The U.S. Navy and a giant defense contractor are asking mom and dad for money to build an ultra-wicked laser death ray, because otherwise it's impossible to stop pirate ships. At last, the historic invincibility of pirate ships is over!
The military-industrial complex has been trying to make killer lasers at least since Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative of the 1980s. The unproven, ridiculously-expensive technology was later tested against ground targets. And now, maybe pirates.
The Pirate Menace has become the hot new way of selling weapons systems; a defense-industry consultant recently floated the absurd argument that the cancelled F-22 air-to-air fighter would be awesome against pirates.
But the Navy has about a trillion other ways of destroying pirate ships, other than with pricey lasers:
Chain gun: The 25mm M242 Bushmaster machine gun has been mounted on everything from the Apache helicopter to the M2 Bradley infrantry fighting vehicle. The Navy version includes an infrared scope for night operations and a laser rangefinder.
So the Navy has all of these toys at its disposal already. There are two land-based insurgency wars ongoing, which have killed thousands of ground troops. There's a massive recession. And the high command is asking for a super sea laser, to kill pirates. Someone needs to walk the plank, just for thinking about asking for this bullshit.