Friday, March 14, 2008

Video: Lasers used in Afghanistan

This may be the first of many videos you'll see of lasers being used by the U.S. military in the field.

As you might imagine, there is some controversy over the use of laser 'dazzlers'.

From Human Rights Watch:

The eye is the organ most vulnerable to laser radiation. As noted above, how much damage occurs depends on several factors, but many medical and military experts believe it is not possible to design a laser that can only temporarily blind or dazzle. According to one medical specialist, "A laser that could dazzle toward the end of its range would inevitably cause permanent blindness nearer the source. Aiming for temporary blindness under battlefield conditions appears impossible."
In the past, there was always a certain justifiable squeamishness about 'eyeballs and testicles' in the halls of war and law. These days... maybe not so much.

Apparently, they are not in violation of Protocol IV of the Geneva Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. This protocol, however, has loopholes you can drive a Hummer through.

There is a video-game quality to this presentation, complete with scoring at the finish. (Is that a deliberate attempt to communicate on a certain frequency, or is that just the way some people process reality?)

via Danger Room

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