DOD seeks $6.4B for counter-IED efforts

GAO Report: Securing, Stabilizing and Reb uilding Iraq

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The Defense Department has asked for $4 billion in funding in its fiscal 2008 budget and $2.4 billion in its fiscal 2007 supplemental budget to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the single largest cause of U.S. casualties in Iraq and a growing concern for the forces in Afghanistan.

President Bush said in his budget request today that the funds would be used by the Joint IED Defeat Organization to develop and procure technologies that disarm and destroy IEDs before they detonate, to locate and disrupt the networks of enemies that build and place the devices, and to train U.S. forces to detect and disable them in hostile environments.

Congress appropriated $1.9 billion to the organization in the 2007 DOD budget and $3 billion in 2006. The Government Accountability Office said in a Jan. 9 report on securing, stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq that it is reviewing the organization and its management.

Last month Naval Sea Systems Command (Navsea) highlighted the challenges involved in countering radio-controlled IEDs. It said IED jammers used by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have the side effect of knocking out a wide range of tactical radio systems.

Navsea, which asked for industry input on mitigating this problem, said IED jammers can cause the loss of all communications from tactical radio systems in the same locations, or nearby. At the same time, interference from active battlefield radio systems can render the jammers ineffective, Navsea said.

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