""There’s two threats to the combat outpost . . . a huge truck bomb, and indirect fire," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who handles day-to-day military operations in Iraq, said in an interview at his Baghdad headquarters last week. In response, he said, U.S. troops are building more walls to shield themselves from mortars and rockets, while trying to track down insurgents firing on them.
To counter truck bombs, military engineers are gauging the structural soundness of the outposts and making sure they are well removed from traffic, Odierno said. Antitank weapons such as the bazooka-like AT-4 are also now required for soldiers on guard.
"They are now armoring these trucks, so whereas before we could shoot them and kill them, now we have to use some antitank capability against them and we’re going to do that," Odierno said."" Tyson
Aside from the issue of his lamentable inability to make verbs and nouns agree in number, Odierno has missed the possibility of the greatest threat of all to his outposts and to the continuation of the American presence in Iraq. Yes, the insurgents will continue to pound these posts with mortars, rockets, RPGs fired ballistically, etc. Yes. The threat of a massive truck bombing is always present.
Nevertheless, the biggest threat is that of a complex attack involving the use of one or more vehicle bombs employed as a substitute for artillery in a "breaching" role against the walls or a gate, followed by a ground assault taking advantage of confusion and under conditions of limited visibility (night, smoke, sand, etc.). An attack such as that would likely be supplemented with ambushes of the routes that reinforcements (QRF) would take on the ground or in the air.
All of the elements of such an attack have been "tried out" by the insurgents thus far. Somewhere out there in "Insurgestan" a clever man is working out the details on how to "put it together."
The photograph above evidently shows an outpost of the 82nd Airborne Division. The wall of the compound has been reinforced with an outer wall and filler between the two barriers. So far, so good, but what lies just outside the outer wall is a mosque almost at the same level of height as the highest level of the post. Not good, folks, not good. If you are going to defend a place like this you have to have clear "fields of fire" around it. Bad choice of ground.
A successful attack on a position like this will have a devastating effect on the political situation in the United States. The command in Baghdad should give the security of these posts even more attention. pl