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Directed Energy Weapons, the New Indiscriminate Threat?

  • Published
  • By AFTAC


The science of directed energy weapons is understood and the engineering has a relatively low cost of entry.  Should Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) be considered an emerging form of WMD? Due to the risk they pose to civilian infrastructure, should they be regarded as indiscriminate in nature as they pose a critical threat to the economy, global communications, and, civil support capabilities on the international scale? How should the USG respond to this threat and its proliferation?  Is there a line between Electronic Warfare (i.e., jamming) capabilities and Directed Energy Weapon systems? What is the line between the two capabilities, should they be managed and addressed separately, and is the American public ready and appropriately educated to support policy and military activities in opposition to the threat?

  • Miller, Maj Wooddy, "Directed Energy Weapons for Point Defense," ACSC Elective Papers (Deterrence RTF), 2022, 16pp.