When fighting the insurgency in Iraq, the Coalition suffered an operational, if not strategic, surprise in the form of the IED threat. To deal with that surprise, both the United States and Australia needed to make institutional responses in a cycle that took at least 6 years. The subsequent impact of IEDs in Afghanistan suggests, in fact, that the response is still incomplete. To minimize their impact, it is critical that surprises be recognized quickly and responses initiated swiftly, especially for those in contact. It may take the appointment of new leadership to achieve the necessary impetus in the recovery. (Originally published by the Strategic Studies Institute)
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