US Air Force chief proposes using non-lethal military weapons domestically

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Michael Wynne.jpg

Nonlethal weapons being developed by the US Air Force may be used on citizens to help control bad crowd-control situations, as proposed by the Chief of the Air Force. This would also stop some safety considerations before being used on the battlefield.

"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 Secretary Michael 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 US Air Force has spent a large cut of its budget for nonlethal weapons research, but Wynne says that money shouldn't be largely spent until injury problems are reviewed by experts, and resolved. Some weapons can also be used to disable small electronic devices, which is because of a small electronic beam emitted from some of the weapons.

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.

The base closings were originally planned to create savings by reducing Air Force fees by 24 percent.

Sources

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