Historically, non-lethal weapons have been relegated to a secondary role in military planning and operations. But, as the U.S. becomes engaged in more military operations other than war, the importance of a non-lethal arsenal increases. Even in many combat operations, such as urban warfare, the use of non-lethal weapons can help reduce casualties among non-combatants. Non-lethal weapons also include those directed against enemy systems, such as spy satellites or information networks.
The development and employment of non-lethal weapons involve more than just design and engineering. When, where and how these weapons are deployed are concerns. Misused, non-lethal weapons can result in serious and permanent injuries, even fatalities. U.S. warfighters armed with non-lethal weapons may find themselves at a disadvantage when combating a conventionally armed foe. Standard operating procedures and rules of engagement must be developed and the risks posed to warfighters facing lethal armament must be addressed.
The DTIC® Review is compiled from recent technical reports in DTIC's database, and the selected documents and bibliography are representative of information available in DTIC's extensive collection. Additional references, including electronic resources, can be found at the end of the volume. Assistance with in-depth literature searches may be requested by contacting the Reference Team, Network Services Division at the Defense Technical Information Center: (703) 767-8274/DSN 427-8274; FAX: (703) 767-8266; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.