Nonlethal Weapons and Capabilities: Report of an Independent Task Force

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Brookings Inst Press, 2004 - History - 63 pages
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U.S. military forces, superbly capable of countering a defined enemy in intense combat, are not properly supported for important current roles as experienced in Kosovo and Iraq. If U.S. units and allied forces are to prevent looting and sabotage, control individuals and crowds, stop uncooperative vehicles in an urban environment, and protect themselves in stabilization and reconstruction activities, they will require new tools and proper training to accomplish these objectives without harming innocent people or destroying civil infrastructure. Had more of the current nonlethal weapons (NLW) -- including nets to entangle and stop vehicles, slippery spray, rubber-ball projectiles, and electroconvulsive weapons such as the Taser -- been available for use by military and security forces, such events could have been minimized or perhaps even avoided. By providing and intermediate option between "don't shoot" and "shoot," the Task Force observes, NLW have enormous potential in the new military roles ofmodern combat. Wider integration of existing types of NLW into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have helped to reduce the damage done by widespread looting and sabotage after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq. This Independent Task Force report on Nonlethal Weapons and Capabilities finds that incorporating these and additional forms of nonlethal capabilities into the equipment, training, and doctrine of the armed services could substantially improve U.S. military effectiveness. Led by Dr. Graham T. Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), former Commandant ofthe Marine Crops, the Task Force consists of former military officers, business executives, academics, diplomats, and congressional staff.

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About the author (2004)

Graham Allison, founding dean of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government. He served as assistant secretary of defense for policy and plans and is the author of "Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis," He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

USMC (Ret.)

Richard L. Garwin is Philip D. Reed Senior Fellow for Science & Technology at the Council on Foreign Relations & adjunct professor of physics at Columbia University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, & the Institute of Medicine. In 1996, he received the Enrico Fermi Award. He lives in Scarsdale, New York.

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