South Africa invented and proved vehicles adapted for an environment of insurgent land-mine warfare over 30 years ago. Even as US forces entered Iraq and began encountering this tactic themselves, however, allied countries like Germany (Dingo 2) and Australia (Bushmaster) had also developed specialized vehicles that could meet the threat, and fielded them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After 4 years of combat in an arena that featured IED land mines as the #1 threat, the US military’s success in fielding limited numbers of blast-resistant Cougar and Buffalo vehicles finally drew the attention of senior military officials, and the civilian politicians to whom they report. The military’s order of MRAP (Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected) vehicles went from 1,000 vehicles in 2006, to 4,100 later that year, and soon thereafter to 7,774 vehicles. Within that expanded order, however, only 2,500 were for the Army; 3,700 were for the US Marines, who vowed to make every patrol vehicle operating “outside the wire” in Iraq’s Anbar province an MRAP vehicle.