A news item concerning MRAPs caught my eye today.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military is reinforcing the sides of its topline mine-resistant vehicles to shore up what could be weak points as troops see a spike in armor-piercing roadside bombings across Iraq, The Associated Press has learned.
The surge in attacks is putting the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles (MRAPs) to the test, and so far they are largely passing. Statistics reviewed by the AP show that while bombings involving the deadly penetrating explosives have jumped by about 40 percent in the past three months, deaths in such bombings have dropped by as much as 17 percent.
The story relates the increased use in Iraq of explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, and the manner in which troop casualties have decreased largely because of the use of protected vehicles. The story reminded me of a news story that I subjected to criticism last year, "A tool of war trumped" by St. Petersburg Times writer David DeCamp.
DeCamp's story portrayed the EFP as an ad hoc modification of the roadside bomb, and further implied that the explosive devices would serve to nullify the strategic use of the MRAP in the Iraq War.
Over time, my criticism of DeCamp has been borne out.
The MRAP has been used effectively. EFP production has been hampered by destroying factories and interrupting the supply of the parts requiring substantial engineering. And, as I predicted, technology designed to thwart EPPs in turn is reaching the front lines in time to aid our troops against the threat of EFPs (armor and detection technologies, that is).