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Hearing Focused on Protecting Our Troops From Improvised Explosive Devices

IEDs Were Responsible for Nearly 2,000 American Casualties in 2011 Alone

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, today chaired a hearing to examine efforts to combat the proliferation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the role of terrorist organizations in Pakistan.  Representatives from the Department of State and the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) joined Senator Casey and others to discuss counter-IED (C-IED) strategy and ways to address this critical security issue, including the role of the Pakistani government.  

“While the government of Pakistan has taken some steps to combat roadside bombs, the current pace of activity is unacceptable,” said Senator Casey.  “Roadside bombs have been responsible for thousands of American causalities and the government of Pakistan must take more concrete steps to translate their commitments into practical actions on the ground.  We need a renewed sense of urgency.”

Following the Afghan government’s decision to ban calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) in 2010, the bulk of the substance in Afghanistan is believed to arrive through illicit shipments from Pakistan.  According to JIEDDO, more than 60 percent of U.S. combat casualties in Afghanistan, both killed and wounded in action, are a result of IEDs. In 2012, 1,874 U.S. casualties have been caused by IEDs.