The Looming Threat of Directed Energy Weapons

 by Robert L. Kinney III

Most Americans are familiar with nuclear weapons; it is not necessary for the news to constantly explain what a nuclear weapon is or its dangers.

But there is another type of weapon that might be even more of a threat than nuclear weapons, which is unfortunately less known about, and, due to comedic representations of the technologies in movies and the tabloidization and general untrustworthiness of mainstream media, is going to require a significant effort to educate others about.

The type of technology is sometimes described as “Directed Energy,” “Directed Energy Weapons,” and “Directed Energy Systems.” It is worth providing multiple descriptions of Directed Energy and the weapons and systems which use directed energy. Directed energy (DE) is an


umbrella term covering technologies that produce a beam of concentrated electromagnetic energy or atomic or subatomic particles. A DE weapon is a system using DE primarily as a direct means to disable, damage or destroy adversary equipment, facilities, and personnel. DE warfare is military action involving the use of DE weapons, devices, and countermeasures to either cause direct damage or destruction of adversary equipment, facilities, and personnel, or to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) through damage, destruction, and disruption.

An Office of Naval Research publication describes Directed Energy Weapons in this way:

Directed energy weapons (DEWs) are defined as electromagnetic systems capable of converting chemical or electrical energy to radiated energy and focusing it on a target, resulting in physical damage that degrades, neutralizes, defeats, or destroys an adversarial capability. Navy DEWs include systems that use High Energy Lasers (HEL) that emit photons, and High Power Microwaves (HPM) that release radiofrequency waves. The U.S. Navy uses DEWs for power projection and integrated defense missions. The ability to focus the radiated energy reliably and repeatedly at range, with precision and controllable effects, while producing measured physical damage and/or mission defeat, is the measure of DEW system effectiveness.

One might be able to determine how difficult it is going to be to get others to believe the threat of such weapons. Many people in society cannot hold a serious thought for more than a few seconds. Explaining that microwave technologies (which are really radiofrequency waves) can be focused and shot like a gun, so to speak, or explaining that lasers actually are a threat, is going to be difficult.

One might ask, what is the threat of such weapons? A reference lists how such weapons might be useful for militaries and the dangers to civilians can be determined with common sense:

  • speed of light engagement which makes responsiveness and tracking much faster than kinetic weapons;
  • deep shot magazines which are only limited by the electrical power supplied to and re-generated by the system;
  • “stealth-like” performance (quiet and invisible beams) that are hard to detect or intercept;
  • precision targeting for both lethal and non-lethal applications; and
  • low-cost per shot compared to traditional munitions.

Also, some of the weapons can be operated from “hundreds of miles” away from the target.

Thus, one might be able to determine how directed energy weapons and systems could be even more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Directed Energy Weapons and Systems can move at the speed of light, are low-cost, are invisible, and are extremely accurate and, unlike nuclear weapons, can be fired at individual targets rather than causing mass destruction.


A separate source, which takes information from the U.S. Army, describes that such radiofrequency (“microwave”) weapons might be able to “mimic schizophrenia” by making one “suddenly hear voices within one’s head.” This phenomenon was known in the U.S. open literature as early as the 1960s.

Such radiofrequency technology can reportedly cause “muscle weakness, involuntary muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, or intense (tonic) muscle spasms.” (One might remember the “frog leg experiment” from science class, in which electricity is used to cause a muscle twitch in the frog leg. Directed energy can apparently have the same effect, or similar effects, without physically touching the leg or other location.)

Experiments on animals with radiofrequency directed energy demonstrated causing harm or death as a result of heart or brain problems. This has since been described as causing damage to soft tissue in the brain.

Imagine the possibilities: a person who is targeted by such a weapon might have a brain aneurysm and die or experience serious complications for the remainder of his life and the effects would be blamed on a medical occurrence rather than a deliberate attempt at harm with a directed energy weapon.

Such technologies raised the possibility of causing miscarriages, retardation, and other birth defects in animals.

Now, while it might seem like an unnecessary distinction, one should be aware of the literature describing “Directed Energy Systems” (distinct from “Directed Energy Weapons”). The significance might be obvious to those who have studied “surveillance systems.” Radiofrequency surveillance systems have been developed which can see into homes and buildings, and, if improved enough, could likely observe every movement a person makes throughout his life.

Such technologies would not require surgical implantation of “computer chips” or neural devices.

One now might be able to determine the dangers of such directed energy weapons and systems and why it is necessary to make such technologies as well known as other subjects like nuclear weapons.


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