Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Microwaves, Lasers, Retired Generals For Sale

Expand Messages
  • skews_me
    http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2005/10/busier_than_par.h tml#comment-10228687 William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security Microwaves,
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 11, 2005
      http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2005/10/busier_than_par.h
      tml#comment-10228687

      William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security

      Microwaves, Lasers, Retired Generals For Sale

      Friend's tell me that this week's Association of the United States
      Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition at the Washington Convention
      Center was all that an orgy of self-congratulation can be.
      Contractors galore, beltway bandits, luncheons, awards, howitzers,
      all topped off with a speech by Dick Cheney.

      The buzz on the floor was "directed energy" laser, high-powered
      microwaves, and acoustic weapons that are getting a boost from the
      prolonged fighting in Iraq. Supporters are hoping that these new
      exotic technologies will help in the battle against improvised
      explosive devices and in countering snipers and hidden insurgents.

      Directed energy is also the star of this week's Air Force Futures
      Game 05, being held at Booz Allen Hamilton in Herndon. The game,
      which posits a major war in the 2025 time frame, has high powered
      microwave and laser weapons zapping the bad guys.
      Highly controversial directed energy weapons have been pushed for
      almost two decades as the next silver bullet. It's been two decades
      because along the way, they have run into complications, some having
      to do with the technology itself -- aim and controllable effects,
      compact power sources, military ruggedness -- but mostly their
      problem has been moral principles. Military leaders have been
      concerned about legality. Commanders have been hesitant or skeptical
      about new technologies with uncertain effects.

      Those concerns are being brushed aside as the weapons advance along
      the familiar development path of boosters and patrons feeding
      information to war gamers who feed study participants who feed
      researchers who feed manufactures. At the end of the day, it is
      hard to tell whether high powered microwaves and laser came into
      being because someone conceived it out of need or because its
      existence in the laboratory created the need.

      This week, for example, one of my favorite directed energy patrons --
      retired General Ron Fogleman -- received appointments at two
      corporations, as a "senior advisor" to the Galen Capital Group, LLC;
      and as a member of the board of advisors of Novastar Resources.

      The former chief of staff of the Air Force is a military-industrial
      legend, head of his own consulting company Durango Aerospace Inc.
      with a client list that includes Boeing, FMC, Northrop Grumman,
      Raytheon, and RSL Electronics.

      A quick check on the web shows that Fogleman also serves on the
      boards of no few than 14 corporations: AAR Corp, Alliant Techsystems,
      IDC, Mesa Air Group, MITRE Corporation, Rolls-Royce North America,
      Thales-Raytheon Systems, First National Bank of Durango,
      International Airline Service Group, ICN Pharmaceuticals, DERCO
      Aerospace, EAST Inc., World Airway, and North American Airlines. He
      is also Senior Vice President of something called Projects
      International, a DC consultancy and is or was a partner in Laird and
      Company, LLC. And he is a member of Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Policy
      Board Advisory Committee, on the NASA Advisory Council, the Jet
      Propulsion Laboratory Advisory Board, chairs the Falcon Foundation
      and the Airlift/Tanker Association. This guy is busy!

      Fogleman gave up the job as the most powerful man in the Air Force on
      principle when he could no longer serve Secretary of Defense William
      Cohen. Since leaving, however, he has dispensed so much wisdom one
      wonders how much principle could be left.

      One of Fogleman's first jobs upon leaving the Air Force was to chair
      the 1998 Directed Energy Applications for Tactical Airborne Combat
      study (known as "DE ATAC") which identified 65 concepts, particularly
      microwave weapons, selecting 20 for further analysis. The laboratory
      then awarded short-term concept development contracts for the five
      most promising to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Coherent Technologies, and
      Sanders.

      All during the 1990's, money flowed into continued development of
      directed energy weapons, but frankly not much happened. Everyone
      talked about an E-bomb being used in Iraq in 2003, but once again for
      a variety of technical and ethical reasons, and because the real
      world intervened, the silver bullets remained on laboratory benches
      or in the world of "black" super-secret contracts, waiting for an
      opportunity.

      And with the quagmire in Iraq, that opportunity came. So it just a
      coincidence that Fogleman's company Alliant Techsystems was awarded a
      contract earlier this year to develop the Scorpion II high powered
      microwave weapon "capable of defeating … improvised explosive devices
      (IEDs) currently threatening U.S. and allied troops in Iraq." Maybe
      Fogleman had nothing to do with the directed energy work already
      flowing to Boeing and Raytheon.

      The introduction of a completely new weapon -- particularly one that
      could cause excruciating pain, blindness, and hearing loss --
      requires the most deliberate process, and the unintended
      consequences -- humanitarian, public relations, the possibility of
      the same weapon ending up in the hands of our enemies -- needs to be
      carefully weighed. The United States may indeed have within
      technological reach the ability to disperse rioters with a beam and
      not a bullet, and it might be able to cripple a modern society with
      the push of a button, but then again, so too does the United States
      possess the technology to turn Baghdad into a radiating ruin.

      By William M. Arkin | October 6, 2005; 09:54 AM ET
    • skews_me
      http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2005/10/busier_than_par.h tml William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security Microwaves, Lasers, Retired
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 11, 2006
        http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/earlywarning/2005/10/busier_than_par.h
        tml

        William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security

        Microwaves, Lasers, Retired Generals For Sale


        Friend's tell me that this week's Association of the United States
        Army (AUSA) Annual Meeting & Exposition at the Washington Convention
        Center was all that an orgy of self-congratulation can be.
        Contractors galore, beltway bandits, luncheons, awards, howitzers,
        all topped off with a speech by Dick Cheney.

        The buzz on the floor was "directed energy" laser, high-powered
        microwaves, and acoustic weapons that are getting a boost from the
        prolonged fighting in Iraq. Supporters are hoping that these new
        exotic technologies will help in the battle against improvised
        explosive devices and in countering snipers and hidden insurgents.

        Directed energy is also the star of this week's Air Force Futures
        Game 05, being held at Booz Allen Hamilton in Herndon. The game,
        which posits a major war in the 2025 time frame, has high powered
        microwave and laser weapons zapping the bad guys.
        Highly controversial directed energy weapons have been pushed for
        almost two decades as the next silver bullet. It's been two decades
        because along the way, they have run into complications, some having
        to do with the technology itself -- aim and controllable effects,
        compact power sources, military ruggedness -- but mostly their
        problem has been moral principles. Military leaders have been
        concerned about legality. Commanders have been hesitant or skeptical
        about new technologies with uncertain effects.

        Those concerns are being brushed aside as the weapons advance along
        the familiar development path of boosters and patrons feeding
        information to war gamers who feed study participants who feed
        researchers who feed manufactures. At the end of the day, it is
        hard to tell whether high powered microwaves and laser came into
        being because someone conceived it out of need or because its
        existence in the laboratory created the need.

        This week, for example, one of my favorite directed energy patrons --
        retired General Ron Fogleman -- received appointments at two
        corporations, as a "senior advisor" to the Galen Capital Group, LLC;
        and as a member of the board of advisors of Novastar Resources.

        The former chief of staff of the Air Force is a military-industrial
        legend, head of his own consulting company Durango Aerospace Inc.
        with a client list that includes Boeing, FMC, Northrop Grumman,
        Raytheon, and RSL Electronics.

        A quick check on the web shows that Fogleman also serves on the
        boards of no few than 14 corporations: AAR Corp, Alliant Techsystems,
        IDC, Mesa Air Group, MITRE Corporation, Rolls-Royce North America,
        Thales-Raytheon Systems, First National Bank of Durango,
        International Airline Service Group, ICN Pharmaceuticals, DERCO
        Aerospace, EAST Inc., World Airway, and North American Airlines. He
        is also Senior Vice President of something called Projects
        International, a DC consultancy and is or was a partner in Laird and
        Company, LLC. And he is a member of Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Policy
        Board Advisory Committee, on the NASA Advisory Council, the Jet
        Propulsion Laboratory Advisory Board, chairs the Falcon Foundation
        and the Airlift/Tanker Association. This guy is busy!

        Fogleman gave up the job as the most powerful man in the Air Force on
        principle when he could no longer serve Secretary of Defense William
        Cohen. Since leaving, however, he has dispensed so much wisdom one
        wonders how much principle could be left.

        One of Fogleman's first jobs upon leaving the Air Force was to chair
        the 1998 Directed Energy Applications for Tactical Airborne Combat
        study (known as "DE ATAC") which identified 65 concepts, particularly
        microwave weapons, selecting 20 for further analysis. The laboratory
        then awarded short-term concept development contracts for the five
        most promising to Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Coherent Technologies, and
        Sanders.

        All during the 1990's, money flowed into continued development of
        directed energy weapons, but frankly not much happened. Everyone
        talked about an E-bomb being used in Iraq in 2003, but once again for
        a variety of technical and ethical reasons, and because the real
        world intervened, the silver bullets remained on laboratory benches
        or in the world of "black" super-secret contracts, waiting for an
        opportunity.

        And with the quagmire in Iraq, that opportunity came. So it just a
        coincidence that Fogleman's company Alliant Techsystems was awarded a
        contract earlier this year to develop the Scorpion II high powered
        microwave weapon "capable of defeating … improvised explosive devices
        (IEDs) currently threatening U.S. and allied troops in Iraq." Maybe
        Fogleman had nothing to do with the directed energy work already
        flowing to Boeing and Raytheon.

        The introduction of a completely new weapon -- particularly one that
        could cause excruciating pain, blindness, and hearing loss --
        requires the most deliberate process, and the unintended
        consequences -- humanitarian, public relations, the possibility of
        the same weapon ending up in the hands of our enemies -- needs to be
        carefully weighed. The United States may indeed have within
        technological reach the ability to disperse rioters with a beam and
        not a bullet, and it might be able to cripple a modern society with
        the push of a button, but then again, so too does the United States
        possess the technology to turn Baghdad into a radiating ruin.

        By William M. Arkin | October 6, 2005; 09:54 AM ET
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.