In every American platoon, it seems, there's a MacGyver or a B.A. Baracus -- someone who can make just about anything, out of just about nothing. How else can you explain U.S. soldiers' amazing ability to piece together scraps and leftovers, and turn 'em into everything from gun turrets to armored Humvees?With that in mind, nonproliferation expert Russell Seitz has put together a soldiers' shopping list of (mostly) off-the-shelf items that American troops could put to good use, in a hurry.
Hillbilly Electronic CountermeasuresThe Islamists' latest attempt to blow up Pakistan's president with roadside explosives ran afoul of a handy gadget called a VIP2 Road Ranger -- an electronic jammer that keeps radio controlled bombs from being triggered while their intended target is within lethal range. The Pentagon may pay about ten grand for gold-plated Mil Spec [military specification] models, but the free market price of the same technology is closer to a microwave oven -- or a gray-market traffic radar jammer.Used TiresNot just any ones, and not the whole donut. What's needed is a program to round up and skive off the Kevlar belts that rim the nation's mountains of balding aircraft radials. This would spare our landfills while affording ingenious Gunnies a prime raw material for spanning hard to fit gaps in improvised explosion shields...AdhesivesDuct tape kills. If you want to save a lot of lives for a little money, fast, investing it in seriously good epoxies and elastomers with energy absorbing fillers like microballoons is a highly portable way to go. If I sent one thing to Iraq, it would be high tenacity ways and means of enhancing the bonding of the catch as catch can vehicle armor people in theater improvise.