Directed Energy Weapons
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's focus on the fallout of nuclear "spin."
One definition of Directed Energy Weapons is that they are "weapons [that] are not designed to kill people, but rather to kill electronics, disrupt or destroy digital devices that control information lifeblood of modern societies and modern military forces; these systems move beyond traditional jamming technology."
- electromagnetic weapons
- electronic warfare
- environmental warfare
- high-power microwave (HPM)
- information warfare
- missile defense
- particle-beam weapon (PBW)
- space warfare
National Defense Magazine, October 2002: "Directed Energy Viewed as 'Transforming'"
"The United States must speed up development of directed-energy weapons, to stay ahead of potential enemies, said retired Air Force Gen. Ronald Fogleman.
"'Directed-energy weapons [such as lasers] will be the cornerstone of America's arsenal in the 21st century. … [They have] the potential to become the single most transforming weapon,' he told a conference sponsored by the Lexington Institute, a public policy think tank.
"He noted that further development is needed to make laser weapons a reality, however. 'We understand the physics; it's no longer an issue of technology. Now [the problem] is engineering,' he said.
"The ability to get laser weapons to the battlefield 'will be determined by our vision and determination,' he said.
"Some non-lethal laser technologies have been tested in battle already, Fogleman said. Lasers were employed as tactical aids in Somalia, he said. In one instance, a laser was used as a spotlight to guide troops in the dark. The laser, invisible to the naked eye, could only be seen with night-vision goggles, he said.
"Potential enemies of the United States are also investing in directed energy, Fogleman said. 'I'm not in the camp of people who believe China is our enemy, but you can't ignore their potential. I am led to believe that the Chinese are very actively working on these programs,' Fogleman said. Russia also had an extensive research program in this area, and 'they've done a lot of work in the field of high-powered microwave.'"
- conflicts short of war
- emerging threat
- Intelligence Community
- nuclear weapons
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Post-war Iraq
- psychological warfare
- revolution in military affairs
- U.S. Central Command
- War on terrorism
- Weapons of mass destruction
- David Karcher and Eric Wertheim, "Safeguarding Peace, Safeguarding Life: How Non-Lethal Directed Energy Weapons Promise Both," Homeland Defense Journal, no date.
- "China's military threat. Laser anti-satellite technology," Taiwan Communique, December 1998.
- Citations: Directed Energy Weapons, May 23, 2001.
- Electronic Warfare Working Group, Statement of Congressman Joseph R. Pitts, Lexington Institute Forum on Electronic Warfare, October 5, 2001.
- Daniel Goure, "The Leading Edge of Transformation," Navy League of the United States, July 2002.
- Loren B. Thompson, "The Emerging Promise (and Danger) of Directed-Energy Weapons," Lexington Institute, July 11, 2002.
- John N. Hostettler, "Directed Energy and the Future of Security," Lexington Institute, July 11, 2002.
- Ian Hoffman, "Another version of Star Wars looms. Bush awaits political support for missile-destroying satellites, says Livermore lab scientist," Oakland Tribune, September 10, 2002.
- Frida Berrigan, "Now You See, Now You Don't. The Pentagon's blinding lasers," In These Times, September 27, 2002: "Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, who together had $20.3 billion in Pentagon contracts in 2001, are collaborating on development of directed energy weapons--powerful 100-kilowatt infrared lasers for use on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
- Scott Canon, "Energy weapons pose risk to high-tech U.S. military," Knight-
Ridder, December 26, 2002.
- "New Bombs," cbc.ca, January 2003.
- Loren B. Thompson, "Defeating Iraq with Photons," Lexington Institute, January 7, 2003.
- "US working on lightning weapon," BBC, January 21, 2003: "The US Air Force is working on developing a man-made bolt of lightning powerful enough to fry sophisticated computer and electronic components in weapons."
- "Directed-Energy Weapons: Technologies, Applications and Implications," Lexington Institute, February 2003.
- Will Dunham, "U.S. may debut secret microwave weapon versus Iraq," Reuters, February 2, 2003: "These weapons could be used to disable enemy command and control centers, communications facilities, air defense radars, chemical or biological weapons storage or production sites, and sophisticated vehicles, missiles and aircraft. ...The devices generate a momentary, intense energy pulse producing a gargantuan power surge -- millions of watts -- that would fry practically any modern electronic device within a modest range of hundreds of yards (meters)."
- Victorino Matus, "Dropping the E-bomb. High-power microwaves are ready for use against Iraq. How will they work and just how dangerous are they?", Weekly Standard Magazine, February 5, 2003.
- Edward Epstein, "U.S. has new weapon ready. It could kill circuits but spare people," San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2003.
- Frank Vizard, "Extinguishing the Threat. U.S. special weapons may target Iraqi chemical and biological threats," Scientific American, February 18, 2003.
- Fact file: E-bombs, BBC, March 14, 2003.
- George Edmonson, "New Weapons And Greater Precision Would Be Part Of War With Iraq. Military Preparing To Field Array Of Precision Technology," Cox News, March 14, 2003.
- Stuart Millar, "US microwave bomb to make debut in most hi-tech battlefield campaign ever. Claims that smart device wipes out circuitry of tanks and missile systems without harming troops," Guardian (UK), March 19, 2003.
- Seay Davidson, "Superbomb Ignites Science Dispute. Pentagon Advisers Challenge Experiments Behind Nonnuclear Weapon," San Francisco Chronicle, September 28, 2003.
- "Radiofrequency Weapons," you.com.au, November 2003.