Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

US embassies to be protected with non-lethal weapons

Last year's attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya has led to the creation of a special committee in the US administration. The committee plans to equip the buildings of U.S. offices abroad with the latest non-lethal weapons. According to experts, microwave emitters, blinding lasers and stun grenades will be able to stop even a crowd of angered people.

We all know since high school that noble lords in the Middle Ages would spend much of their free time waging wars against each other. When they were not doing it, they were mostly sitting in their castles, expecting attacks from their neighbors. Their castles were strongly fortified with high walls, towers and ditches.

Interestingly, all toilets in those castles were placed specifically on towers and walls in the form of protruding boxes, for extra security as well. The human excrement would thus fall down into the ditch around the castle, making the idea of crossing the ditch utterly revolting for medieval daredevils.

There were exceptions, though. For example, the Château Gaillard castle in France was seized through the sewer hole, which proved to be wide enough for a human being to crawl inside.

The experience in defending various objects from attacks is in great demand today. The attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya has led to the creation of a special commission in the United States, which plans to equip American embassies abroad with state-of-the-art non-lethal weapons.

Thus, the commission proposes to develop exotic non-lethal weapons that would be able to stop even multitudes of angry people in most dangerous regions of the world. First of all, it goes about microwave emitters that causes the unbearable feeling of burning, blinding lasers and stun grenades.

For the time being, it is difficult to say whether the formal approval of such a proposal will follow, and how diplomatic challenges could then be solved in using such weapons against foreign nationals from territories under the jurisdiction of the United States. However, the U.S. may either ignore the claims from third world countries on the "fortification" of its embassies, or install such defense systems secretly, referring to the need to protect their citizens, especially women and children.

Noteworthy, U.S. military have been experimenting with non-lethal systems designed to disperse crowds for many years. The Americans were not the one who started such experiments. Police use water cannons and tear gas for this purpose. During the 1930s, for example, Czechoslovakia produced special police armored vehicles called "Prague." The vehicles were armed with water cannons and machine guns in their turrets.

Сompared to achievements of modern technology in this field, such vehicles can only make one smile. For example, microwave emitter Active Denial System projectы12 joules of energy per square centimeter of the surface of the human body. This creates an intolerable burning sensation and the crowd disappears in panic. Another option of non-lethal effects is sound cannons - LRAD, for example. The cannon can create unbearable noise on the territory of up to 300 meters. It was repeatedly used against Somali pirates, so its effectiveness had been confirmed in practice.

As for the plans to protect embassies, there can be not only political, but also technical problems arising. For example, the most effective system - Active Denial System - needs 16 hours to be deployed and warmed up. When in standby mode, the system consumes too much energy. Moreover, the system is quite expensive and will cost the U.S. State Department quite a decent amount. To crown it all, it does not work during dust storms, in rainy and snowy weather.

It is worthy of note that the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi happened very quickly - they simply would not have had the time to deploy a high-power microwave transmitter there. The commission might well be advised to use mercaptan cylinders and powerful sprays to protect embassies - such means are not very expensive. In this case, however, they would have to relocate the embassy because the effects from those substances last for quite a long time.

Well, the committee discusses the type of a "magic gun" to be used for American mission, it was decided to update the surveillance cameras of the embassies. It is planned to install more sophisticated surveillance equipment (HD-cameras, night vision and thermal imaging devices), which in theory should be more effective in warning embassy personnel of a possible attack.

Vyacheslav Shpakovsky


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