Posted by: mulrickillion | November 15, 2011

Defence Security Report – The new WMD: ‘weapons of minimum destruction’

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The Thales LMM laser beam rider fitted to a Schiebel Camcopter S-100 UAV.(IHS Jane’s/Patrick Allen).

Jane’s Defence News, 11/14/2011 —

In the interest of minimising casualties and collateral damage, carpet bombing with unguided munitions from strategic bombers has been supplanted by precision-strike engagements and progressively more-personalised forms of attack against ‘key targets’, writes Rupert Pengelley

The acceptable usages of warfare change over time. In the current era of ‘wars among the people’, the employment of Second World War-style carpet bombing, atomic bombs or other weapons of mass destruction (WMD) has been ruled out – at least on the part of NATO members.

The same stricture seems to apply to the demonstrative but rather more discriminatory ‘shock and awe’ tactic espoused by the US in the 1990s. This involved the precipitate dismemberment of national infrastructures using cruise missiles and other powerful precision weapons, and was implemented effectively (if not in an altogether unblemished fashion) against the national leaderships of Yugoslavia and Iraq, in 1999 and 2003 respectively.

However, in the aftermath of the opening phase of the regime-changing Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’, the desire among coalition governments, electorates and forces to minimise the possibility of unintended deaths or disruption (‘collateral damage’) to populations, property and installations – be they ‘friendly’ or hostile – has fostered the development of a host of new weapons offering precision and pin-point lethal effects. . . .

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