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New Technology May Cut Risk of Giving Syrian Rebels Stinger Missiles

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about a year and a half ago

The Military 2

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes "PBS reports on a proposal of arm Syrian rebels with a force equalizer to make a decisive blow against Bashar al-Assad’s ruling regime — an idea that has so far failed to take hold inside the Obama administration because of serious concerns about flooding a troubled region with dangerous weapons that someday might fall into the wrong hands an be used against the US or its allies. Could sophisticated weapons, such as anti-aircraft missile systems, be outfitted with mechanisms that would disable them if they fell into the wrong hands? According to military analyst Anthony Cordesman the US could modify Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons with batteries that cease functioning in a few weeks or months or the weapons could be built to require authentication codes before they are enabled to work. “I think it would be relatively decisive,” says Cordesman. “You could probably quickly develop a device which would inactivate the weapon through two sources: one is a limited-life power supply; and the other is a fail-safe mechanism that would make it inactive or would require a code to activate it.” Another idea is to install GPS-disabling devices so that Stinger missiles only worked in a designated geographic area, such as only in Syria. Such weapons, it is believed, might tip the balance in favor of the rebels in the same way that Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, provided by the United States to the Afghan Mujahedeen, helped expel the Soviet Union from Afghanistan. Cordesman stressed that this type of weapon would have to be thoroughly tested to make sure the controls work and could not be undone. “You could not transfer these types of weapons without these types of protections. You simply have no way to know where they would end up, how they would be transferred, what would happen to them.”"
Link to Original Source

2 comments

Link is wrong. Story's thinking is naive. (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year and a half ago | (#41889461)

If there's a market for batteries they will get made. This story is about as valid as thinking IDs and toner cartridges can't counterfeited.

With due respect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41889553)

To a great and valued contributor,
Rarely do I spot an error in your submissions; they are mostly top-notch and enhancements to the online world. But it appears you may have confused the term "rebel". Perhaps you were looking for another term, like "Syrian terrorists"? I doubt most /. readers associate "rebels" with those who commit atrocities, torture, and the grotesque abuse of human corpses. Also, terms such as "rebel" may be better reserved for those revolting against less secular nations. Secular nations in the "Middle East" are probably not the worst of global dangers right now. I don't think Assad was packing a Koran 24/7 either. Also, after such examples as those set by the U.S. government (occupy, etc), terms like "rebel" may be best avoided if only to avoid sounding strange. Any form of rebellion remotely equivalent to that in Syria (or Libya) would be crushed without mercy. You might also include a link with an update on the wonders brought so far by the "rebels" of Libya.
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