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Improvised explosive devices (IED) are the number-one threat to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, accounting for almost 40 percent of the attacks on coalition forces in Iraq. Although insurgents' use of IEDs in Iraq has begun to decline, in Afghanistan the number of IED incidents has significantly increased. The Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) was created to lead, advocate, and coordinate all DOD efforts to defeat IEDs. Its primary role is to provide funding to the military services and DOD agencies to rapidly develop and field counter-IED solutions. Through fiscal year 2009, Congress has appropriated over $16 billion to JIEDDO. In addition, other DOD components, including the military services, have devoted at least $1.5 billion to the counter-IED effort--which does not include $22.7 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. This testimony is based on a report that GAO is issuing today as well as preliminary observations from ongoing work that GAO plans to report in early 2010. In the report being issued today, GAO is recommending that JIEDDO (1) improve its visibility of counter-IED efforts across DOD, (2) develop a complete plan to guide the transition of initiatives, and (3) define criteria for its training initiatives to help guide its funding decisions. DOD generally concurred with GAO's recommendations and noted actions to be taken.

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