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The Roundtable: What IEDs Taught the Pentagon

After the U.S. military toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Pentagon faced a problem it wasn't prepared for.

This edition of the Roundtable Roundup brings together a panel of business, politics and finance experts to discuss current developments in geopolitics, including China, the U.S. military, and global trade. In this segment, they discuss the future of the Defense Department and the lessons of Iraq.

General Anthony Tata observes that war planners in Washington did not anticipate the insurgency or its methods in the wake of the dissolution of the Iraqi army. 

"When this improvised-explosive-device campaign [began] there were thousands of these going off every month, killing thousands of our soldiers," he says. "DoD very quickly adapted and created a counter-IED task force. They brought in academia, brought in industry, brought in all the services, and they spent billions of dollars that ended up saving thousands of lives." 

The experience was a valuable lesson in the risks of attempting to secure hostile territory, he continues. 

"You can never be perfect because when you go high-tech, the thinking enemy goes low-tech, and vice versa," he says. "But at the end of the day, adapting to changing battlefields, changing strategic situations, is something we do well." 

He concluded, "We are a great nation. We have to believe we're a great nation that is worth defending."

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Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Matt Savoy, Founder, Free Thought Project

Patrick Robinson, Founder, Pashko

Marc LoPresti, Managing Director, Moneta Advisory Partners

General Anthony Tata, Retired Brigadier General, Founder, Tata Leadership Group