In the Belgian comic book "De laatste Hollander" (en.: "The last of the Dutchmen"), an alien accidentally uses a WMD (a beam that lights up the entire country) to completely engulf the entire country of the Netherlands into a fiery blaze, killing anyone within, plus a small section of the North of Belgium, where according to the story only wealthy Dutchmen evading taxes live.
I currently have no knowledge of a WMD that only affects a single country, especially one as irregular as the Netherlands. This is alien tech obviously, but the WMD was meant to be used in a different star system, so it feels kinda weird that it managed to stick to a single country more or less, and not something like the entirety of Europe or even the world or only a single province or town in the Netherlands.
What I'm trying to figure out: assuming the following limitations, how could a weapon manage to hit ONLY a single country? I'm wondering about how the weapon would limit itself to a specific country and how the weapon would decide what to use as the limit.
- A single weapon with a single beam, mounted on a fighter-type craft;
- When fired, the weapon first lights up the entire area of whatever country it hits, taking into account all irregularities around the border as well as any major inland bodies of water and parts of the country extending far outside a regularized shape of the country. Then the entire area bursts into flame.
- The weapon is calibrated before firing, though calibration should not be used as handwavium here;
- The area to fire at was indicated by a crop circle with a specific design;
- Neither the designer of the weapon nor the weapon itself appear to have any knowledge about Earth politics or borders;
- Tech level can be anything futuristic.