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Pentagon Bomb Squad Backs Super Snipers, Mini-Bots, Secret Spy Tech

By Wired

September 22, 2010

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"Devil Pup" robots. Super sniper scopes. Secret signals intelligence sensors. Flying spies to find buried threats. Campaigns to influence the media behind the scenes. Those are just a few of the tools the Pentagon has turned to, as part of its $17 billion, five-year effort to stop makeshift bombs.

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, remain the deadliest threat to American and allied forces. In Afghanistan, 36 NATO troops have been killed by the bombs in just the last 30 days.

The American effort to fight the bombs remains largely secret. But every year, the military’s Joint IED Defeat Organization releases an annual report, detailing its progress in the battle against the jury-rigged explosives, and how it spends its billions. The latest of those reports was just released. And it discusses several counter-IED projects that have not previously been disclosed.

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