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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pentagon's Counter-IED Force to Shrink by Two-Thirds This Year -- By Jeryl Bier, The Weekly Standard

News broke this week that under a plan released by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the United States Army will be reduced to its smallest force since before World War II.  Though not directly related to that plan, another announcement this week by the Defense Department gives, perhaps, a taste of what those cuts may look like. Plans are underway for massive cuts to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), the organization that has led military's efforts to combat a weapon of choice among insurgents and terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. JIEDDO's current staff of 3,000 will be reduced to 1,000 by the end of this fiscal year, and further plans could see the number fall as low as 400 down the road.

John D. Johnson Pictures & PhotosArmy Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, the director of JIEDDO, said guidance from then-Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter called on him to "scale JIEDDO down" and draw up plans for what "an 'enduring' JIEDDO might look like in the future." The Army News Service reports:
"There is a full appreciation that JIEDDO functions should endure. The key is that it be scaled to what the nation can afford," Johnson said. "And we have to be smart as to how we structure it so it can be rapidly expanded as necessary based on the nature of the threat and the challenges we are going to face in the future."... 
Johnson said he will spell out to the deputy secretary what could be done with 400 personnel, and what risks are associated with it.
"There are certain parts of an organization like this that if you reduce it beyond a point, it could take six months, a year, even longer to re-establish it," he said. "And in that time period, our soldiers and Marines in the field are suffering from the effects of IEDs, and it ends up costing us more to try to fix the problem without necessarily having the sophistication of understanding the entire system of systems."
Lt. Gen. Johnson expressed some concerns:
Some parts of JIEDDO can't be easily scaled. One of the areas he's looking to protect, Johnson said, is the intelligence integration functions of JIEDDO. 
"My concern is, right now, we have a fairly persistent look at the organizations that most commonly use IEDs," he said. "If we were to take our eyes off, what are the chances that there would be an adaptation or permutation in the way they use IEDs that we didn't anticipate, and how long for us to catch up?"
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