A New Form of Warfare: The Rise of Non-lethal Weapons
In today's chaotic post-Cold War world, industrialised powers face a dilemma. They wish to deploy military forces in peacekeeping operations without incurring or causing casualties. This has led to increasing interest, especially in the United States, in the possibility of employing new hi-tech, non-lethal weapons. With the inevitable political pressures, it is to be expected that a growing number of non-lethal weapons will indeed be deployed. However, is it sensible for the industrialised world to introduce a new form of weaponry based on its present short-term technological advantages? Malcolm Dando argues that deployment of non-lethal weapons could raise many difficult questions. He concentrates on the threat that they may pose to hopes of securing effective international control over the proliferation of dangerous novel weaponry. Taking potential psychochemical weapons as a particular example, he suggests that we might well end up with a new form of warfare, but not of the benign kind that advocates of non-lethal weaponry imagine.
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