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WASHINGTON The White House on Tuesday released its strategy for combating makeshift bombs, the top killer of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and a threat to Americans at home that will last at least another decade, according to the document.
The document, "Countering Improvised Explosive Devices," calls for greater cooperation among federal agencies in fighting criminals and terrorists who use homemade bombs, bolstering domestic defenses against IEDs and sharing threat information with the private sector and foreign governments.
Since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began in 2001 and 2003, the Pentagon has spent tens of billions to attack bomb-making networks and to protect troops from blasts. The military has spent more than $45 billion on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that are specifically designed to protect troops from IED explosions.
The lessons learned on the battlefield need to be incorporated to protect Americans at home, the document says. In its introduction, President Obama notes that Tuesday was the 20th anniversary of the first attempt to destroy the World Trade Center in New York City. Terrorists who wanted to blow up the building used an IED packed into a truck.
Obama notes that IED attacks increase annually around the world.
"The terrorists and criminals responsible for these attacks are resilient, technologically adept and adaptable," Obama writes. "They employ the most recent and successful tactics, techniques and procedures gained from experience in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world."