Answer: From our reporting with the military there have been a number of things the U.S. military has done to try and lessen the threat from IEDs They deploy three models of bomb disposal robots. They have given some of the troops who are returning for duty specialized training in the U.S. to recognize the threat. The Iraqi army is being trained to deal with roadside bombs too, relieving some of the burden from the U.S. troops. But it remains the weapons of choice. More than 575 U.S. troops (around a quarter of all U.S. fatalities) have been from IEDs.
April 9, 2006
Jim from Philadelphia: I'm a Republican with two sons and a daughter-in-law deployed. We never thought Iraq was the direction the war should have gone, would have gotten Saddam on the way out of Afghan and Iran after completely defeating the Taliban and al Qaeda/Iran.
Have to make this clear. I do not like war, it's the worst invention that mankind has ever created.
My question is: BUT why are we fighting nice, with two hands held behind our backs, and what was the admin thinking of bringing our form of government into the Middle East? War is horrible, should be avoided. But since we are in it, let's fight it -- unrelentlessly until we win it. It's the only way to win and to get out of there. And it's the only thing the Arabs understand about war … take out the enemy completely and without a let-up until victory is accomplished.
Answer: Wars may serve a purpose in some instances, but I can't imagine anybody liking war. As a journalist for ABC News now for 20 years, I have covered wars in Somalia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, etc. I have covered violent government protests in Russia, Serbia and Argentina. These conflicts brought changes of government and a high number of casualties. We were at war with Saddam Hussein. That war was declared finished almost three years ago. Now, U.S. forces are engaged in fighting an insurgency at the same time they are trying to stand up this country. The U.S. is trying to build good will with those in the Iraqi community who want to return Iraq to a fully functioning sovereign country. Our reporting from here deals with the difficulties of trying to do just that.
It is impossible for any of the security forces here to know who all the bad guys are. Operations to stamp out insurgent hot beds have been mixed. The Fallujah and Najaf campaigns created widespread unhappiness within the greater Iraqi population which led to a huge anti-American sentiment here. That makes the work of the U.S. even more difficult. When anti-American sentiment goes up, so do attacks against American troops.
American military commanders have to consider all those issues when formulating their plans of action. We have reported from Tal Afar in the north, Fallujah and the Syrian border in the west, and from Sadr City and Najaf in the south over the past years where force has been the way that military commanders went.