Call and Raise 2
The explosively formed projectiles referred to in Call and Raise said to have been supplied from Iran to Shi'ite militias are specially designed to attack armored vehicles. Essentially, these devices consist of an explosive designed to deform a block of metal and shoot it forward, still molten, in the direction of the target vehicle. It is like firing incandescent shot at extremely high velocity toward a target. This technology has been used by the US to create top-attack warheads against tanks. The principle has been adapted by the Iranians to attack the vulnerable aspects of armored vehicles.
But it is not simply the weapons themselves, which are profitably employed only against armored vehicles, which betrays their anti-American intent. The explosively formed projectile weapons supplied by Iran are, from what I can gather, also matched to tactical doctrines and methods explicitly designed to counter American countermeasures. The triggering devices are too complex and expensive to be sensibly used against civilian targets. These weapons have only one logical target. Americans.
If detonated correctly these Iranian-supplied weapons will definitely kill or maim Americans as they were designed to do. Passive defenses, like adding armor, are of limited utility. Perhaps one of the most effective counters to the explosively formed projectile, and to IEDs in general, is to abort the attacks by taking down the IED cells. Just as the Israelis found that it was better to intercept the suicide bomber rather than to rely on stopping him at the point of attack, it is possible that the battle against the IED really takes place offstage. The night raid, the pinpoint attack, the snatch -- killing the killers -- this is the counter to the IED. Little has been said about this, and little should be. It is a war in the shadows against the shadowy enemy. But enough can be deduced from open sources to understand the principles involved.
In some ways, the fight against the IED resembles the Allied campaign against the U-Boat. Just like the Battle of the Atlantic, it is a fight against a stealthy foe, who if he can get into position, can launch deadly salvoes. Not of torpedoes, but of explosives or incandescent, supersonic projectiles. If he can get into position. And just as in the Battle of the Atlantic instead of PBYs overhead to keep the U-boats submerged, there are UAVs which scout on ahead in order to deny the enemy the time window he needs to set up his deadly mines. There is a Wizard War between the combatants. But to carry the analogy further, it was not passive defenses but the destruction of the U-Boat lairs and its transit routes which finally ended the Nazi threat. The U-Boats were "intercepted" in transit, such as in the Bay of Biscay. And finally the U-Boat pens themselves were taken and the Nazi naval threat was ended forever. This is what must happen to IED threats like the explosively formed projectiles and their associated targeting systems. You can't keep bailing the water. You have to turn off the faucet.
If Iran insists upon sending U-Boats -- pardon, explosively formed projectiles -- to attack Americans, it is effectively opening hostilities on the US. That politicians in Washington choose not to regard it as such is not really Teheran's fault. One can accuse the Ayatollahs of many things, but creating American indecision cannot be blamed on them. That is the result of politics along the Potomac.