The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
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Dirty Little Secrets
Pentagon Forced To Ship Ray Gun to Iraq
Discussion Board on this DLS topic
by James Dunnigan
January 5, 2006
After over a decade of development and
testing, and several false starts, the U.S. Department of Defense has
finally agreed to ship it’s microwave Active Defense System (ADS) to
Iraq. In the past few months, another $7 million was spent on more
testing, to make sure this “non-lethal” device lives up to its name. In
testing to date, the ADS has been fired over 2,300 times. The defense
bureaucrats are deathly afraid that this non-lethal weapon will kill or
maim someone. They know well that the blowback from that would be
lethal to the careers of those who signed off on ADS being non-lethal.
The current problem is that commanders overseas are making noise about
how much they want ADS. Apparently some of that noise has gotten to
Congress, and parts of the Pentagon.
microwave ADS looks like a radar dish. When pointed at people and
turned on, it creates a burning sensation on the skin of its victims,
causing them to want to leave the area, or at least greatly distracts
them. The microwave weapon has a range of about 500 meters. ADS is
carried on a hummer or Stryker, along with a machine-gun and other
non-lethal weapons. The proposed ROE (Rules of Engagement) for ADS are
that anyone who keeps coming after getting hit with microwave is
assumed to have evil intent, and will be killed. The microwave is
believed to be particularly useful for terrorists who hide in crowds of
women and children, using the human shields to get close enough to make
an attack. This has been encountered in Somalia and Iraq.
past experience with non-lethal weapons has shown two things. One,
there is no such thing as a non-lethal, weapon, only less-lethal ones.
Second, electronic non-lethal weapons are scarier than non-electronic
ones. Getting your eye put out by a rubber bullet causes much less
media commotion than if microwave ADS does it. So, while the
bureaucrats scurry for cover, the troops in the combat zone do without.
Never doubt the combat power of the media. Fear is a weapon with a long
and chilling reach.
testing and tweaking also resulted in various technical tweaks that
made the system lighter, more reliable, and able to operate more
effectively in different weather conditions.