Iran Cut Aid to Iraqi Bombers: U.S. Anti-IED Chief

December 12th, 2008  

Topic: Iran Cut Aid to Iraqi Bombers: U.S. Anti-IED Chief

How nice of them.

Iran Cut Aid to Iraqi Bombers: U.S. Anti-IED Chief

Published: 11 Dec 16:09 EST (21:09 GMT)

Iranian officials have "pulled back on" training, materiel and financial support to improvised bomb-making cells inside Iraq, says U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, director of the Pentagon's Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).
Metz's analysis of the dwindling numbers of improvised bombs that have been detonated or found in Iraq led him to conclude that Iranian officials earlier this year decided to scale back their alleged support of Shiite insurgent groups that have used the explosives to attack U.S. and Iraqi targets.

IED use peaked in Iraq in late 2006 and early 2007, when about 2,800 improvised devices were detonated by insurgents or discovered by coalition forces, Metz said. That figure has dropped this year to about 800, he told reporters at a Dec. 11 breakfast in Washington.
The incidence of explosively formed penetrators (EFPs), a particularly powerful kind of bomb, has also dropped in Iraq from 60 to 80 a month to a dozen to 20 a month, he said.
Some defense analysts and members of the U.S. House Armed Services oversight and investigations subcommittee have questioned JIEDDO's ability to measure success in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a Nov. 18 report, the subcommittee said, "JIEDDO's performance measures do not clearly address its progress in its mission to defeat the IED as a weapon of strategic influence."
Shy of "well-defined performance measures, JIEDDO cannot adequately determine the effectiveness of its efforts," the subcommittee said. "The nation does not yet know if JIEDDO is winning the [counter-IED] fight."
The panel called on the Defense Department to "better define what JIEDDO success means and apply more appropriate metrics - this will support better internal and external oversight, as well as resource allocation and prioritization," according to the report.
Metz declined to say why he thought Tehran has apparently cut back its support to Shiite insurgent groups.
"I wouldn't try to get inside an Iranian's head," the three-star general said.
Among the other reasons for the decline, he said, are the "surge strategy" employed by senior U.S. commanders and the White House, JIEDDO's discoveries about "how to defeat the devices," and the organization's effort to help U.S. and allied troops figure out how to "defeat the networks" of individuals who build, plant and detonate the bombs

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