Pentagon warns of higher bomb threat in drawdown

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Associated Press

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Pentagon official says U.S. and coalition forces will be more vulnerable to improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, as the military draws down the number of American troops in Afghanistan next year.

Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero told a Senate panel on Thursday that fewer troops means travel on Afghan roads becomes more predictable and awareness of what's happening in the vicinity drops.

Barbero said IEDs will continue to be the weapon of choice against U.S. and coalition forces.

President Barack Obama and the military are focused on the drawdown of some 66,000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan, looking ahead to the departure of combat forces by the end of 2014.

Barbero testified on IEDs, which are responsible for more than 60 percent of U.S. combat casualties in Afghanistan.

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