The new nature of warfare in many parts of the world has made it increasingly difficult to identify who is a target and who is an innocent civilian. Terrorist groups, in particular, often have no reservations about placing their leadership among civilian populations or even schoolchildren in order to shield them from attacks. To combat this, the U.S. and its allies have been testing new methods of “reducing collateral damage,” or “blowing up innocent people” to use a non-sterilized term.
While this has most often meant reducing the explosive payloads of traditional munitions, it turns out that the CIA has been using a terrifying and highly advanced new weapon which could radically change the nature of warfare as we know it. According to a Wall Street Journal report published today, it turns out the CIA has been using a high-precision kinetic warhead known as the RX9 packed with “a halo of six long blades that are stowed inside and then deploy through the skin of the missile seconds before impact, shredding anything in its tracks.” Yikes. Military news site Task and Purpose writes that “this is basically like dropping a rocket-assisted meteor full of swords on someone.”
Details about the RX9 are still scarce, and The Wall Street Journal has not disclosed its source for the existence of the RX9 but writes that it can confirm the CIA and Department of Defense are indeed using the weapon.
There is some suspected evidence of its use, too. In 2017, Al-Qaeda second-in-command Abu Khayr al-Masri was killed in a precise drone strike by something which smashed right through the top of his car and yet caused very little other damage. Photos of the smashed car show 4 distinct ‘slice’ marks in the windshield and roof of the car; could they have been made by an RX9’s halo of six long blades as they shredded whatever was in its tracks in the car? Ouch.
Just wait until these things start being dropped from space. By soulless AIs. I don’t know of any deterrent more effective than the fear of a freakin’ sword falling from the heavens directly on one’s head after being dropped by an omniscient non-physical entity. It’s got a mythological ring to it. Still, while these secret missiles might prevent civilian casualties and sound objectively rad, they’re still instruments of death. How impersonal can we make killing from a distance until warfare loses all of its meaning?