The surveillance systems that are commonly used to secure US military operating bases in Iraq are not being to their full potential in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army’s Central command formerly declared that there is an urgent need for more sophisticated surveillance systems especially in remote areas of Afghanistan to protect the U.S. troops. A screaming example of this need was when security was breached in November by the Taliban, and eight U.S. soldiers were killed. Many speculate that this kind of attack could have been avoided had there been proper surveillance systems in place.
The army wants “products with technologically mature sensor systems and/or commercial off-the-shelf sensor solutions.” The systems should be able to “detect changes and provide alerts that allow other sensors to assess moving personnel and vehicles within the detection area.”
These security systems should be tower-based and would be able to detect enemies miles away and directly fire at any sources of noise of movement. Many of the people that are manning security posts are Afghan civilians or third country guards, while the American troops and American contractors are handling the electronic surveillance.
Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, a republican from California expressed his concern that there is an “under-resourcing” of “force-protection capabilities.”
He also said that the surveillance systems in use in Iraq are not in use in Afghanistan.
“This is disconcerting, especially given the fact that we have evidence that such capabilities have saved hundreds of lives in Iraq,” he said.
The reason could be because there are two different types of attacks that the military is defending itself against. In Iraq, most attacks are from rockets and mortars, and in Afghanistan, attacks are usually improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
After many years of struggle in Afghanistan, and an official statement of an urgent need for better surveillance, the troops in Afghanistan remain weakly protected in the remote parts of Afghanistan.
(Via The Washington Post)