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Using Nonlethal Weapons to Complete the Commander's Toolbox for Fighting Modern Insurgents
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
Pagination or Media Count:
In order to maximize effectiveness against modern insurgencies, non-lethal weapons must be more fully developed and integrated as a permanent part of United States Marine Corps USMC training and doctrine. Since the mid-90s, the United States military has made a strong effort to develop nonlethal weapon NLW capabilities. However, the military has employed these weapons on a limited basis. Although some types of NLWs have been used for centuries, one of the earliest employments of modern nonlethal weapons was by the United States Marine Corps USMC in Somalia during the withdrawal of peacekeeping forces in 1995. Because the Somali factions caught wind of the Marine Corps intended use of these weapons, they opted not to interfere with the withdrawal of forces. Even though NLWs were not truly tested, the experience galvanized efforts to further develop nonlethal capabilities. Since that time concentrated efforts have been made to develop nonlethal capabilities which has included designation of the Commandant of the Marine Corps as the executive agent for the Department of Defense for the development and testing of NLWs. However, employment of these weapons has been mostly used for riot control purposes. Use of NLWs in Iraq against insurgents has been limited. Military experts and the media continue to argue that the United States military needs to do a better job of gaining the support of the people in its efforts to defeat insurgency in Iraq. Use of conventional weaponry can act as a deterrent to improving these efforts due to its killing of innocent bystanders and destruction of personal property and existing infrastructure.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE