Beyond the Rubber Bullet
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Time Magazine
Posted: July 11th, 2022
The Pentagon is spending more and more research-and-development dollars on weapons that stun, scare, entangle or nauseate — anything but kill. The U.S.'s nonlethal-weapons programs are drawing their own fire, mostly from human-rights activists who contend that the technologies being developed will be deployed to suppress dissent and that they defy international weapons treaties. Imagine a cross between a microwave oven and a Star Trek phaser: a tight, focused beam of energy that flash-heats its target from a distance. Directed energy beams do not burn flesh, but they do create an unbearably painful burning sensation. The Air Force Research Laboratory has already spent $40 million on a humvee-mounted directed-energy weapon. Further out on the horizon, the line between weapons development and science fiction becomes perilously thin. Even their supporters agree that "nonlethal weapons" is a dangerous misnomer. Any of these devices has the potential to injure and kill. A chemical-weapons watchdog organization called the Sunshine Project has obtained evidence that the U.S. is considering some projects that appear to take us beyond the bounds of good sense: bioengineered bacteria designed to eat asphalt, fuel and body armor, or faster-acting, weaponized forms of antidepressants, opiates and so-called "club drugs" that could be rapidly administered to unruly crowds. Such research is illegal under international law and could open up terrifying scenarios for abuse.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on non-lethal weapons from reliable major media sources.