Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pain rays for freedom

Whose fault is it that Ramadi, Fallujah, and soon Mosul are being flattened as the Iraqi army tries to retake the cities from ISIS?

If you answered "The Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies," then you're in agreement with an opinion article on the Wall Street Journal editorial page by retired Marine Corps colonel Gary Anderson who says that the military would have viable "Active Denial Systems" by now if it was not for humanitarian concerns. That's an experimental weapon which uses intense radio waves to cause a burning sensation on anyone in its target area.

Apparently all the bad guys could be immobilized long enough by this thing to make urban warfare history.

But actually, once you start to read up on the system, it's clear that any concerns of wine-sipping do-gooders had little connection to its demise. Instead, it's expensive, cumbersome, a propaganda gift to the bad guys. And, it may not work when it's dusty, much like those Royal Navy ships with warm water issues.

Of course, the narrative of "we could win if we weren't held back" has a very powerful hold.

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