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Why You Should Be Concerned About The

Heat Ray Active Denial System (ADS)

by Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2007 by RDFollendoreIII

January 27, 2007

To understand the implications of a sophisticated new weapon in our arsenal all you need to do is open your tool box. A screw driver is a great device when you need it. It lets you use screw to hold things together and take them apart when you need to. You could also just as easily use a screw driver as a weapon, and in fact they make excellent weapons. There have been any number of people killed and injured by screw drivers since they were first developed and marketed. Most soldiers would probably say that it would be insane to go into a combat zone if you are only armed with a screw driver. One could go through the list and say that same thing about any number of devices. Most things that we tend to think about are really not all that compatible with the primary mission of war. Active Denial Systems (ADS) are not one of those.

The new millimeter wave ADS is a non-lethal weapon system which is mounted on a vehicle. It has a large bullet proof radar antenna that is intended to direct a electromagnetic signal at human beings. The ADS is quite capable of targeting people up to 550 meters away.  The Federal Government has pumped millions into this research in the continuing quest to field what some call 'non-lethal' weapons.  The idea is that non-lethal weapons provide military and police an 'option' in situations where authorities might have to otherwise decide kill. The theory is that since more options are usually better then less options, this must obviously be a pretty sensible idea.

Perhaps the problem is that ADS systems are not necessarily what they claim to be. The reason is really quite simple. The act of calling something 'defensive' is a matter of semantics. We could rename the M-16 and call it an 'ADS-16'. We could also rename the B-17 and call it an 'ADS-17'. Why even a thermonuclear bomb could be defined as a 'defensive' Active Denial System. Deny it all we want, what we design weapons systems for is the denial of life. Americans pay good dollars to produce top quality killing systems and we spend far more of those dollars practicing how to use those in ways that tend to kill our enemies. Americans believe that the best defense is a good offence. It is as simple as that.

Make no mistake, millimeter wave weapons are quite capable of denying people of their life. Any system that is designed to induce severe burning pain is also quite capable of being used in killing. Just because our soldiers can turn down or turn off the ADS does not mean that we will. Think about it. Push the button and the crowd moves to the left. Push the button and the crowd moves to right. What makes the millimeter wave ADS systems so useful within military applications are many the very same aspects that make land mines so useful. Most people may not realize that many land mines are not really designed to kill, but to maim and incapacitate those who step on them. Landmines are literally by their very definition 'Active Denial Systems'. Their very existence screams don't come near them or you life and limbs are forever denied. It is just as feasible to to mechanically 'tune' a landmine so that the weight of the target affects the degree their explosive force as it is to tune the amount of power of a millimeter wave device.

It is a total mistake to think of electronic weapons as being defensive in nature. Mines, like millimeter ADS systems do not just prevent human beings from entering unauthorized areas. In combat, mines are far better used to force the enemy to move into killing zones. Deny the enemy movement and you move them where you want them. This is exactly what millimeter wave weapons will be very good at doing. Millimeter wave weapons can be used as a way to silently herd people around. One can easily imagine that this type of technology would obviously have been useful for NAZI concentration camp guards in WWII. The burning pain of millimeter wave weapons might have been used to force entire boxcars of people to jump directly into their graves. Some historical experts have reported that both the Germans and the Japanese scientists actually tried to perfect ray gun technologies. 

During the fighting in both Europe and the Pacific islands, our 'John Wayne' oriented troops would often refuse to take prisoners. They hated the German SS and statistically they probably hated the Japanese even more. No matter what we say this was not simply because these enemy were that determined to fight to the death. The fact is that we simply did not put much effort in the prospect of saving those we hate. In that war as in any war there exists a level of conflict and anger when people are subjected to such situational environments that any sense of honor for the cause simply does not matter. Good people do bad things in war. As in all wars, more enemies are slaughtered because of hatred, anger, frustration, fear or just because someone has the ability to do to them what we expect them to do to us. ADS millimeter wave systems are really powerful opportunities for extending such zero some attributes of warfare. The dial as well as the trigger are equally easy solutions.

As with all lethal technologies, people can and will misuse these systems. We can expect that this kind of technology can and will be used extensively within prison systems. They will also be used as tools of torture. Millimeter Wave technologies will be used as a means to direct and control and direct crowds who protest both popular and unpopular wars. They will be used against those who support civil rights. It is inevitable that such technologies will be used against our forces and even those who support the form of government that we now say we believe in. In the hands of the wrong people 'non-lethal' heat ray systems can be used to force people to agree or disagree at the point of severe pain. It is easily conceivable that the use of millimeter ADS systems can escalate violence because even when used for the right reasons, the application of these weapons can induce hatred. Make no mistake, regardless what we call them, they are still weapons. For that reason we can say Millimeter Wave Active Denial Systems do not kill people, people kill people. Maybe all of this and because we still can we should rethink the notion of the notion of non lethal ADS.

In the end these devices are another stage of the international arms race. Yes they can and probably will be copied and used against us. Yes, they will be perfected. Yes, they will be used for deadly purposes.  Even though the idea of 'harmless' weapons might seem appealing, they are not because when they are used they will generate tremendous animosity. If these weapons are used on people who believe in what they are doing, they will hate you for using it.

It is hard to ignore the fact that we human beings spend an awful lot of their time and money perfecting new and better ways to harm ourselves. It is what is arguably the thing that we do best. At least with the lethal versions of weapons the dead no longer hate us for building and using them. Well, for those of us who are against war as a solution to political, social and economic problems that might not be such a good argument, even though it is a valid thought to keep in mind.




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved