The Corner

Those Zionist Usurpers

There are some interesting tidbits on American-Israeli military collaboration in the Washington Post’s IED series:

A Defense Intelligence Agency weapons team had noted in the late 1990s that EFPs with infrared triggers were used by Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces against the Israelis in southern Lebanon at least as early as 1997. The few EFPs that were in Iraq during the early summer of 2004 invariably appeared in Shiite-controlled areas near the Iranian border, such as Basra and southeast Baghdad. That suggested “international linkages” to Iran, [Brig. Gen.] Votel [director of the Pentagon’s Joint IED Task Force] told Cheney.

A colonel at the Israeli Embassy had repeatedly warned the task force about infrared-triggered EFPs. “He and other Israelis were pounding on the desk, saying, ‘Listen, we’ve already been through this historically. This is what’s going to happen next,’ ” a task force officer later recalled. “We should never have been surprised by that,” an Army colonel with long experience in Iraq and Afghanistan added. “But until it became a reality, people really paid no attention.”

Month by month, EFPs were better camouflaged and more effective. In February 2005, he sent a lieutenant colonel to Tel Aviv. The Israeli solution to IEDs often included using armored bulldozers to scrape away the top 18 inches of earth where bombs might be hidden, according to an Israeli engineer colonel. That tactic had limited utility in Iraqi cities, but Israel also had made technological strides.

Votel’s emissary examined six promising counter-IED systems. Under an agreement with the defense ministry, for about $1 million Israeli engineers would bring four of them to Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona for further testing. System names would be changed to conceal the Israeli connection, so that a microwave gadget called VOW became Dragon Spike I, and MACE — Microwave Against Concealed Electronics — became Dragon Spike II. The testing was scheduled for June 2005.

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