Energy Weapons Might be Eye-Poppers

As we have seen, burning someone to a crisp with a laser takes a tremendous amount of energy. Blinding them is much easier. U.S. Special Operations Command's new Advanced Tactical Laser is approximately one hundred thousand times more powerful than a so-called "Class IV" laser, which can cause permanent eye damage.

Since 1995, there has been a prohibition on the military use of blinding lasers. However, this only applies to lasers which are "specifically designed, as their sole combat function or as one of their combat functions, to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision" . The ATL, which was designed for a variety of targets, is not a blinding laser by this definition. So it likely lies outside the letter, if not the spirit of the law.

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