WHAT: The Pentagon created the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization in 2006. The agency ballooned to 1,900 employees and has spent nearly $17 billion on hundreds of high-tech projects that didn’t work.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Roadside bombs remain the single worst killer of U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The best detectors remain low-tech methods — trained dogs, local handlers and the soldiers themselves.
WHAT WENT WRONG: A new press investigation also revealed that the agency violated its own accounting rules and did not properly evaluate its projects to prevent mistakes from being repeated.