Weapons: August 3, 2005

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After several years of talking about it, the U.S. Department of Defense is finally sending its Sheriff ADS (Active Defense System) to Iraq. The system uses three non-lethal weapons. These include a sound searchlight (called the Long Range Acoustic Device), that can project sound long distances, and also pump out really loud sound and direct it like a searchlight against people, to encourage them to leave. Then theres the Lazzer Dazzler, which sends very bright, pulsating, light at crowds. This light will disorient most people, and can also reveal any optics in the crowd, especially the scope of a sniper rifle. Finally theres the microwave device, which looks like a radar dish and creates a burning sensation on the skin of its victims, causing them to want to leave the area, or at least distract them. The microwave weapon has a range of about 500 meters. ADS is carried on a hummer or Stryker, along with a machine-gun. The most important new development is the establishment of ROE (Rules of Engagement) for Sheriff systems. Put simply, anyone who keeps coming after getting hit with the sound, light and microwave is assumed to have evil intent, and will be killed. Sheriff will 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. The army and marines want 14 Sheriff vehicles (eight for the army, six for the marines.) Each will cost about $1.1 million. The Department of Defense has been reluctant to send ADS to a combat zone for fear of bad publicity from the mass media, who are sure to dub use of the non-lethal weapon a war crime.

 


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