: an interactive visualization of the international trade in small arms (generally defined as lethal weapons for use by individuals) from 1992 to 2011. Click on an individual country or type its name into the search box to examine it separately. Uncheck the boxes in the lower right corner to narrow down by category. Drag the slider at the bottom or click the graph button to view change over time. May take a while to load on slower connections. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte
on Sep 6, 2013 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
The Physics of Space Battles
"I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Dec 17, 2009 -
Presented in a way that is familiar to gimmicky kitchen appliances, this frightening weapon
can fire 120,000 rounds per minute without a human operator. It makes no noise or flash, and can be mounted anywhere and is operated remotely. [more inside]
posted by hellslinger
on Mar 10, 2008 -
It sounds a lot like science fiction.
It moves at the speed of light and it can penetrate walls. The U.S. military has firepower that uses electromagnetic energy to blind, stun or kill targets. Defense contractors are eager, but the weapons
are not yet being deployed.
posted by dsquid
on Jul 12, 2005 -
Weapons that can incapacitate crowds
of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe. From guns that shoot streams of conductive fibers to plasma that will stop a truck, the military and the police are getting whole new ways
to deal with protestors.
posted by dejah420
on Jun 17, 2004 -
Gamma-ray weapons could trigger next arms race
"The hafnium explosive could be extremely powerful. One gram of fully charged hafnium isomer could store more energy than 50 kilograms of TNT. Miniature missiles could be made with warheads that are far more powerful than existing conventional weapons, giving massively enhanced firepower to the armed forces using them."
Half of me thinks: "WOW! Cool!"
The other 1% thinks: "We've really had it now"
posted by hmgovt
on Aug 14, 2003 -
Military use of Gas Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons.
Would someone explain to me again why we're attacking Iraq? Was it something about use and/or possession of chemical weapons?
posted by nofundy
on Mar 21, 2003 -
Welcome to the Boomtown.
'Fast Company' magazine profiles the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant -- a rural Oklahoma factory that is the source of nearly every nonnuclear bomb in the United States' arsenal. Man
posted by Dirjy
on May 30, 2002 -
How to buy military weapons banned for civilians, with the help of the police
- In a small Missouri town, a 72-year old man and 3 buddies bought weapons and accessories banned for private ownership claiming they were part of a "volunteer deputy" SWAT team. The police chief at the time agreed, although only one of them was a police deputy doing 4 hours a week of police work. The new police chief, a person with real experience in SWAT teams, freaked out when he heard of the agreement, which lets the "fantasy" deputies keep the weapons locked in the trunk of their cars. City officials aren't happy either, perhaps be because they were not informed at the time of the deal ("we wanted to keep it low key, you don't want the bad guys to know our tactics"). Many neighbors of the single-stop-light-type of town praise the good intentions of the men, but members of professional SWAT deny in several ways their ability to deal with any high-intensity situation. A very entertaining read picked up at obscurestore.com
posted by magullo
on Nov 7, 2001 -
"Real" Deal about Nuclear, Bio, and Chem Attacks.
I've also seen this in the newsgroups, but it hasn't come to my various email accounts yet. While the article seems pretty reasonable, there doesn't seem to be any info on who this SFC Red Thomas is, nor is there any scientific backup (no links to further reading
posted by youthbc1
on Oct 21, 2001 -
The G-Rated War: Blowing Smoke, Pipe Dream, or The Real Hashish?
I want to spin antiwar arguments a slightly different way. Previous threads have been quite dim. This Cnn chat transcript focuses on the use of non-lethal weapons, the need to separate innocents from terrorists and separate terrorist networks from Islamic states, and the interviewee is as much as suit as they come. You could cut a diamond on that crew cut. I have several questions: 1) Is the US military actually going to use non-lethal weapons, or is this the new "smart bomb?" 2) Do the 'pacificists' among us consider this to be pacificist? 3) If you do favor peace over war, do you think this is a good compromise between peace and war, or is the issue by definition binary? More > >
posted by rschram
on Oct 3, 2001 -
21st Century Warfare
I've been waiting for the new issue of G2mil The Magazine of Future Warfare
to be posted to get Carlton Meyers' line on all things post September 11th and it's an all-you-can-eat buffet chock full o'links from a former Marine Corps officer--an anti-imperialist, anti-military/industrialist contrarian extraordinaire. Check out the special war supplement and assess the military options in Afghanistan
before you launch into a by jingo paean to what he refers to as Tom Clancy fantasies
about the Rangers. Do some extensive research in the magazine's back issues to read articles like Demobilize The US Army
, 21st Century Battleships - the U.S. Navy's greatest need
, why China can't invade Taiwan
--not to mention the $$$ saving concepts like the B-747 bomber
...& his line on National Missile Defense
The irony is that, if a workable NMD system is ever fielded, it only guarantees that a better method of delivery would be used, like a civilian airplane, ship, or truck. Tons of drugs are smuggled into the USA each year, can NMD stop that dangerous cargo? Almost two million people illegally cross America's borders each year with un-inspected luggage, can NMD stop them? Why spend billions of dollars each year on NMD while ignoring the real dangers?
That was from July...
posted by y2karl
on Sep 29, 2001 -
The Trial of Unit 731
"is the forgotten war-crimes prosecution of the 20th century." In 1949, Soviet courts tried a unit of the Japanese Imperial Army for wartime biological weapons experimentation on human subjects.
This article contains some gruesome descriptions.
posted by dfowler
on Jun 6, 2001 -
Critical review of the U.S. military.
As someone with an interest in the military (my brother is a fire-controlman on the guided missile cruiser Vella Gulf
), I like to see someone taking a serious look at what the future will bring on the warfare front. Maybe it'll help us avoid things like this(1)
(1): Mogadishu, Somalia
(2): Sinking of H.M.S. Prince of Wales and Repulse
posted by CRS
on Mar 30, 2001 -