Attention, citizens! The latest threat to freedom and democracy has been announced by the U.S. Air Force: WEEDS! And they need you to help develop technology to defeat aforesaid weeds by inventing some sort of "floral disruptor." And yes, they do mean "disruptor" like Romulan-style. ZAP!
Using directed energy weapons on weeds is not nearly as crazy as it sounds. Or maybe it is, but the Air Force is going to pitch the idea with a straight face anyway:
The technological challenge is to develop a device that would effectively destroy weeds in various growth stages from seeds to maturity using some form of directed energy in designated areas. Having a cost effective device that eliminates the use of herbicides or reduces the amount of machinery could extensively save money and protect wildlife at the same time.
The Air Force doesn't really care whether you use microwaves, sound waves, or lasers (USE LASERS!!!) to get the job done, they just figure that any one of these methods will probably be sufficient to "deter, disrupt, deny, or degrade the desired objective" as they say. Don't get carried away, though, because whatever you come up with "must not be able to target personnel or wildlife." Aw, boo.
If any of you evil geniuses can come up with an actual floral disruptor, there's $150,000 in it for you from a grateful nation.