War is Boring: For High Tech, U.S. Army Tries to Think Like an Insurgent

War is Boring: For High Tech, U.S. Army Tries to Think Like an Insurgent

The Iraqi insurgents moved fast. Piling into the back of a civilian pick-up truck, they weaved through the western Iraqi city of Ramadi until they were within a few miles of the local American base. The truck halted, and the insurgents spilled out. In just seconds, they set up a mortar and fired at least one shell toward the base. Seconds later they were speeding to safety, their vehicle hidden in the city's traffic.

The round arced over the earthen wall surrounding the U.S. base and struck Capt. Eric Allton, a 34-year-old from Idaho. Allton died instantly. Hundreds of Americans have been killed in similar, so-called "indirect fire" attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

Since the early years of the Iraq war, insurgents have combined civilian and military technology, such as the truck and mortar, to create lethal weapon systems against which the Americans have few defenses. In the case of Allton's death, the Americans could detect the incoming round using radar, but could do nothing to stop it.

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