From the NY Times:
The explosion that killed 14 marines in Haditha yesterday was powerful enough to flip the 25-ton amphibious assault vehicle they were riding in, in keeping with an increasingly deadly trend, American military officers say.
In recent months the roadside bombs favored by insurgents in Iraq have grown significantly in size and sophistication, the officers say, adding to their deadliness and defeating efforts to increase troops’ safety by adding armor to vehicles…
Senior American commanders say they have also seen evidence that insurgents are making increased use of “shaped” charges, which concentrate the blast and give it a better chance of penetrating armored vehicles, causing higher casualties.
Bomb-making techniques used by the anti-Israeli militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon have increasingly begun appearing in roadside bombs in Iraq. A senior American commander said bombs using shaped charges closely matched the bombs that Hezbollah used against Israel.
“Our assessment is that they are probably going off to school” to learn how to make bombs that can destroy armored vehicles, the officer said.
Not good news.