Attacks with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) kill thousands every year, inflict grievous physical injuries, damage critical infrastructure, and spread fear and disruption across affected communities. IED production takes place outside government controls. So a traditional arms regulation approach — regulating governmental production, trade, and use of this weapon through a multilateral agreement — may not yield results.
Instead, the focus should be on the capacity of governments to effectively bring together several policy strands for comprehensive national action. From commercial mining, inner-city development, violent extremism, and military stockpile management, to agriculture and aviation security. A whole-of-government approach is essential for making progress in dealing with IED threats.
The international level shows a similar reality of fragmentation. Organizations across many sectors have mandates and expertise that can contribute to a useful set of IED mitigation measures. There is not one IED forum, nor should there be. Instead, it is essential to invest in coordination and information exchange.