One thing that the U.S. has learned is that the "Shock and Awe" strategy of overwhelming force, tried out on Iraq in 2003, does not always work. It left shattered infrastructure, lots of rubble to provide cover for the enemy and, worst of all, dead and injured civilians. Out go 2,000-pound bombs; in come weapons one-quarter and one-eighth the size. But with neither the time nor the money to invent all-new weapons, the goal is to solve problems with off-the-shelf technology and components.
About three-quarters of targets for U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are mobile, according to Defense Department officials. At the same time, as combat operations become a fixture of ongoing life in those countries, U.S. officials eagerly look to refine and restrict bomb explosions to allow their use in populated areas.