(ARLINGTON, Va.) -- The Pentagon’s anti-IED unit released new data Wednesday that first surfaced in the Washington Post, showing a 60 percent increase in the number of killed and a 178 percent increase in the number of wounded by roadside bombs in Afghanistan.
In 2010, 268 soldiers were killed and 3,366 were wounded by IEDs.
In 2009, those numbers were 168 and 1211, respectively.
The effectiveness of IEDs has remained relatively unchanged since the start of the war. In 2010, 21 percent of IEDs were “effective”; that number has been between 21 percent and 27 percent since 2005.
So the increase comes directly from sheer quantity. The numbers of IEDs in Afghanistan today are staggering. The military says there were 14,661 IEDs hit or discovered last year. In 2008, that number was one third as large.
An explanation for this is that the military has worked very hard and spent billions to defend its troops from IEDs. And despite the increase in numbers, those efforts have been relatively effective. U.S. officials say without the new MRAPs, without more blimps and drones that can spot IEDs or the planting of IEDs, without 5,000 additional bomb detectors -- these numbers could have been much, much worse.
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