Accession Number : ADA476393


Title :   Non-Lethal Chemical Weapons


Corporate Author : AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL


Personal Author(s) : Weilacher, Lester A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a476393.pdf


Report Date : Apr 2003


Pagination or Media Count : 17


Abstract : Little more than a month after terrorists took control of four passenger aircraft in the United States and unleashed the horror of 9/11, 50 Chechen terrorists armed with automatic weapons and carrying large quantities of explosives seized the Moscow music theater during an evening performance. The terrorists immediately threatened to kill the theater's roughly 800 occupants if the Russian government did not cease its military campaign in Chechnya. Although initial negotiations secured the release of some hostages, talks quickly stalled. Facing a protracted standoff and fearing the deaths of the remaining hostages, authorities cleared the way for action by Russian special police units. On October 26, special police units reportedly pumped an incapacitating gas into the theater. During the ensuing operation, police killed all of the terrorists and freed the majority of the hostages. However, 117 of the hostages died from the effects of the gas (Glasser, 15). While many people credit Russia for making the most out of a no-win situation, others saw the Russian action as a potential violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). This controversy continues today as the United States itself investigates new substances that can be used to disable terrorists-perhaps even battlefield opponents (Knickerbocker, 1). More importantly, the Moscow theater crisis, combined with knowledge gained through this elective, sparked my interest in exploring non-lethal chemical weapons. The purpose of this issue paper is to analyze issues related to US military interest in non-lethal weapons with a focus on non-lethal chemical weapons. After establishing a link between non-lethal chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), this paper will examine various reasons why states seek non-lethal weapons capabilities.


Descriptors :   *MASS DESTRUCTION WEAPONS , *CHEMICAL ORDNANCE , *NONLETHAL WEAPONS , TERRORISTS , USSR , THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS , AUTOMATIC WEAPONS , PASSENGER AIRCRAFT , UNITED STATES , HOSTAGES , EXPLOSIVES


Subject Categories : Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE