Non-Lethal Weapons: Considerations for the Joint Force Commander
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The allure of non-lethal weapons has continued to grow and will only accelerate as the United States continues to confront complex irregular combat scenarios, often in urban environments. Despite their promise, numerous concerns about their development and use have been raised by persons both in and out of the military. While all the concerns deserve consideration, this paper discusses the issues raised primarily by people outside the military. The concerns raised need to be addressed by everyone in the non-lethal weapons community, from the most senior policy-makers to the most junior soldier employing them. The paper focuses on what the operational commander can do to attend to potential complaints against non-lethal weapons. It is the authors assertion that well-constructed Rules of Engagement ROE governing non-lethal weapons use can be issued by the Joint Forces Commander that ensure the accomplishment of military objectives, minimize collateral damage, including non-combatant fatalities, and assuage the objections raised to their use. He will propose some general guidelines for the operational-level planner to follow when developing ROE for the use of non-lethal weapons to minimize the concerns raised and to help ensure the legitimacy of both the weapons employed and the U.S. military.
- Sociology and Law
- Defense Systems
- Unconventional Warfare