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1934Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs

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  • Greg Cannon
    Sep 12, 2006
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      I love this quote:
      "If we're not willing to use it here against our
      fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use
      it in a wartime situation," said Wynne.


      Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs
      POSTED: 7:56 p.m. EDT, September 12, 2006

      WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nonlethal weapons such as
      high-power microwave devices should be used on
      American citizens in crowd-control situations before
      being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary
      said Tuesday.

      The object is basically public relations. Domestic use
      would make it easier to avoid questions from others
      about possible safety considerations, said Secretary
      Michael Wynne.

      "If we're not willing to use it here against our
      fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use
      it in a wartime situation," said Wynne. "(Because) if
      I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim
      that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I
      think that I would be vilified in the world press."

      The Air Force has paid for research into nonlethal
      weapons, but he said the service is unlikely to spend
      more money on development until injury problems are
      reviewed by medical experts and resolved.

      Nonlethal weapons generally can weaken people if they
      are hit with the beam. Some of the weapons can emit
      short, intense energy pulses that also can be
      effective in disabling some electronic devices.

      On another subject, Wynne said he expects to choose a
      new contractor for the next generation aerial
      refueling tankers by next summer. He said a draft
      request for bids will be put out next month, and there
      are two qualified bidders: the Boeing Co. and a team
      of Northrop Grumman Corp. and European Aeronautic
      Defence and Space Co., the majority owner of European
      jet maker Airbus SAS.

      The contract is expected to be worth at least $20
      billion (€15.75 billion).

      Chicago, Illinois-based Boeing lost the tanker deal in
      2004 amid revelations that it had hired a top Air
      Force acquisitions official who had given the company
      preferential treatment.

      Wynne also said the Air Force, which is already
      chopping 40,000 active duty, civilian and reserves
      jobs, is now struggling to find new ways to slash
      about $1.8 billion (€1.4 billion) from its budget to
      cover costs from the latest round of base closings.

      He said he can't cut more people, and it would not be
      wise to take funding from military programs that are
      needed to protect the country. But he said he also
      incurs resistance when he tries to save money on
      operations and maintenance by retiring aging aircraft.

      "We're finding out that those are, unfortunately,
      prized possessions of some congressional districts,"
      said Wynne, adding that the Air Force will have to
      "take some appetite suppressant pills." He said he has
      asked employees to look for efficiencies in their

      The base closings initially were expected to create
      savings by reducing Air Force infrastructure by 24 percent.