|I’ve been looking into blinding laser weapons developed by the U.S. Known systems are: Laser Countermeasure System, Saber 203, Stingray, Outrider, Dazer, Cobra, Perseus, Coronet Prince, Compass Hammer, and Cameo Bluejay. The stated function of all these weapons is to counter battlefield surveillance by disrupting optical and electro-optical devices. They are effective against binoculars, gunner's sights, and infrared sensors.
DOD is quick to state that it "does not possess, nor is it developing, laser weapons designed or intended primarily to permanently blind enemy combatants. But all of these weapons can also function as blinding anti-personnel weapons. At long range, they dazzle the eyes of anyone looking thru an optical sight. However, at closer ranges, the same laser system will blind anyone looking at it.
As I understand it, the Stingray system is fully developed and awaiting funding for production.
See: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/stingray.htm and notice the sanitized vocabulary.
I object along two lines. First, this is some really nasty . The intentional blinding of an enemy seems to me worse than dropping a 155mm shell on him and spreading his entrails out like a crazy-woman’s quilt. Let me add that I have no objection to blowing away anyone who attacks us.
Second, if we do it, so will our enemies. During WW1, the Germans used mustard gas on some of our troops. In addition to nerve damage, the gas also blinded. It was so ugly that public outcry stopped the development of such weapons in the U.S. for quite a spell afterwards. This seems to me to be similar, and I don’t want our troops coming home in the dark.