RealNews

Weapons That Disable Circuitry May Get First Use in Iraq

AS the United States readies for a possible conflict in Iraq, many of the star weapons from the Persian Gulf war of 1991 are back and deadlier than ever. The smart bombs are smarter. The stealth planes are sneakier. Even the ground troops are better equipped than they were a dozen years ago. Yet according to military experts, the biggest technical revelation of another war in the region may not be improvements to old systems but rather a new category of firepower known as directed-energy weapons. Think invisible lasers, using high-powered microwaves and other sorts of radiation rather than the pulses of visible light common in science fiction. These new systems, which have been under development in countries including Britain, China, Russia and the United States for at least a decade, are not designed to kill people. Conventional bombs, guns and artillery can take care of that. Rather, most of the directed-energy systems are meant to kill electronics, to disrupt or destroy the digital devices that control the information lifeblood of modern societies and modern military forces. By contrast, traditional jamming equipment blocks communications gear from functioning but does not actually damage the device. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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