Can tech take the place of troops?

Ebombs? What are they good for?

The US Army is using a map-based wiki to record local knowledge gained by troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. The idea is this system will allow troops "recently rotated into theatre" (military-speak for "new guys") to be able to quickly learn where insurgents like to plant roadside bombs and so on, without having to figure it out for themselves or, you know, talk to anyone.

So in a few more months when combat troops are all hooked up to Twitter on their head-up displays and are using Google Street View, instead of wasting manpower on foot patrols, I imagine the bad guys will realise that they don't really need RPGs and AK47s any more. All they need is a few of the e-bombs, currently being developed by the US. It seems odd that the most computerised army in the world is making a weapon that specifically targets computers. Who are they planning to use it on? Afghan hill fighters?

And unlike nuclear weapons, which are quite complicated to make, even if you have the instructions in front of you, an e-bomb sounds relatively straightforward. A metal tube filled with explosive, surrounded by an electric coil. That's pretty low tech. It doesn't require complicated manufacturing techniques or exotic raw materials. But it could knock out the avionics of a Blackhawk helicopter more effectively than an RPG or disable the fire control of a Patriot missile battery or just stop ground troops from logging into Facebook to check for the latest instructions from HQ.

All of which makes me think that one or more of the following must be true:

1. E-Bombs have been tested and don't work but America wants the enemy to waste as much time finding this out for themselves as the US already has.

2. US military computers are all already shielded against microwave blasts using something that is secret and hard for the enemy to duplicate.

3. E-bomb research is just a cover for something much nastier.

4. The US Army is sick of all its infantry spending all day playing America's Army and they want the computer systems disabled so their soldiers actually go out and do some real fighting.