By Anastasiya Pershkina
A confidential Pentagon document has appeared in the global net. It contains information about the development of a non-lethal weapon which does not kill the enemies but gives an opportunity to control them.
Writers of science fiction have cast a glance into the future again. What Zamyatin, Orwell and the Strugatsky brothers wrote about has become reality. It is a psychological weapon capable of depressing and demoralising the enemy. The global net contains data about US research in the field of non-lethal weapons. The document consists of over 100 pages giving a detailed description of various lasers, heat rays and sound waves which can be used for all kinds of purposes, from dispersing a crowd to disorienting the enemy military hardware.
Chinese scholar Sun Tzu wrote that the way of war is the way of deception. Information leaks about US secret research is nothing but a manoeuvre. This document itself is a weapon in the information war, believes Deputy Director of the Institute of the US and Canada, and President of the Foundation for the Support of Military Reforms Pavel Zolotaryov.
“The US long ago set itself a target of achieving world superiority with the help of predominance in the information domain. One of the component parts of information wars is influencing the consciousness of a country which is not an enemy yet but which is interesting to US authorities. All this boils down to the term of providing internal security, not for the US but for the country which is interesting to the US. This means putting in power those political forces that do not endanger US interests.”
Other experts do not believe either that this information leak was accidental. Military observer Colonel Viktor Baranets believes that the manufacturers of non-lethal weapons compete with each other in this way. Air Force experts also think that this list was published for commercial purposes. The Pentagon has been harshly criticized for its inflated budget, so the list of non-lethal weapons looks like a report to tax-payers about the work done. At the same time, the “product” may interest external buyers, especially because the need for non-lethal weapons is dictated by present-day combat realities, military expert Viktor Baranets believes.
“The development of non-lethal weapons has long been an open secret. The point is how long humans remain unconscious or incapacitated after being exposed to such weapons. In contemporary world this equipment is becoming an inalienable part of the arsenal used by marines or special mission units.”
One of the most well-known US accomplishments is the LRAD sound cannon which is a long-range acoustic device. It can both control a crowd and tune in to one individual so as to transmit sound waves only to that particular person. The efficiency of this device can be appreciated if you watch the footage of dispersing the demonstration in Tbilisi on the 7th of November 2007.
Another US achievement is the Active Denial System which is a powerful emitter of microwaves. Volunteers who were exposed to this non-lethal weapon said that they felt pain and an instinctive desire to run away from the site.
However, this weapon can hardly be called 100% non-lethal. Medical research shows that the application of such weapons may result in the appearance of “burns” and wounds, acute functional disorders of the human system, and eventually, in case of a long-term exposure, chronic diseases and cancer. In this context it is not very easy to draw a line between weapons of mass destruction and weapons of mass control.