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High Power Microwaves on the Future Battlefield: Implications for U.S. Defense

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Technical Report

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Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States

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One of the U.S. Militarys greatest strengths, integration of technology, may soon turn into its greatest liability as recent advances in the area of high power microwave HPM weapons are garnering interest around the world. Current U.S. military strategy is to develop and maintain its superiority through the leveraging of information technology, but as recent conflicts have shown, potential enemies are likely to attack asymmetrically. HPMs against electronics is an asymmetric avenue to negate the technological advantage of the U.S. Therefore, nations, groups, andor individuals will likely seek to use HPM weapons against the U.S. This paper argues that the U.S. should continue to research and develop HPM weapon systems that target electronics, discern how an enemy may use them against us, develop countermeasures, and deter HPM offensive uses, particularly those that can have catastrophic results.

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