Monday 26 August 2013

Operation Popeye - The Weaponization of the Weather

Another thing I discovered is that the concept of using the weather as a weapon, far from being science fiction, actually already happened nearly fifty years ago.  In 1965 during the Vietnam War the US Military used silver iodide to cloud seed over North Vietnamese supply lines in Laos.  Operation Popeye, as it was called, is estimated to have extended the monsoon season for at least an additional month.  This was done with the intention of flooding the the supply lines and causing as much hindrance to the North Vietnamese as possible.  It's unofficial slogan became, 'make mud not war.'     

Fast forward to 1996 and the US Air Force gave us their report 'Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025', a document that discusses the potential for the future weaponization of the weather:

'In 2025, US aerospace forces can “own the weather” by capitalizing on emerging technologies and focusing development of those technologies to war-fighting applications. Such a capability offers the war fighter tools to shape the battlespace in ways never before possible. It provides opportunities to impact operations across the full spectrum of conflict and is pertinent to all possible futures. The purpose of this paper is to outline a strategy for the use of a future weather-modification system to achieve military objectives rather than to provide a detailed technical road map.

A high-risk, high-reward endeavor, weather-modification offers a dilemma not unlike the splitting of the atom. While some segments of society will always be reluctant to examine controversial issues such as weather-modification, the tremendous military capabilities that could result from this field are ignored at our own peril. From enhancing friendly operations or disrupting those of the enemy via small-scale tailoring of natural weather patterns to complete dominance of global communications and counterspace control, weather-modification offers the war fighter a wide-range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary.'*

Most disturbingly the 'tremendous military capabilities' include the ability to deny fresh water and induce drought.  

Even if you accept the papers claim that weather weaponization research halted after the Vietnam War (which does seem unlikely), still from the date the paper was written we are now two thirds of the way to when the US Military expects to 'own the weather'!   It appears we now live in a strange world where whenever extreme weather events occur, we simply don't know if they're natural or man made, intentionally or not.  

*You can read the full report at:

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