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Marine Corps Testing Maser for Anti-Personnel Use 315

Former1626er writes: "The Marine Corps is testing out phasers or what the military industrial complex calls "non-lethal direct energy weapon." Here's the UPI story, and if you have a subscription to the Marine Corps Times you can read the original story - "The People Zapper" - there. In brief: the Marines are deploying a microwave laser for anti-personnel usage, with the idea basically being: burn people so they run away. So, how many of you have read the sci-fi novella "Press Enter"?
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Marine Corps Testing Maser for Anti-Personnel Use

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  • I guess this isn't exactly going to rate very high, wit just the single remark that this reminds me of Star Trek. Oh, what the [...]
  • by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:24AM (#391459) Homepage
    does it have settings ranging from "stun" to "fry to a delicate brown"?
  • Originally appearing in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine (10+ years ago).

    Offtopic, but you asked.
  • For those who have not read it, "Press Enter" is a short story by John Varley about a government/military computer that becomes sentient. It kills any civilians who find out about it by hypnotizing them with flashing patterns on their computer monitors and convincing them to kill themselves in nasty ways. One poor woman ends up cooking her brains in a microwave.
  • by mholve ( 1101 )
    "The Defense Department spent nearly $40 million over 10 years to develop the technology, said the Marine Corps Times report."

    $4M a year for a heat gun? Damn. I think the tear gas and rubber bullets would've sufficed.

  • "In brief: the Marines are deploying a microwave laser for anti-personnel usage"

    now, it's either a MASER or a LASER. the M in maser stands for microwave, the L in laser stands for light.

    I know it sounds picky, but microwaves really aren't the same wavelength as light. Just as a side note: the MASER was developed first (1963 I think), with the LASER coming a couple years after.

  • "The device reportedly causes no permanent damage to [...] electronic devices such as pacemakers."
    I guess that's one less thing to worry about when they raid secret enemy bases disguised as elderly homes...

  • This is the same technology used in the anti-missile system the Israelis deployed on their border. It has many uses
  • by Hellburner ( 127182 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:36AM (#391472)
    As both a former Marine infantrymen---well, Always A Marine, but you know what I mean---and a current raving liberal /. nerd I am curious about the utility of this weapon. And this whole line of "non-lethal" research.
    Lethal weaponry is meant to effect immediate change through violent force. Political will to its ultimate ---and hopefully least used --- expression.

    "Non-lethal" weaponry is about the maintenance of the status quo. "Preservation of order". "Humanitarian missions". "Curbing civil disorder".

    Curious. Fascinating, Captain. Fascinating. Just a paranoid thought to chew on. And a statement of how military objectives and missions have changed.
    For now, quelling "civil disorder" is outside the U.S. Of course, with the most militaristic police forces in the West it doesn't take a genius...
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:37AM (#391473) Homepage Journal
    Burning people with lasers, to get them to run away, assumes (with the already underlying assumption that burning people is called for) there won't be abuse. I.e. go for the eyes or other sensitive parts. To borrow an oft used quote, it may not kill, but you'd be surprised what you can live through.

    Too rare are the sci-fi books which contend with actual injury and suffering inflicted by heat or light based weapons.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:38AM (#391474)

    Integrate it with a car and ditch the noisy alarm. False positives won't wake the neighborhood, and real positives would be more entertaining! (And I bet a crook's howls would end sooner than one of those Whoop!Whoop!Whoop!Ennnnnh!Ennnnnh! alarm cycles!)

    Imagine the fun if you had one of these babies mounted by the front door for when the jeezoids come a-knocking!

    God, the possibilities are endless!

  • by seanmeister ( 156224 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:38AM (#391475)
    Never read "Press Enter", but one of Varley's novels from the Gaean trilogy ( Demon [] , IIRC) made mention of something called a "sunburn gun" that was used to disperse an unruly crowd that was fighting over passage to Gaea. This new weapon sounds like the very thing Varley envisioned!

    BTW, if you haven't read the Gaean trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon), check them out - great stuff!

  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:39AM (#391476)
    I have mixed feelings on this, since this technology eventually *will* be used on humans, and on Americans who choose to riot or protest.

    Don't beleive me? Ask survivors of the Kent State Massacre exactly what the U.S. military will do and to whom.

    One one hand, it's great that this technology has 'proven' (I'd really like to see those classified studies) not to be lethal. Like pepper-spray, however, there is serious application for misuse, torture and serious human-rights abuse. It's one thing to use an energy beam to make a dangerous crowd uncomfortble enough to disperse, it's quite another to 'teach them a lesson' by repeated application as police all around the country are known to do with pepper spray, batons, and/or their firearms.

    Who's definition of 'dangerous' do we use, and who watches the watchers?
  • by ErikZ ( 55491 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:40AM (#391478)

    "You see Congressman, the reason the Marines need this weapon is that it is effective and non-lethal. Let me demonstrate on your aide here.

    Aide explodes violently.

    "Hmmm, needs tweaking."

  • Ok, so this device is supposed to work at over 2,000 feet?

    How is this supposed to hit a single target accurately at 2,000 feet? I see no mentioning of any real precision. Is this designed just to spray everyone in a group with pain at long range? In that case, I can see human rights people protesting over this device if it indiscriminantly hits groups.

    Also, how would a aircraft system work? To maintain an accurate bead on a target from 2000 feet away from a helicopter that is constantly in motion seems to me impossible. Even at closer ranges, it seems to me to be a difficult task to keep this fired at the proper target.

    Whether He be the Son Of God, I know not, but this I know: whereas I was blind, now I see.

  • Hmm lets do the math.
    10 scientist making $100G a year
    10 security guards making 50G a year
    lab space and equipment a year
    2 mice bent on world domination
    = 4M
    (or is it more like 1 screwdriver 2Million)
  • I love this quote:

    "It provides decision makers with options. You can guarantee that the Marines were excruciatingly detailed in building in technological limiters to keep the system from having a lethal effect,"

    How many times in recent history have we seen a "limiter" been removed and yielded a more powerful/devistation device.

    I'm betting that underground instructions for making your own with two savlaged microwaves and $1000 in other parts will soon swoop down on the net and we'll have some really strange reports of unruly parties with load music being broken up by neighbors driving by and kapping the pad.

    Or "Mob's new torture device of choice found to be low-cost version of new military 'non-lethal technology"

    It's going to get icky.

  • Being burned with a maser probably beats the hell out of being burned with napalm, even if you are blinded.

    We're talking about a military application here, not a police application, so there really isn't a question of "abuse" since the alternative is probably blowing people up with artillery fire or shooting them.

  • and some models come with such popular settings as:

    'incinerate new kids CD'

  • by GoofyBoy ( 44399 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:46AM (#391491) Journal

    I would figure that they would use these for visualy non-agressive crowd control.

    For example, there are a bunch of angry rebels outside of a embassy.

    Use bullets. Take the first few down in a loud manner and others will be alerted or retalitate.

    Use MASER. Use in a widefield and you can irritate the rebels into running away. They would do anything just to stop the burining. Since its in a widefield you can get them all at once. Keep it on and you have a field of protection.
  • they've want something more lethal than those and less lethal than an M16

    Time I checked "lethal" means it kills people. How can something be more lethal than something that doesn't kill people and yet less lethal than something that does? Does it only kill some people? Can it be used indescriminantly because it usualy doesn't kill people?

    The problem with non-lethal weapons is that when the State has the ability to exert its will on its people -- without the consequences of lethal force -- it is more likely to do so.

  • I'm betting that underground instructions for making your own with two savlaged microwaves and $1000 in other parts will soon swoop down on the net and we'll have some really strange reports of unruly parties with load music being broken up by neighbors driving by and kapping the pad.

    This and the other nasty civilian scenarios you mentioned are all already possible.

    The laser genie was let out of the bottle in 1963. It's certainly been too late to put him back in since then, and probably since the invention of the neon light.

  • Finally, a use for the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie! [] And with some minor adaptation it could be used for the rest of your body as well.


  • Wonder how many will reply to your post with "wtf was The Kent State Massacre?" Including some from that school, no doubt.
  • Or "Mob's new torture device of choice found to be low-cost version of new military 'non-lethal technology"

    Yikes, it's the Tucker Cell-Phone!

    (Do a web search on 'tucker telephone' if you don't get the reference).

  • by banky ( 9941 ) <gregg.neurobashing@com> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:54AM (#391502) Homepage Journal
    we were taught one thing: kill. I fondly remember one moment that, to me, crystallized the entire process of indoctrination.

    It was a class on basic security procedures. It was boot camp. They were explaining the official policy on shooting to kill: how you were supposed to shoot to wound in this circumstance and that circumstance. There was a pause, and the Drill Instructor teaching the class, uttered in his gruff voice: "When aiming to wound, the head is an exceptional target".

    No one nodded (we're recruits, we got in enough trouble as it was), but the meaning was clear: this isn't summer camp. Military law and procedures are often written by joint committees of military and civilian "officials", but the facts of life were clear: kill you target or risk your life and the lives of your fellow Marines. Making someone "run away" is hard if they're on psychotropics, or they're fanatics pledged to kill you. You don't fuck around. The guy on the Zodiac may have a pistol, or may have a briefcase nuke. You drop him, end of story.

    I will, of course, be considered a fanatical jarhead - that's what happens when Marines express views.

  • Recently there have been lots of "anti-terrorist" domestic military exercises [] taking place in major US cities, as well as the escalating usage of military weapons/personnel [] against protest efforts by peaceful American citizens during events such as the WTO conference [] recently in Seattle, constituting possible violations against the Posse Comitatus Act [] of 1878.

    The increasing use of military force right here in America lends weight to the idea that "non-lethal weaponry" is being deployed more as a domestic deterrent rather than as true war weaponry for use against other countries. Obviously they don't want to kill American citizens if they don't have to, but a zap from something like this would, apparently, be acceptable to the People In Charge...

  • We were taught basically the same thing.
  • I have to say that in a sense I agree. Its better to be murned with a maser, and possibly blinded, than to be set on fire and charrded by napalm.

    Then again, I think its a bad thing to have such "non-lethal" weapons too. It cheapens the percieved danger of sending around military forces.

    "Oh well see they just use these masers, noone dies, no serious injury". OK fine, but give it a few years, and that will make it much easier to justify the use of force in some peoples minds.

    Sending of troops somewhere to do violent things SHOULD be violent, it SHOULD be dangerous. We should never do anything that will trick people into taking the issue of using military force lightly.

    Its not a light issue. The use of military force, in any form, should ALWAYS be the absolute last resort.

    I fear that technology like this will cheapen it in some peoples minds, and make the use of military force "easier".

  • by seanmeister ( 156224 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:00AM (#391516)
    From the article:

    "Clearly we've seen military combat weaponry migrate to the civil sector. Just walk past any Swat Team and you see what is basically an army unit"

    Remember that the next time you're an innocent bystander at a future semi-annual Seattle riot.


  • by ciurana ( 2603 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:01AM (#391519) Homepage Journal

    I was involved with the people who first put forth the concept of nonlethals. I worked with them between 1993 and 1998. I think that this is a good development overall because it helps to enforce what Janet Morris (nonlethal doctrine proposer) and Marine Sgt. Robert Walsh [ret.] described as the force continuum.

    The force continuum is the application of different techniques to deterr an attacker or to stop a mob. At the lowest end you have visual and auditory cues, such as "no trespassing". At the high end you have to face lethal force, such as an M-16 or a rocket launcher. Nonlethal doctrine establishes this force continuum so that you have a greater number of options to apply between those two extremes. The idea is that in a confrontation, you will first warn. If that fails, use a deterrent. If that fails, use a stronger deterrent, and so on.

    The V-MADS system talked about in the article is one more option for deterring an attacker, and it should not be taken in its own context. Nonlethal weapons and doctrine were created in response to geopolitical changes that metamorphosed the US armed forces from a military to a global quasi-police force. Political, diplomatic, legal and humanitarian pressures make it undesirable or impractical to blast an enemy to the Stone Age or to indiscriminately attack (and kill) a horde armed with sticks, stones, and Molotovs because our forces have better lethal alternatives. The force continuum gives you a wide range of options between diplomacy and military obliteration.

    For more information on nonlethals, including a whole section on gadgets (R&D and production) available as of 1997, check out The Nonlethal Weapons Catalog []. For gadgets only, check out The Gentle Soldier's Shopping Cart [].


  • Actually, in a mass battle, wounding is more effective than killing. Besides the moral effects, kill an enemy, you've taken out an enemy. Wound one, you've taken him out, plus two people to carry him, plus medics to treat him, plus logistics to support him, etc etc.
  • I like this idea for several reasons.

    First, there's no exit wound or blood splatter, so it would make a highly effective sniping device. I've read that the location of the sniper can be pinpointed by measuring how the blood sprayd and the angle of the entry/exit. With this thing, they just fall to the ground with no messy cleanup.

    Second, i suspect people will immediately set about reverse-engineering this thing and figuring out how to tweak the frequency so that it DOES go deeper than skin.

    Thirdly, so much for bullet-proof vests. You'd need to wear a full-on bodysuit because the damage would occur in a rather larger radius 0(think umbra/penumbra field of effect), rather than the precision shot of a .357 hi caliber.

    Combine these and you don't have to be a marksmen to cook someone's brain from half a mile away, even if they are wearing bulletproof gear.

    Given the fact that our military contractors love to sell weapons of mass destruction to non-US countries, we should be seeing these on the streets in the near future (assuming they are adopted).

  • Really. I can take the door off my microwave oven for a mere $0.00. :)

    - - - - -
  • You ever watch birds fall off of microwave towers?
  • My impression is that it's a wide beam--like meters wide, at range--so unless you can run out of the field of effect in less than two seconds, you're still gonna be feeling pretty toasty.

  • Yes. It would be nice if you civilians and politicians decided to learn from history. Everytime there's a scuffle in the world and people call on the military to go exert their muscle it seems that the consequences are never thought through. Witness Somalia, Yugoslavia, Iraq, etc. Ofcourse, when people DO start dying, then the military gets slapped for being rough. Witness the case in Yugoslavia where 82nd Airborne soldiers were told not to act so soldierly after minorly roughing a person they were interrogating regarding KLA actions. I'm not going to say that the military should be allowed to commit war crimes; however, realize that the military should be the absolute last resort...and only when the consequences of people, possibly innocents, dying or getting hurt, are accepted. This weapon was developed in part because it was felt that tear-gas and rubber bullets were "too harsh"... I'm sorry, but I hope the American people wake the fuck up soon. The military is meant for waging war; not domestic disputes or minor scuffles. People die when the military is used. Perhaps video games do desensitize people to violence. It seems that Americans are all too willing to use the military for everything but then throw a fit when people actually start getting hurt.

    Had to get that out.
  • RTFA
    Read The Fucking Article

    The wavelengths do not penetrate the skin thus internal organs are not harmed. Of course this does mean they couldn't just adjust the MASER to penetrate though...
  • There are several easy ways to protect yourself:

    • Metal foil: And hope there isn't enough transmitted power to take the current in the foil to the resistive limit.
    • Fine metal mesh: Better than foil because it acts like a Faraday cage, but still has the same limitation.
    • Directional metal mesh The wires running one direction and those at 90 deg. to the first group are electrically insulated from each other. Then, you can hook up the two wire groups to resistors with safe heat dissipation.

    For the technically sophisticated rioter ....

    *** Proven iconoclast, aspiring epicurean ***

  • Wear faraday cage clothes. Make sure all the pieces are connected, and there's a good ground. Metal soles on your shoes, or perhaps just some good contacts. If the energy can't penetrate your clothes, it can't burn you.

    This just might bring back chain mail. Just think -- all those SCA [] people have something. Perhaps we'll see more people making their own metal clothes?

    Or, to save yourself the trouble... don't be a troublemaker. Consume. Obey. Conform.

    Yeah, right.

  • by capt.Hij ( 318203 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:27AM (#391557) Homepage Journal
    The Marines are really pushing this "non-lethal" weapons stuff hard. They have budgeted a severe amount of money for this kind of stuff. I've been to briefings that they sponsor, and they feel that this is the next big thing.

    I am assuming that just like their foam gun and wheel shooting equipment that this thing will also come out looking bad. According to the article they are going to shoot this thing from up to 750 meters? From that distance the energy is going to be distributed over the entire body of the victim... err target. That means it will damage eye's, the skin around your ears, and if you are a card carrying member of the Y-chromosone club your going to get your testes roasted.

    Think about that last one for a minute there, boys.

    The more I listen to this stuff the more skeptical I become. This whole project seems more like an excuse to just dump money on a few companies and academics.

    For more info check out this [] and this [] and maybe this [].

  • Has anyone else noticed the clever deployment of chemical and other non-conventional weapons under the guise of "non-lethal weaponry"? Any government that deploys these systems will have fewer inhibitions opposing aggressive action against another society. The rationalization "We are not killing or permanently maiming anyone so its okay" needs to stop now. How can the users of these systems ensure that there are no innocent people in the crowd being attacked? How can they be sure there are no children present? They can't, and since no one will be killed, the are unlikely to care.

    I am not a pacifist. With a gun comes a responsibility. The person using the gun realizes that they are taking the life of the person they are attacking. The society that sends them into battle must realize this as well.

    Non-lethal weaponry is not new, America has used it for decades for the punish slaves. Instead of whips, we have a "directed energy weapon". The point of these weapons is not to kill, just to make them wish they were dead.

    The last thing America needs is more enemies. Take a moment to think about what you would do if someone from France came to your work and burned your skin until you fell on the floor in a fetal position. Would you retaliate? How would you do it? If we start torturing others, they will return to torture us through terrorism.

  • Most people are opposed to killing someone if they don't have to, so the fear comes from the fact that because it's non-lethal and remote, people would be more apt to use it inappropriately.

    For example, say that the person who delivers my newspaper always throws my paper in the bushes. I'm certainly not going to kill him over it, but if I had one of these, I may be tempted to use it on him to "get even". I don't want to imagine what kind of effect this could have on road rage...

  • by ScuzzMonkey ( 208981 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:28AM (#391562) Homepage
    And how long ago was this? In recent history (the last twenty years or so) I've never heard of any entry-level weapons instruction course (police or military) that differentiates between "shoot-to-kill" and "shoot-to-wound" doctrine. You aim for center of mass, period. The head if it's an armored target. In a stressful situation, it's an ambitious goal just to hit the target, let alone in a specific area that will only disable. And I've always, always been taught that if you're in a situation when you're seriously considering pulling the trigger, it had better be serious enough that it's worth a killing. As someone else in this thread pointed out, it can be tough to non-lethally hurt someone badly enough to stop them. If you absolutely, positively have to stop your target, then you've gotta go for the gold on the first try. You never have enough control to ensure a wound--if you're going to point a gun and fire, you'd better be willing to kill.

    Usually, I hear people throw around phrases like that, I think maybe they aren't too familiar with the subject at hand. But if in fact the Marines taught this doctrine at some point, I'd be interested to hear more about it.
  • Yeah, you make funny-haha, but it is almost that easy to defeat.

    A suit made out of a fine mesh of conductors, thermally insulated on the inside, would effectively protect the wearer. Of course, it would have to completely enclose the wearer.

    It's called a Faraday Cage.

  • Great stuff if you're into bestiality that is :P

    No, but seriously, these are good books... just not for the prudish type.

    I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.

  • by griffjon ( 14945 ) <> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:32AM (#391568) Homepage Journal
    Of course, police never aim for the eyes with non-lethal weaponry. Didn't just happen this week in Austin, possibly partially blinding a bystander with his arms raised in the air. nope. right? []

  • Don't forget, also, that under the Geneva Conventions of War (a laughable thing) bullets aren't supposed to fragement, and they're supposed to blow through, rather than get stuck in the body somewhere; it's more humane that way.
  • Great; now the far-left is starting to breed conspiracy theorists just like the far right. Maybe ya'll should hook up and work on some way to turn all them black helicopters and evil corporate special interests against each other.

    It's long been a constitutionally accepted practice to use non-federalized militia troops (ie, the National Guard) in state emergency situations. That's all that happened during WTO; and frankly, they should have done it much sooner, since none of you down in the crowd seemed to be able to take responsibility enough to control your more radical elements without a spanking from The Man.
  • My god... it's the ultimate LART.

    I wonder if it could be head mounted with voice control?...

  • In 1970, there was a non-peaceful protest, (read semi-riot) in and around Kent State University. Students, draft-dodgers, and Vietnam war veterans were protesting continuing involvement in the Vietnam campaign. While there was 'violence' per se, it didn't really amount to a lot more than public vandalism of government offices.

    The second night of protests, Kent-State's ROTC building was 'mysteriously' set fire. The National Guard arrived armed with assault rifles and bayonets to 'put down' the violence and began to harras and intimidate the protestors. Several students were cut, stabbed, and beaten.

    On the fourth day of protests, students began to throw rocks at national guardsmen. The guard responded by firing upon the otherwise unarmed students, killing 13. Nine more were wounded.

    The pro-war senator said that these people, some of whom were innocent bystanders, deserved exactly what they got.

    American justice in action, folks.

  • No problem:

    Carry a little bit of glad wrap with you next time you plan to go rioting.

  • I thought aluminum foil [] was used against the CIA mind control [] satelites?
  • I think, a while back on slashdot I read something about a gun that used some method (laser?) to ionize the air between the gun and the target. The air could then conduct electricity, and a large current was sent across it. Wouldn't this be a bit better than burn attempts?

    Anyone have details?

  • by megaduck ( 250895 ) <> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @11:51AM (#391605) Journal only kills them halfway?

    "Tear gas and rubber bullets just have not been effective, so they've wanted something more lethal than those and less lethal than an M16."

    My dictionary defines lethal as capable of causing death. Isn't "slightly lethal" like being "a little pregnant"?

  • Yeah, yeah. Ok, buddy, when your man enough to post as something other than AC I'll consider you something other than a liberal fuck.

  • The obvious antimeasure is a slightly parabolic mirror you can hide behind and at the same time refry your attacker.

    The hard part is how to aim it. Perhaps you'll need a small slit to see through.

    I don't know which materals act as mirrors at these frequencies, but there has to be plenty. Metals usually work.
  • Don't beleive me? Ask survivors of the Kent State Massacre exactly what the U.S. military will do and to whom.
    No, ask them what their local government ordered the military to do to them. The government uses the police/military infrastructure to distract rioters into conflicting with a force much stronger than anything the rioters can assemble. If you're pissed about something the government is doing you're not going to change anything by attacking police and military members or questioning their actions. You have to stay concentrated on rioting against the politicians - they are the ones calling the shots and making decisions - not the local beat cop or the 18 year old armed services guy.
  • As a former active duty Marine I applaud the research being done with non-lethal weapons. The Marine Corps is often used as the US overseas police force. Marines guard the US embassies all over the world. Rioting and aggitated crowd control are problems Marines face. If a Marine were to use a M16 and kill a member of an aggitated crowd it would only worsen a poor situation. Non-lethal weapons are the best technology available for these types of missions.
  • I fear non lethal weapons. Weapons should be dangerous, otherwise they are too easy to use. if the political cost of getting your way by force is zero then what kind of democracy do we get?

    That's why I think police officers should be armed whit only a gun (if they absolutely need to be armed). The government should not use force unless they are ready to take the consequences of killing people.

    any cop can push you around ,hit you whit his/her bat and no one will care, they can claim you fell or was already hurt when they got you and so on. But if they fire a gun there is going to be questions asked.

    think of all the anti world trade org demonstrators. if this would have been the 60s they would have to face bullets, just like the anti vietnam protesters did. The anti vietnam protesters got what they wanted because the political cost of fighting a war at hone was to high. people actual got pissed at the government for trying to silence the protesters. But now whit pepper spray, tear gas and riot police the "demonstration problem" can easily be solved whit out any scandals.

    Lethal weapons are killing people
    Non lethal weapons are killing democracy
  • So how the hell do they test this thing? Zap lab rats? Dogs? Pigs? The homeless?

    And what happens when it comes to field tests? Will they just try it out on humans by using it the first chance they can, and hoping that the people being blasted don't all end up with crispy intestines? Or eyeballs that overheat and pop?

    What happens when the Marines want a lethal version for battle use? Will we see villiages cluster-bombed with microwave zappers? Imagine dropping a hundred little things that shoot out mass doses of this in every direction. It would be great for flushing out guerrillas (Sort of like Agent Orange and Napalm in Vietnam.).

    IMHO, it seems like we would be far better off spending this money pushing the world toward non-violent means of peace, rather than finding newer and "better" ways to harm others.
  • The "force continuum" is a concept which stipulates that the more options you have in applying force to meet an adversary, the more measured your response will be, and the less threat there will be of overwhelming violence and death.

    It might sound silly to some that the Marines are testing out foaming agents, masers, and any number of other nonlethal agents, but if only one of those solutions proves to be viable, the research will have paid off.

    Here's an example of why this is important. I was deployed with the 10th MTN Division during operation Restore Hope in Somalia. Our mission was to secure food distribution sites, protect local villages from outside bandits, and help the locals rebuild their own legal and enforcement structure. We were almost always vastly outnumbered by the civilian population.

    There were many times when I really would have appreciated a nonlethal option other than hand-to-hand combat. The reality of the situation is that when you're faced with a very hostile crowd and you have only three methods of dealing with that crowd (bullets, the bayonet, or hand-to-hand), there's really only one option that leaves you any chance of surviving.

    The flip side of that is that while you may be able to protect your own life by shooting that guy brandishing his AK-74, your long-term odds of escaping alive are seriously compromised. Angry crowds just don't like it when you start killing people.

    However, if you can incapacitate someone, you're making the point that you will defend yourself, and the consequences of threatening you will be felt. In essense your response is a means of communication - you are telling people that you respect their lives but that you are in command of the situation.

    As soon as the shooting stops, you loose control of the situation, which is the worst position for any combat leader.

    Having the option to escalate the situation slowly doesn't always mean that you'll choose a graduated response. Note that recently Special Response police units have really changed their tactics in response to Columbine.

    See this article [] in The Atlantic

    The bottom line is that the more options soldiers have, the less likely things will get out of control, which means less loss of life.

  • It was 1990.

    We were, of course, taught to shoot for center-of-mass when dealing with "conventional" targets, of course; its the only way to ever hope to hit anything.

    I have actually been in a gun fight. I fired 4 rounds from a Glock 23 (.40 S&W) at a range in excess of 20 yards - might as well have been a light-year with a weapon like the 23, designed for concealed carry. I aimed for center-of-mass, and did 2 double taps. Needless to say, I missed all 4 rounds. I qualified expert in all aspects of weapons training available to me while in the Marines, and I consistently practice with my firearms of choice.

    The context of the class was the kind of material this article was talking about, crowd control and security. The basic idea was how to deal with crowds and things like that, when it got bad enough to need an actual weapon.

    To quote from P1500-44C, "The United States Marine Battle Skills Training/Essential Subjects Handbook" (don't know if there's an online ref), section 20-13:
    "3. Attempt to disable subject by applying deadly force. NOTE(s): If you cannot fire with sufficient accuract to disable, then make certain you kill. Such circumstances will not preclude the use of a firearm provided such use otherwise authorized by these procedures or by other competent authority."

    NAVMC 2691A, U.S. Marine Corps Interior Guard Manual

    Hope that helps.
  • Nonlethal doctrine establishes this force continuum so that you have a greater number of options to apply between those two extremes.
    And this is important because
    Political, diplomatic, legal and humanitarian pressures make it undesirable or impractical to blast an enemy to the Stone Age or to indiscriminately attack (and kill) a horde armed with sticks, stones, and Molotovs [simply] because our forces have better lethal alternatives.
    The implication being that nonlethal force technology will be used when otherwise lethal force technology would have been used to "indiscriminately attack (and kill)" dangerous hordes. Well, thank goodness then.

    So governments will be less likely to use lethal force to subdue lawless and violent people. Isn't that enlightened of them?

    I submit that it's more likely that these sorts of technologies will actually increase the likelihood the governments will violently repress dissent, because this violent repression will have been made less restricted by "[p]olitical, diplomatic, legal and humanitarian pressures."

    It's "undesirable or impractical" to run over demonstrators with tanks, but calmly burn them with invisible rays and it doesn't look that repressive at all. Why, if the Chinese had this technology, nobody would remember Tienanmien Square (but the demonstrations there would have been just as effectively crushed).

  • and would police need such powerful weaponry if they weren't in fear of their own lives? When rioters blah blah blah blah

    Hey man, don't get me wrong - I've got no problem with giving the cops what they need to handle riots, etc. I was merely replying to the guy who stated that "We're talking about a military application here, not a police application".

  • Humm, the "marine sized target" range of my old 30.06 is well over 2000 feet. I'm guessing they are planning to only use this on unarmed crowds?

    It certainly appears so.
    Another poster suggested that something like this would make an effective (difficult to detect) sniping device. This is subject to the same sort of power dropoff as a visible laser, so it's not likely to be any more effective as a sniping weapon than a high-power laser would be. Huge power requirements, not exactly portable, difficult to conceal, and only useful from a relatively close (1/3 mile) range. Thanks, I'll stick with a 50 year old M1.
  • I stumbled over "Press Enter" when I was doing some research on Timothy Zahn and had gone in search of his "Cascade Point" (also good). But the anthology that I found had "Press Enter []" right before "Cascade Point, and aftrer glimpsing just a page, it had me hooked. I read it all the way through, then went back and started at the beginning and read it again. And again.

    I really don't know why. I read the story mutliple times, and it haunted me for days afterward. I'm not sure exactly what it was, though. There, you see, I still get the shivers thinking about it. Amazing.

    You know, I can just see the main character becoming the scary old man of his neighborhood....

    It makes me think of a story I vaguely remember reading about a guy who is convinced his wife has been stolen by some supersecret organization, and he uses his skills as a hacker to start bringing down computers worldwide in an effort to get her back. Also a shiver-generator, though not as much as "Press Enter []."

    Am I the only one who thinks there's a little box in the title? As in the prompt? Maybe it should be "-". Oh well.

    Now I'm going to have to go to that library and check that anthology out again. And maybe some other Varley stuff.

  • What the heck is the Marines thinking? They're out of their minds! Even I know this is an insane measure, or at least in the role that the Marines would use it, were they using it now.

    If you were to put me in the shoes of [Arab extremist | 3rd world country militant | political radical | etc], and equiped me with lethal force - something like an AK or sg552 - do you think I would hesitate to run out in the open, in the hopes of hitting an opponent in order to further my cause, killing or seriously injuring him, if the return fire would A) stun me and knock me out, B) burn my skin, C) cause extreme pain momentarily, or even D) cause extreme pain for a prolonged period of time? Heck no. I'd charge out there with much more confidence than I would if real bullets were being used.

    The only way I can see this being used by the marines is if A) it were used for the application of slow, painful deaths, and/or B) civil oppresson.

    I find it interesting that in the last book of the Bible, it is mentioned that people's eyes and skin will melt from their body. Ironic, isn't it, how such a weapon could do just that?


  • Thanks for the clarification; learn something new all the time.

    I was aware that advanced level marks courses teach disabling shots, but never heard of more basic courses addressing the matter. In a crowd control context, it makes a lot more sense. I still can't figure out the reply from the Air Force guy, but I'll have to look into it some more.

    Appreciate the reply.
  • While non-lethal deterrents are obviously much better than lethal ones, when you don't intend to actually kill, I wonder what this would do to nonviolent resistance. Nonviolent resistence is basically a call on the human conscience - not too many people can stand for armed units gunning down and smashing in the skulls of defenseless civilians. However, if you replace those units with "friendly" foam and MASER shooters, will anybody really care? For instance, would the anti-WTO protests in Seattle have gotten that much attention if the protesters were peacefully dispersed with non-lethal weapons? Would the Vietnam war have lasted even longer if non-lethal weaponry effectively silenced and taken the upper hand from the protest movement?

    (Yes I know it sounds hypocritical, but the whole point of non-violent resistence is that others won't stand to let people attack and kill peaceful protesters - non-lethal weapons provide the same effect without casting a nasty shadow on the forces in power)
  • LOL. Good comeback!

    Of course, the common conception is that most of the troublemakers were from a relatively small group of anarchists not explicitly related with any of the more conventional protest groups that were there. My point, though, was that regardless of affiliation, if you're going to stand between cops and the bad guys as a human wall, then you'd better be doing something to control the bad guys yourself, or you're part of the problem. The labor marchers, for instance (lotsa big, burly AFL-CIO truck drivers) didn't put up with any hooliganism on their route--most of the bad stuff happened in the primarily younger, more peace-loving enviro crowds.

    As a general argument against the conspiracy theory, though, I ask, what benefit did the SPD and local government establishment get out of the way things turned out? Now they have a bad reputation, on-going problems, and Schell's going to get turned out on his ear next election. And after last Tuesday, our new police chief may be going the way of the old, who basically had to resign after WTO. If all that was intentionally provoked, what did the people in power get out of it besides grief? And if you're going to argue that it just backfired on them, I would say, get some consistency in your argument--either they're these powerful, cynical overlords, or they're a bunch of bumbling fools; I'm not going to buy both.

    Just out of curiosity, were you down there at all?
  • Say what you will about this maser, some of the niftiest tech came out of the military.

    I think the Internet is nifty. I use it every day.

    I think the mini spider robots the Corps has developed are cool. They look like the ones in the movie 'runaway' and crawl underwater before a beach assault...then cling to anti-personnel mines when they find them. Minutes before the landing, they all blow up and take the mines with them.

    Gotta love that GPS. Wherever you go, there you are.

  • "I will, of course, be considered a fanatical jarhead - that's what happens when Marines express views"

    Join the club.
    Screw the "force continuum". That's a trick Yoda might pull. The weaponry should be as lethal as possible. Especially when it is in the hands of the military. I was constantly dismayed when we, as Marines, were forced into tasks more suited for police forces: crowd control, security over refugees. Indoctrinating warriors and then demanding that they restrain their conduct and and in concert with civilian entities instead of against an opposing military force is insane.

    Utilizing the military as a research conduit for subjugation weapons that will inevitably find themselves in the hands of "civilian" police forces is also insane. Beware the military / prisons / police / industrial complex. I'm not kidding.

    The military --- and damnably and specifically the Marine Corps --- should be focused solely on the indoctrination of rigorously trained and aggressively dangerous warriors. They should be outfitted with only the most effective and lethal weaponry. This has the effect both to cow a potential enemy --- and to force restraint on the controlling civilian authority: "These bastards are so damn dangerous...we have to be absolutely certain that we want to unleash them."

    "Force continuum" crap leads to marginalization, "containment of aggression", kill counts, "winning hearts and minds", actions "to destroy the village in order to save it" other words: bullshit.

    Non lethal research to power the engine of commerce to sell to police to snag members of crowds to fill prisons to create pretty numbers to incite fear to spur funding of non lethal research. Bullshit.

    But I'm just another mindless Marine fanatic. Ask anyone.
  • by Prof_Dagoski ( 142697 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @01:02PM (#391667) Homepage

    I have one small concern with using this as a crowd deterrent. When using irritants like tear gas, pepper spray, or watter cannons, the crowd sees or otherwise senses what's happening. They know that the uniforms(whoever they may be) are doing something, and their basic reaction will be to run _away_ from the uniforms. With this, its invisible, silent, and has no smell. All of a suddent, people's skin begins to burn. This is panic grade material here. There's a good chance that members of the crowd will run towards the weapon, taking them into a greater flux of energy, leading to serious injury pretty quickly. I think the basic idea is sound, but the proposed application of this idea may not be a winner. I think this might be a good weapon used against single agitators or small groups of them. Against a crowd? Like I said, what happens if they panic because for no discernible reason, their skin begins to burn.

    I think the Marines and other armed services might want to check notes with correctional agencies around the country. There's been a lot of development in this area. The systems developed for use in correctional systems focus on breaking the mob mentality by causing a shocking pain to snap their individuals back to themselves. Of course, the effectiveness and the legitamcy of such techniques are up for debate, as well as the ethics of those employing them. No non lethal system is inherently non lethal. When used correctly, they stand a good chance of being non-lethal, but when misused they become lethal instruments of torture and terror.

  • Actually, the situation with the M-16 and the AK-47 is somewhat reversed. What impressed me upon first seeing an M-16 round was that the bullet itself is quite small (it's basically a pointy .22) but it's backed up by a BIG powder charge.

    The smaller, high-velocity bullet will tumble upon entering the body, with the result that the entry wound for an M-16 is very small while the exit wound is very large. The AK-47 has a larger, slower bullet, which doesn't leave nearly as large an exit wound.

    Nominally, the higher velocity M-16 round was designed to be accurate over longer distances, though I don't think they were too disappointed by its damage-causing potential. The M-16's range advantage is a little misleading, since most infantry combat occurs at pretty close range (hey, if you saw them at a distance you would just call in an artillery or airstrike). The AK-47 also is well known for being easy to manufacture and extremely reliable, while the M-16 can be quite finicky.

    Of course, I was just an Air Force puke, so if any Grunts or Jarheads want to weigh in, feel free...
  • There is a DIFFERENCE between causing somebody pain to make them stop threatening people and killing them. If your ethical spectrum does not recognize this distinction, I submit to you that it is fundamentally flawed.

    By your argument, defending yourself with judo is tantamount to shooting somebody in the back of the head.
  • by jheinen ( 82399 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @01:06PM (#391672) Homepage
    In the Army, we didn't shoot at people. We shot at equipment. The Geneva convention does not limit what you can use against equipment. A rucksack is equipment. Boots are equipment. If a person happens to be wearing that equipment when you are shooting at it, oh well.

    Ever see a 20mm Vulcan autocannon employed in the anti-personnel role? It's standard practice for the US military, and believe me, there is NO chance a human being has any chance of surviving a hit from that thing. Pink mist baby.


  • Assuming that The Man is going to use whatever weapons are available to subjugate the people, is it not better that these weapons are non-lethal ones? Certainly, it'd be better if The Man would stop subjugating people, but I don't see that happening, really.
  • A few years ago, I was the Course Officer for a basic training course, and part of my duties was teaching the Military Law portions of the classroom work to the new recruits.

    Dry, dry stuff. Hard to keep a 16 year old's attention.

    We were working through the "prisoners of war" section of the Geneva Convention stuff - the part that talks about the rights of prisoners once captured. As I went down the list of things one is legally required to provide prisoners with - which includes reading material and sports equipment - one of the recruits started giggling. He got worse and worse as we went down the list, until I stopped and asked him what he thought was so funny.

    He thought the Geneva Convention was ridiculous. These were the enemy, they were captured, and now we had the right to do whatever we wanted to them. After all, hadn't we been busy killing them a few minutes before they were captured?

    To this question, I provided 2 examples, which I will now provide to you:

    1) In WWI, the Americans were late to the party, and North America in general was completely spared the ravages of war. Accordingly, when the Yanks showed up, they were covered in luxuries from North America that the European battlegrounds had not seen in years. Things like candy bars, real coffee, white bread (not black bread half-sawdust) new boots, and so on. When Germans were captured by Yank units, they were provided to their prisoners as required by the Geneva convention.

    When word got back to the lines, that good treatment made the decision to surrender to the Yanks a hell of a lot easier. In fact, it made such a powerful impression that may sons who went into battle in WWII were told by their fathers "Keep your head down, don't volunteer for anything, and surrender to the first American you see"

    Having a reputation for humane treatment of prisoners (and of combatants) pays real tactical dividends.

    2) On D-Day, the Canadian Army penetrated deeper into France than any other army, and they had a reputation from WWI as being "stormtroopers" - where you found Canadian units was likely to be the center of axis. Accordingly, a division of Hitler Jugand (Hitler Youth) was thrown against them, with orders from Hitler himself to "throw the Canadians back into the sea"

    Note that while Hitler youth, they were "youths" in 1939. By 1944, they were in their 20s, and fiece, fanatical fighters form whom Hitler was like unto a god.

    The Canadians managed to repulse them and hold their ground, but a large number were captured. Maddened and outraged by their inability to carry out Hitler's orders, these prisoners were slaughtered as a form of revenge.

    When word got back to the Canadian lines about what had happened, that unit was "marked". No prisoners were ever taken from that unit, and it was singled out for special attention. When Canadians ran up against this unit, they'd fight like deamons. By the end of the month, the division was essentially exterminated.

    So while it may seem silly and 18th-century, the Geneva Convention has real military value, and no professional, regular army seriously considers breaking it as a matter of policy. There may be local lapses in discipline, but no commander who allows his troops to behave in an unlawful matter lasts for long.

  • While it may be nonlethal to those it is used on, imagine if this were used on a large crowd: The people burned would turn tail and run, and with a large enough crowd, people towards the back would almost certainly be trampled to death
  • Remember those times that the Serbs blocked roads with little old ladies, all bunched together screaming profanity at the NATO troops?

    Absolutely. This kind of thing, while it sounds funny, is really difficult to deal with. I mean, if you have a mission and you have to get through that road, you obviously can't use lethal force, but you obviously still need to get through.

  • Hmm. Well, if you have to just drop an important consideration like that into the "who knows?" file, that indicates to me a degree of pre-supposition that isn't supported by the evidence at hand--classic conspiracy theory. It makes for fun conversation, but not a very stable philosophy.

    I was down there, both days, and if The Man was sending in agents provocateur, he was using The Boy to do it--most of the people throwing crap and bashing in windows didn't look to be but barely clear of the short side of puberty.
  • I think AC was trying to say that marines are fanatics pledged to kill based upon this statement:

    the facts of life were clear: kill your target

    And that would make this statement contain irony:

    Making someone "run away" is hard if they're fanatics pledged to kill you

    Because then you would have a fanatic pledged to kill people worried about fanatics pledged to kill him.

  • "Do you think the non-lethal battlefield weapon like the Vehicle-Mounted Active Denial System would help you do your job more effectively?"

    YES: 63%
    NO: 36.7%

    I dunno if it would go over well at my job, but it sure would be kinda fun ;-)

  • by tswinzig ( 210999 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @01:52PM (#391695) Journal
    From that distance the energy is going to be distributed over the entire body of the victim... err target. That means it will damage eye's, the skin around your ears, and if you are a card carrying member of the Y-chromosone club your going to get your testes roasted.

    Think about that last one for a minute there, boys.

    Are you talking to us, or your genitals?
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @01:59PM (#391696) Homepage Journal
    Aren't there ANY situations where having degrees of force between nothing and lethality could be handy?

    What about what the army did to all those poor refugee bastards in Korea? If you have a bunch of civilians some of whom might be threats, do you wait until they close enough to pose a real threat then kill them by the truckload?

    How about this -- you're guarding the US embassy in Beijing, and an angry mob of demonstrators are gathered outside; a couple of hotheds decide to climb the wall. Sure, it's probably the right thing to do to shoot them, but maybe you'd be better of if you didn't have to. Maybe they're desperate dissidents looking for asylum. Maybe China is in turmoil and your next visit could be from PLA tanks under a general itching for a political excuse to show his patriotism. Given the current state of technology, you shoot now and take your chances later; but does it have to be this way?

    I appreciate that soldiers must kill to protect themselves and accomplish their mission, and must be trained to do it quickly and automatically, and that inculcating a casual attitude towards killing people is a simple and proven way to do this. But it also also seems to me that this can be taken too far (My Lai) and that perhaps not having to kill in the first place may be a safer option in certain circumstances. There are lots of unstable situations that aren't war but aren't exactly peace either, and which could be tipped towards war by political factors.

    I'm not sure that this maser weapon is the answer -- I'm pretty skeptical. But supposing an effective crowd control weapon could be invented, ideally one which did not cause permanent injury, to an idealistic, soft hearted civilian like me this sounds like a good deal all around.
  • The article stated that the microwave beam was specifically tuned to heat the outer layers of the skin to 130 deg. F in two seconds, which is enough to hurt a lot and discourage people with low pain thresholds, but not do any serious damage.

    However, what would happen if the microwave beam was tuned somewhat differently. The microwaves could penetrate more deeply into flesh, cooking internal organs, or causing 3rd degree skin burns.

    Also, this maser weapon could be effective for disabling electronics. When microwaves hit conductive materials such as metals, they become electrically charged. The charge quickly becomes so great that the material heats up, bits of it vaporize, and the charge arcs through the vapor. This is graphically demonstrated by the lightshow seen by putting a CD in the microwave. The maser shoots the same microwaves in a focused beam. If that beam strikes electronics, integrated circuits and other delicate components would be quickly fried. This has many useful military applications such as disabling enemy radios, radars, computers, night-vision systems, the ignition systems in vehicles, civilian cell phones, aircraft avionics. I would be surprised if the Marines weren't investigating these possibilities as well.

  • Laser light doesn't spread out the way normal broadband wavelength light does. Or at least not nearly to the same degree, which is why a laser of appropriate power pointed strait upwards will hit the moon, if you aim it that way. The way to spread out laser light is with a prism, which the air can act as, but w/in 750 meters it's not going to spread it out over the whole body. AND, when you do spread laser light out with a prism, it becomes much less harmful - if its going through a prism I can pass 100mW of uv over my skin with no apparent damage, but at the same power, unprismed (therefore normal laser), I get a nasty, localized blister. I work with lasers for a living, btw.

    DANG! Do not look into laser with REMAINING eye. So beautiful, you only see it once.
  • There's a difference, namely aggressor and defender. I'm not intent on killing ANYONE until they come at me first, but if they start the fight, I'll damn well finish it. If someone is willing it drive a truck full of explosives into a barracks, and I want to drop him before he has the chance, I am not a fanatic, I'm defending myself and my fellow Marines.
  • I agree with you completely on these points; war is a nasty business, and it's no sense in making it worse than it needs to be. And both sides do need to both adhere to certain rules, especially these days, or the nukes'll fly. But it's still war, and Entropy-based warfare doctrine points out that the quickest way to win a war is to shatter supply lines, deny him information, then give him a quick, good smash, and watch him crumble. Also, being Canadian, I was both surprised and proud to see your example. I assume you're American, and if so, I thank you for not living up to the American-centric stereo type. :-)
  • You're right; it was 1958 when the information needed for anybody with the money to build a laser was published to the entire world, not 1963. Thanks for the correction.

  • I really don't know why. I read the story mutliple times, and it haunted me for days afterward. I'm not sure exactly what it was, though. There, you see, I still get the shivers thinking about it. Amazing.

    For this effect approximately squared try The Persistence of Vision, from an anthology of the same name.

  • I should add, since we're talking about masers, that they patented that (thus publishing quite a bit of information about it) in 1953.

  • The reasoning behind non-lethal weaponry is incorrect and highly dangerous. Troops should never be used in a situation unless deadly force is called for. That's the whole point of even having a military. We should be very cautious when committing troops, but when we do we should not hold back. If we determine that we are going to interfere in the internal affairs of another nation, then we damn well better be prepared to shed some blood doing so. If anything, the possibility of mass bloodshed acts as a slight deterrent to rash involvement.

    The possibility of `safe' weaponry make sit all the more likely that we will use force where it is inappropriate. Remember that non-lethal does not mean non-harmful. It does not even mean non-lethal, but rather less-likely-lethal.

    When I was a boy my father taught me never to point a gun at someone I did not want dead. Not wounded, not scared, not persuaded--DEAD. Force is the same thing. These new weapons may be less-dangerous; they are still dangerous to a degree. We should not use any weaponry until we are dead-certain that we wish our enemy dead and buried, not cowed, not scared, not persuaded to do things our way--dead.

    It is my fond hope that we turn away from this sort of foolishness. I fear that we will not. Authoritarians like to wield authority; it's in their nature. Our current government is extraordinarily authoritarian (in historical terms; measured against most current governments it is remarkably libertarian). The thought of being able to wield force more easily makes those who run it quite happy indeed. Eventually, the jack-booted thugs will have an incredible selection of ways in which to annoy, inconvenience, slow, wound, cripple, disable or kill those who oppose them, whether foreign or countrymen.


  • Non-lethals sterilizing people is paranoid? Maybe you should ask the irish about baton rounds. I can't find a link right now to save my life but baton rounds managed to castrate people at an rate that seemed to defy all odds.
    Baton rounds were large chunks of plastic baton fired at the ground in front of crowds. On the rebound they never seemed to miss the testes.
    The real crux of the problem is that non-lethals are never used for what they are intended, eg. tear gas in world war I, the gas was used to drive the enemy out and then pump bullets into him. Same in Southeast Asia thereafter. These weapons will find a lethal use or they will be phased out.
  • Marines do more than just wade into machine gun fire and blow up things...

    Care to guess who was pulling security duty outside our embassies in the middle east after the bombing of the Cole? It wasn't Slomin's Shield - I'll tell you that!

  • You aren't saying that marines are strictly defensive now are you? I could probably think of a few times where marines were the aggressors.

    Dont let the name "Department of Defense" fool you. Theyre still the "Department of War".

  • Do not look into laser with REMAINING eye. So beautiful, you only see it once

    I was once in a store that had a basket of little metal tubes, each with a lens on one end and a button. I thought they must be some sort of cool electronic kaleidescope or something, so I picked one up, put my eye to the lens, and pressed the button.

    It turns out they were laser pointers.

    Thankfully, I can still see fine, although I wonder if there's a nice little burn mark on my retina... :-)

  • For example, there are a bunch of angry rebels outside of a embassy.

    This is actually an excellent example, as anyone who has seen the movie "The Rules of Engagement" would agree. If you have a bunch of peaceful protestors interspersed with gun carrying militant fanactics, the most effective way to allieviate the problem without causing a major international incident is to annoy the living shit out of them, and injure them if necessary.

  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @06:17PM (#391736) Homepage Journal

    As the joke goes, the different armed services of the USA have a few distinctions in their use of military strategy jargon.

    The order: "Secure that building!"

    • Marine Corps:
      • Assemble the platoon and supplies
      • Approach the building along three axes
      • Bring the building under mortar and SAW fire
      • Assault the building under covering fire
      • Sequester surviving prisoners
      • Establish lanes of fire
      • Prepare artillery calls
      • Repel counterattacks
    • Army:
      • Assemble the company
      • Appoint guard mount
      • Take control of all exits
      • Make sure no one gets into the building without a pass
    • Navy:
      • Unplug the coffeepots
      • Turn off the computers
      • Turn out the lights
      • Lock the doors on the way out
    • Air Force:
      • Contact real estate agent
      • Negotiate 1-year lease
      • Be sure to get option to buy

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.