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. That worked for a while.

But the advantage is shrinking. Six U.S. troops, all inside a single MRAP, died Sunday in Afghanistan in the blast of a single IED. “It was a MaxxPro variant of the MRAP, one vehicle,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain John Kirby said Tuesday. “It was really just a large amount of explosive materials — material that was used to penetrate the hull of the MRAP.”

Bottom line: it’s a lot easier for the enemy to build and deploy a 200-pound bomb than it is for the U.S. military to build and deploy hulking armored vehicles. Any advantage is fleeting.