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Congressional Record: March 20, 2001 (Senate)
Page S2571-S2572                     


 
              DIRECTED ENERGY AND NON-LETHAL USE OF FORCE

  Mr. DOMENICI. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss a serious and 
effective use of new technologies in our military operations. While I 
will focus on a specific directed energy technology, the Joint Non-
Lethal Weapons Program Office is involved in many other research areas 
that provide innovative solutions to our military men and women in 
their daily missions.
  Recently, the Marines unveiled a device known as Active Denial 
Technology, ADT. This is a non-lethal weapons system based on a 
microwave source. This device, mounted on a humvee or other mobile 
platform, could serve as a riot control method in our peacekeeping 
operations or in other situations involving civilians. This project and 
technology was kept classified until very recently.
  The Pentagon noted that further testing, both on humans and, 
evidently, goats will be done to ensure that it truly is a non-lethal 
method of crowd control or a means to disperse potentially hostile 
mobs. The notion that the Pentagon is using ``microwaves'' on humans, 
and especially on animals, has inflamed some human and animal rights 
groups. Among others it has simply sparked fear that a new weapon 
exists that will fry people.
  This is not the case. And, unfortunately, few of the media reports 
offer sufficient detail or comparisons to clarify the value of such a 
system or put its use in perspective. While ADT is ``tunable,'' the 
energy cannot be ``tuned up'' to a level that would immediately cause 
permanent damage to human subjects.
  The technology does not cause injury due to the low energy levels 
used. ADT does cause heat-induced pain that is nearly identical to 
briefly touching a lightbulb that has been on for a while. However, 
unlike a hot lightbulb, the energy propagated at this level does not 
cause rapid burning. Within a few seconds the pain induced by this 
energy beam is intended to cause the subject to run away rather than to 
continue to experience pain.
  Such technologies have never before been used in a military or 
peacekeeping endeavor. Therefore, there is

[[Page S2572]]

naturally suspicion or fear of the unknown and usually the worst is 
imagined. I believe this is unwarranted, especially when one considers 
the currently available options in these types of military situations.
  Think of 1993 in Somalia. The U.S. lost 18 soldiers and somewhere 
between 500 and 1,000 Somalis were killed on the streets of Mogadishu. 
The Somalis used children as human shields, and our military was forced 
to fire on angry crowds of civilians, some civilians having automatic 
rifles and grenades.
  Peacekeeping operations are not void of lethal threats. Oftentimes 
our military is confronted with armed civilians or situations where 
unarmed, defenseless civilians are intermixed and indistinguishable 
from persons possessing lethal means.
  Regardless of the new Administration's approach to involvement of the 
U.S. military in non-traditional operations, I believe these types of 
missions will continue to be a staple of our military's daily 
operations for a long time to come. Further, these missions often 
involve situations that render U.S. soldiers vulnerable or threaten the 
lives of innocent civilians.
  I believe that the applications of directed energy technologies in 
these and other operations can provide a more humane and militarily 
effective approach. Active denial technology is merely one device on a 
list of research and development endeavors currently underway by the 
Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program.
  I would encourage my colleagues to get briefed on the mission and 
projects in the Non-Lethal Weapons Program. Further, I believe that the 
tunability of microwave and laser technologies will offer a palette of 
readily available options to address operational needs in both 
traditional and non-traditional military operations, and I fully 
support further funding of research in this area.

                          ____________________

                                 



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