Hot Potato

I’m reasonably sure that I have posted something on this before – but, anyway, the US military are looking for a non-lethal weapon that inflict pain rather than permanent injury. Having already got themselves a crowd suppression turret-mounted weapon that fires microwave energy at a crowd – and disperses through pain – the US military now want something more portable. However, it’s a fine line between pain and injury:

“We have established the minimum irradiance to cause a sensation and have characterised where thermal injury begins … But the exact operating irradiance which balances a useful military effect with a conservative margin of safety has not been nailed down yet.”

I’m wondering where the margins of safety come into the use of other military gear – rubber bullets, for example, shouldn’t cause permanent harm, but they do.

Opponents have raised concerns that weapons that inflict pain without external evidence can only make it harder to identify signs of abuse. Dread to think what someone might do with one of these in a detention centre!

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