Defeating the Global IED Threat Conference
Addressing a subject which has until recently been shrouded in secrecy, Tangent Link mounted this Global Counter-Improvised Explosives Device Conference with examples drawn from UK and Asia (home grown terrorism), Iraq and Afghanistan (resistance to International Security Forces), and Columbia (criminal organizations).
The impact on everyday life was highlighted in the need to defend soft targets, increasingly public places, such as prestigious hotels.
The Conference took place at the Abu Dhabi Armed Forces Officers Club on 12-14 December 2011.
With speakers drawn from a range of backgrounds, the audience comprised elements of the Presidential Guard, Collective Training Command, Land Force Engineers, 91 Battalion and Police from Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The scene was set by Professor Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Professor of War Studies at the University of Hull, UK who reported on her extensive study into the Radicalization of IED bombers. Contrary to the common view that those prepared to sacrifice their own lives are idealists borne of formal radicalization, the truth is more prosaic with most motivated by the perceived injustices between West and East and Haves and Have Nots. Defeating these through attacking the sources of radicalization is therefore a philosophical task, and for the foreseeable future we are faced with defeating the physical manifestation - the Improved Explosive Device.
Under the Chairmanship of two recognized experts in the field, Chris Hunter and Troy Phillips, the audience was taken though the practical aspects of attacking the Network or System, Defeating the Device and Preparing the Force.
The need to adjust to the bombers constantly changing methods emphasizes the need for forensic examination of each event in order to identify the perpetrators, the sources of their materials and the increasing sophistication of the devices. Neutralizing an IED rather than its detonation is an aid to such exploitation.
Tactics play a huge part in countering the threat as detailed by high ranking speakers from Australia, Middle East & Africa and the UK, while contributions from Exhibitors detailed the physical measures available through ESM, ECM and other counter measures.
Feedback supports the Tangent Link intention to repeat the Conference at a similar time in 2012 when it is expected to attract an even broader audience. (Terry Loughran -Tangent Link's Strategic Military Advisor)