Center for International Stabilization & Recovery

CISR envisions a world where people can build peaceful and prosperous futures free from the repercussions of conflict and disaster.

We help communities affected by conflict and trauma through innovative and reliable research, training, information exchange, and direct services such as:

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Posts tagged "improvised explosive device"

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Are you passionate about mine action or explosive remnants of war? If so, it is time to start writing articles for Issue 18.3 of The Journal of ERW and Mine Action (to be published fall 2014). The submission deadline is 1 July 2014.
This issue will focus on program managementimprovised explosive devices, and the Pacific Islands. We are also looking for case studies, research and development articles, and sumbissions documenting work in the field.
For full details on how to submit articles, please download this PDF, or visit
Please send articles to

Smoke from the controlled detonation of improvised explosive devices rises behind a U.S. Marine Corps mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle in Afghanistan. (AFP)

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A US Marine runs to safety as an improvised explosive device explodes in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2009. (AFP via Getty Images)


The Pentagon’s counter-IED organization will shrink nearly 90 percent in the coming years from its peak strength in 2010 but expand its missions, according to US Defense Department documents.

In one of his final decisions as deputy defense secretary, Ashton Carter, who left the Pentagon on Wednesday, said the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) should sustain its ability to support US forces in Afghanistan and the evolving counter-IED requirements around the world.

The personnel cuts will come over the next four years, shrinking JIEDDO down to a “base capacity level” of about 400 people in 2017. At its peak in April 2010, the organization had more than 3,900 people.

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  • Giles Duley stepped on an IED while on patrol with American soldiers in February, 2011
  • War photographer returned to Afghanistan to document plight of wounded locals
  • Afghanistan 2012 – an exhibition by Giles Duley take place in the House of Commons on Monday 2 September at 12:15pm


Mohammed Hanif is tended to by his grandfather. He was injured after he picked up an unexploded device. Many children in Afghanistan are injured when playing with UXOs (Unexploded Ordnance).

Every agonising detail of the split seconds during which his life was torn apart are seared on the memory of renowned photographer Giles Duley.

The sound of the click made by the pressure plate in the landmine as he stepped on it, the sensation of being thrown through the air by the explosion, the realisation he had lost three of his limbs after being blown up by an improvised explosive devise while covering the Afghanistan war in 2011, are all as clear as if it were yesterday.

But undeterred by his horrific injuries, Giles vowed to return to the war-torn country once he had undergone gruelling rehabilitation to detail the plight of the Afghani people caught up in the conflict.

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The SiN-VAPOR sensor is placed in a device to identify chemical compounds.
(Photo: U.S. Naval Research Laboratory/Jamie Hartman)

Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, are homemade bombs that can both injure and kill civilians and service members. For the Department of Defense, one solution to the problem of IEDs is to find them before they explode by detecting the chemicals used in the explosives. Scientists at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have developed a technology, using silicon to fabricate a sensor that may revolutionize the way trace chemical detection is conducted.

The sensor, called Silicon Nanowires in a Vertical Array with a Porous Electrode, or SiN-VAPOR, is a small, portable, lightweight, low power, low overhead sensor that NRL researchers hope can be distributed to warfighters in the field and to security personnel at airports across the globe.

SiN-VAPOR is an example of nanotechnology. “Nanoscale is 1x10-9 meters,” explains Dr. Christopher Field, the NRL scientist leading this research. “So, let’s assume that the diameter of a human hair is 100 microns. If you can take the diameter of a human hair, cut it, and look at the cross section area. We can fit a million of our nanowires in the cross section area of a single human hair.”

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Dirty Tricks: Disabled Teacup Bomb, a.k.a. “A Bomb for Fools.” 

We met today in Baghdad with a few bomb disposal supervisors as part of research for a project in works. After the first talks, our hosts invited us upstairs to a room with some of the local collection. They said each of these items had been an actual IED. We can’t vouch for that. We can say it was an interesting and thought-provoking display. There were several samples of victim-operated IEDs, including a few that looked straight from the pages of the old USG Special Forces manuals from the 1960s, which became part of the foundation of al Qaeda manuals. This booby-trapped tea set, arranged so some of the electrical contacts can be seen, caught our eye. More later. Busy now. Via Instagram.

A Sandia engineer who trained U.S. soldiers to avoid improvised explosive devices (IEDs) has developed a fertilizer that helps plants grow but can’t detonate a bomb. It’s an alternative to ammonium nitrate, an agricultural staple that is also the raw ingredient in most of the IEDs in Afghanistan.

Sandia has decided not to patent or license the formula, but to make it freely available in hopes of saving lives.

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer is illegal in Afghanistan but legal in neighboring Pakistan, where a quarter of the gross domestic product and half the workforce depend on agriculture. When mixed with a fuel such as diesel, ammonium nitrate is highly explosive. It was used in about 65 percent of the 16,300 homemade bombs in Afghanistan in 2012, according to government reports. There were 9,300 IED events in the country in 2009.

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