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“We’re taking advantage of all of our assets,” Col. Curry said.

A U.S. defense official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing sensitive intelligence, said IEDs in the Kandahar region “have become extremely sophisticated and deadly.” He added that there was evidence that the Afghans planting the devices had training and other assistance from members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who have been linked to similar support for Iraqi insurgents.

Iran has denied supplying support for the Taliban.

Col. Curry said radar technology allows the pilots, who operate out of classified locations on the Kandahar base, to find areas where insurgents have planted bombs underground.

“We have the unblinking eye in the sky,” he said. “We are watching 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

On Wednesday, two British Royal Air Force pilots sat in the quiet room watching a live video feed from a Reaper. The drone, which was more than eight miles above the surface of the earth, homed in on four Afghans about four miles from the base on a rural road. One man was smoking a cigarette, which created a heat signature that made his hand look like a glowing ball of fire. A child could be seen running around the group congregated by the road.

“This is how clear it looks from here,” said the British pilot, who did not give his name because of his security position.

“We see everything,” Col. Curry added.