EFP attacks on U.S. troops down “dramatically” since December

posted at 5:35 pm on March 23, 2007 by Allahpundit

I missed this story the other day. Captain Ed didn’t.

After warning that the threat of deadly EFPs, or Explosively Formed Penetrators, was growing at an alarming rate, the U.S. military now says there’s been a “dramatic” decrease in the use of the powerful roadside bombs…

[Army Lt. Col. Christopher] Garver says EFP attacks have dropped significantly since December.

“In February, we noticed a 47 percent decrease in explosively formed penetrators being detonated against our troops, a 53 percent decrease in the number of troops wounded and a 51 percent decrease in the number of troops killed” by the devices, he said…

According to Garver, the reasons for the marked drop in EFP incidents could include the detention of three Iranians in Baghdad in December.

That makes sense. According to WaPo, those Iranians were caught with “detailed weapons lists, documents pertaining to shipments of weapons into Iraq, organizational charts, telephone records and maps, among other sensitive intelligence information,” including and especially information about importing EFPs. The problem is … we let them go. They were sent back to Iran before New Year’s. Maybe the arrest put the fear of God into them, or maybe it was that raid in Irbil in January where we captured five members of the Quds Force that really cut the flow of EFPs. We do seem to have made this a priority lately — that not-so-rogue “rogue” Mahdi Army network that we busted earlier this week was also targeted for trafficking in EFPs.

As we crack down in Baghdad, Iran is stepping it up in Basra:

Lt Col Justin Maciejewski told the BBC that he had no “smoking gun” to prove Iranian interference in Basra, where UK troops come under regular mortar and rocket attack.

But he said local community leaders informed him that Iranian agents were paying local men 500 US dollars a month to carry out attacks and providing them with sophisticated modern weapons…

“We have a lot of very modern and quite sophisticated weaponry being used against us – weaponry that could only really have been procured from a state.

The Counterterrorism Blog has an interesting post up theorizing that the capture of the British sailors might be Iran’s attempt to drive a wedge between the U.S. and UK. Same M.O. as Al Qaeda: support for the war on terror is softer in Britain than it is here so bomb the Brits until they decide to leave America’s fight to America. I don’t buy it, though. AQ can get away with that tactic because it isn’t a nation-state and thus its attacks aren’t an affront to national pride. The left prefers to regard terrorism as almost “atmospheric,” a condition that can be managed but not eliminated because you can never directly confront it. It operates in the shadows. Not so with a nation-state like Iran. It operates in the shadows too, of course, but Blair or Gordon Brown would have no trouble finding Tehran on their map if need be.

I leave you with Erick Stakelbeck’s exclusive about a major offensive — bigger than the battle of Fallujah, if you can believe it — that’s coming soon to Diyala province. Diyala is the area to the east of Baghdad where Sunni jihadis have been hiding out since the surge. If Stakelbeck’s right, Petraeus is planning a three-front attack aimed at surrounding and then snuffing AQ inside. Let’s hope.


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Must have something to do with the Democrats controlling Congress.

Enrique on March 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM

Must have something to do with the Democrats controlling Congress.

Enrique on March 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM

Of course! The Islamic terrorists heard about all the ‘pork’ that was put in the new defense spending bill and got worried that we were going to start fighting dirty.

JadeNYU on March 23, 2007 at 5:48 PM

Good news about the EFPs, but the terrorists know the Democrats have their backs. Me, I think Petraeus will win this thing on the ground despite the efforts of the Treason Party at home.

ReubenJCogburn on March 23, 2007 at 5:51 PM

MSM response: Crickets chirping. (Then another report about Anna Nicole Smith.)

aero on March 23, 2007 at 5:51 PM

I agree with CT blog, this an attempt to drive wedge between the U.K. and the U.S.
Remember the Brits operate in heavily shia area of Iraq, so the sooner they withdraw the sooner the Iranians can move in.

billy on March 23, 2007 at 5:58 PM

So where does this fall in Pat Dollard’s “11 Point Surge Plan”? Is the move toward Diyala part of the move to the Iranian border? Is the EFP flow being staunched a part of border ops using intel in the Iranian arrests in Erbil and Baghdad? Was Mookie’s abandoned attempt to re-enter Iraq last week a part of the border ops? Is there anyone reporting out there at all? How many troops do we have out that way, or do we even know? Special Forces ops wouldn’t be easy to know about or report on, but you’d think some journalist was watching that area. At least watching area’s around major smuggling routes.

I wish I was an assignment editor at a newspaper or network. So many questions, so few answers.

The Apologist on March 23, 2007 at 6:24 PM

I wish I was an assignment editor at a newspaper or network. So many questions, so few answers.

The Apologist on March 23, 2007 at 6:24 PM

No kidding. It was easier to get info on the homefront during WWII, despite the official censorship.
Blogs help a lot of course, but given that most have such limited resources, it’s really difficult to simply find out what is going on.

billy on March 23, 2007 at 6:39 PM

Also, why can’t we just get photographs of Mookie in Iran? Don’t pick him up, don’t hassle him, just get date verified photos and distribute them in Sadr City and other places to prove their Brave Leader has abandoned them. Get video and post it on Jihadi websites and run it around the internet to get the word out. It shouldn’t be that hard.

Where are our Psy-Ops guys and what are they doing? BUilding stuff and providing medical care is great defensive psy-ops, but we should be doing offensive psy-ops too.

The Apologist on March 23, 2007 at 7:46 PM

Where are our Psy-Ops guys and what are they doing? BUilding stuff and providing medical care is great defensive psy-ops, but we should be doing offensive psy-ops too.

The Apologist on March 23, 2007 at 7:46 P

Yup.

billy on March 23, 2007 at 7:51 PM

The Counterterrorism Blog has an interesting post up theorizing that the capture of the British sailors might be Iran’s attempt to drive a wedge between the U.S. and UK.

I think Iran is trying to get the British people to give up on this war by using intimidation, and it may actually work. Winston Churchill’s Great Britain doesn’t seem to exist anymore. A very sad state of affairs.

RedinBlueCounty on March 23, 2007 at 7:59 PM

BTW, Apologist et.al.,
New blog from NRO you might want to check out.

billy on March 23, 2007 at 8:04 PM

Must have something to do with the Democrats controlling Congress global warming.

Enrique on March 23, 2007 at 5:45 PM

RD on March 23, 2007 at 9:56 PM

You mean… we’re winning the war. The Dhemocrats will never let this stand.

Mojave Mark on March 23, 2007 at 10:29 PM

Does anybody commenting here think that war with Iran is NOT inevitable?

georgej on March 24, 2007 at 1:19 AM

George, Ahmadingdong wants it so bad, he thinks it’ll hasten the global victory for islam and bring back the 12th imam and the caliphate. Let’s hope and pray that the people of Iran stand up and remove him and the mad mullahs before Dingdong opens a third front in WW3.

Tony737 on March 24, 2007 at 4:25 AM

But he said local community leaders informed him that Iranian agents were paying local men 500 US dollars a month to carry out attacks and providing them with sophisticated modern weapons…

Boy, I know some Afghans that are going to pissed whenthey read that. HIG pays less and gives out old Russian leftovers. Heh.

I am starting to wonder what the $%#& is going in Iran – defectors, their leader can’t even make up his mind about going to the UN – didn’t he hold them blinkless last time he talked to them as the green rays eminated from his holy head? This embarrassing piracy move, their agents getting scooped up in Iraq.

Hmmm.

major john on March 24, 2007 at 5:23 PM