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Tags: military | concussion | mild traumatic brain injury

Experts: US Military Launchers Cause Brain Damage

By    |   Sunday, 26 November 2023 10:09 AM EST

Research has revealed the dangers of concussion-causing weapons for years, but the U.S. military is still using the weapons that potentially harm the user, raising questions about why, especially because it can affect soldier performance.

Army Ranger veteran Paul Scharre published a 2018 Defense Department-funded report on concussion-causing launchers as a Center for a New American Security expert, noting repeated blasts from the weapons cause mild traumatic brain injuries.

"It's extremely frustrating," Scharre told The New York Times. "We've known for years that these weapons are dangerous.

"There are simple things we can do to protect people, and we're not doing them."

The five-year study was intended to give the U.S. military actionable data, including shoulder-fired rocket launchers releasing blast waves beyond safety limits, according to lead researcher Dr. Michael Roy.

It is not just unsafe for the user, but it affects them over the long haul as a U.S. soldier.

"The question is, Does this affect performance?" Roy told the Times. "We are seeing it does.

"If you are on a mission and you can't remember things and your balance is off, that could be a real problem."

Congress' Warfighter Brain Health Initiative has been funding the research for years and last year determined a threshold to determined the hazard of using a weapon.

The U.S. military still continues to train with weapons deemed unsafe, according to the Times.

The safety protocols are not being used or are ineffective, according to Rochester Institute of Technology engineering professor David Borkholder.

"It's really negligent, given everything the Pentagon knows, that they haven't taken action," he told the Times.

A 2011 study using blast gauges on 10,000 Afghanistan troops found 75% of troops' concussion exposure was due to using their own weapons.

"It was hugely, hugely surprising," Borkholder, who founded a company for blast gauges, told the Times. "The danger was us. We were doing it to ourselves."

Despite the funding, research, development, data, and intelligence, the actions are not being put into place, according to former Special Operations medic Cory McEvoy, who left the Army in August.

"At a policy level, they are talking about all this incredible stuff," McEvoy told the Times. "But at my level, I never saw any of it. And if I'm not seeing it, you can be sure a regular infantry platoon isn't seeing it."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Newsfront
Research has revealed the dangers of concussion-causing weapons for years, but the U.S. military is still using the weapons that potentially harm the user, raising questions about why, especially because it can affect soldier performance. Army Ranger veteran Paul Scharre...
military, concussion, mild traumatic brain injury
390
2023-09-26
Sunday, 26 November 2023 10:09 AM
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