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Non-Lethal Chemical Weapons 

 

The US military is currently engaged in several research efforts to develop non-lethal chemical and biological weapons. These weapons can be placed into two main categories: incapacitants and anti-material agents. Incapacitants are biological and chemical substances that have a "calmative" effect on humans, and can cause symptoms such as nausea, disorganized thinking, and hallucinations. Anti-material agents are microbes which can be genetically engineered to produce acids or enzymes that have the ability to degrade a variety of substances, including cement, polyurethane, paint, lubricants, and fuel.

U.S. Government Legislation and Military Documents

     
 
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NLW Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Tactical Employment of Nonlethal Weapons. Joint Services Military Manual, October 2007.
 
  bullet US Code: BWC implementing legislation
  bullet US Code: CWC implementing legislation
 
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Soldier, Set Your Weapon on Stun. By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, January 3, 2000
 
 
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Non-Lethal Weaponry: A Framework For Future Integration. Mark R. Thomas; Charles T. Clements (Faculty Advisor) Air Command and Staff College 1998
 
 
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Non-Lethal Technologies: Implications for Military Strategy. By Joseph Siniscalchi, Center for Strategy and Technology, CSAT Occasional Paper No. 3, 1998.
 
  bullet USMC Joint concept for Non-Lethal Weapons. January 1998
 
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Non-Lethal Weapons for Military Operations Other Than War. By Cadet Joseph Suhajda, Airman and Scholar, Vol III, No 2, Spring 1997.
 
 
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Concept for Nonlethal Capabilities in Army Operations. TRADOC Pamphlet 525-73, 1 December 1996.
 
 
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Non-Lethal Force: The Slippery Slope to War? By F. M. Lorenz, Parameters, pp. 52-62 Autumn 1996.
 
 
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Department of Defense Directive No. 3000.3: Policy for Non-Lethal Weapons. July 1996.
 
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Background Briefing Subject: Non-Lethal Weapons. Friday, February 17, 1995, 11:00 a.m. (EST) Attributable To: Senior Military Official
 
 
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More documents can be found in the section on the Original US interpretation of the BTWC
 
     

Books, Papers and Journal Articles

     
 
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Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Promise or Peril? By Marie Chevier. Lexington Books, November 2007.
 
 
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Agents of Suspicion. By Michael Stebbins. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 63, no. 3, pp 26, 2007.
 
 
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The Use of Drugs as Weapons: The concerns and responsibilities of health care professionals. Report of the British Medical Association, 2007.
 
 
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Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Science, Technology, and Policy for the 21st Century. By Alan Pearson. Nonproliferation Review, vol. 13, no. 2, pp 151-188, 2006.
 
 
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Non-Lethal Weapons: The Law and Policy of Revolutionary Technologies for the Military and Law Enforcement. By David A. Koplow. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
 
 
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Non-lethal Technologies: An Overview. By Nick Lewer and Neil Davison. Disarmament Forum. 2005.
 
 
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Non Lethal Weapons and Capabilities. Council on Foreign Relations, Graham T. Allison and Paul X. Kelley, Co-chairs. 2004.
 
 
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Security, Strategy, and the Quest for Bloodless War. By Robert Mandel. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004.
 
 
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An Assessment of Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology. National Research Council, February 2003.
 
 
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Non-lethal weapons as legitimizing forces?: Technology politics and the management of conflict. By Brian Rappert. Taylor and Francis, 2003.
 
 
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Storm Before the Calm: Can Knockout Gases Really be Nonlethal? By Daniel G. Dupont. Scientific American, Vol. 288, pp 17-18.
 
 
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The Future of Non Lethal Weapons: Technologies, Operations, Ethics, and Law. Nick Lewer, Editor. Taylor and Francis, 2002.
 
 
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"Nonlethal" Chemical Weapons: A Faustian Bargain. By Mark Wheelis. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2003.
 
 
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Responses to Wheelis Article (scroll down on page). Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2003.
 
 
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Chemical Incapacitating Weapons Are Not Non-Lethal. Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons, March 2003.
 
 
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The Threat of Chemical Incapacitating Agents. Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological & Chemical Weapons, March 2003.
 
 
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Beware the Siren's Song: Why "Non-Lethal" Incapacitating Chemical Agents are Lethal. By Lynn Klotz, Martin Furmanski, and Mark Wheelis. March 2003.
 
 
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Biotechnology and Chemical Weapons Control. By Mark Wheelis. Pure Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 12, pp. 2247-2251, 2002.
 
 
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"Law Enforcement" and the CWC. Editorial. The CBW Conventions Bulletin. December, 2002.
 
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Non-Lethal Chemical and Biological Weapons. Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons, November 2002.
 
 
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Biotechnology, Weapons, and Humanity. Appeal of the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 2002.
 
 
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Scientific and Technological Change and the Future of the CWC: The Problem of Non-lethal Weapons. By Malcolm Dando. Disarmament Forum, No. 4. 2002.
 
 
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Biotechnology and Biochemical Weapons. By Mark Wheelis. The Nonproliferation Review. Spring, 2002. (includes a section on the problem of non-lethal weapons under the CWC)
 
 
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Averting the Hostile Exploitation of Biotechnology. By Matthew Meselson. The CBW Conventions Bulletin. pp16-19, June 2000.
 
 
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Non Lethal Technologies: Progress and Prospects. Council on Foreign Relations, Richard L. Garwin, Chairman. 1999.
 
 
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Future War: Non-lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare. By John Alexander. St. Martin's Press, 1999.
 
 
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Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare. – specialty editors, Frederick R. Sidell, Ernest T. Takafuji, David R. Franz. Published by the Office of The Surgeon General at TMM Publications, Borden Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, 1997. See especially Chapter 11 - Incapacitating Agents.
 
 
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Nonlethal Weapons: War Without Death. By David Morehouse. Praeger/Greenwood, 1996.
 
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A New Form of Warfare: The Rise of Non-Lethal Weapons. By Malcolm Dando. Brasseys, Inc., 1996.
 
 
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The "Soft Kill" Fallacy. By Steven Aftergood. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. v. 50(5) pp 40-45, Sept/Oct 1994.
 
 
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Non-Lethal Weapons may Violate Treaties. By Barbara Hatch Rosenberg. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. v. 50(5) pp 44-45, Sept/Oct 1994.
 
     

Press Reports

     
  bullet Pentagon's New Drug Weapons. By David Hambling. Wired, August 21, 2007.
 
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Chemical Non-Lethal Weapons: Why the Pentagon Wants Them and Why Others Don't. By Ingrid Lombardo. CNS Research Story, June 8, 2007.
 
  bullet When Drugs Become Weapons. By Steve Wright. The Guardian. May 24, 2007.
 
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US: Pentagon Unveils the Next Generation of Nonlethal Weapons. By Jeremy Bransten. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 30, 2007.
 
  bullet Shooting Not to Kill. The New Atlantis. No. 9, summer 2005, p 116-119.
  bullet US Military Pondered Love not War. BBC News. January 15, 2005.
 
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ICRC says it was Muzzled on Incapacitating Weapons. By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. April 30, 2003.
 
 
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Conference Unlikely to Address Nonlethal Chemicals. By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. April 29, 2003.
 
 
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US Grapples with Use of Nonlethal Agents. By Kerry Boyd. Arms Control Today. April 2003.
 
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Next Up: "Non-lethal" Chemicals that Kill. By David Isenberg. Asia Times. April 1, 2003.
 
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Nonlethal Chemical Weapons Pose Different Threat. By Elisa Harris. Baltimore Sun. March 27, 2003.
 
  bullet Out of the Straitjacket. By Alastair Hay. The Guardian. March 12, 2003.
 
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US Tear Gas Use in Iraq may Violate Weapons Treaties. By Paul Elias. AP News. March 2, 2003.
 
 
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US Prepares to use Toxic Gases in Iraq. By Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell. The Independent. March 2, 2003.
 
  bullet The Pentagon's "Nonlethal" Gas. By Bill Mesler. The Nation. February 17, 2003.
  bullet US Plans to Use Illegal Weapons. By Severin Carrell. The Independent. February 16, 2003.
 
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The Fuzzy Ethics of Nonlethal Weapons. By Brad Knickerbocker. The Christian Science Monitor. February 14, 2003.
 
 
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United States: Rumsfeld Says Pentagon Wants Use of Nonlethal Gas. By David McGlinchey. Global Security Newswire. February 6, 2003.
 
 
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The Guilt-Free Solider. By Erik Baard. The Village Voice. January 22-28, 2003. (Discusses chemical manipulation of emotions)
 
 
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The Year in Ideas; Stench Warfare. By Stephen Mihm. The New York Times. December 15, 2002.
 
 
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"Nonlethal" Weapons Put Humanity at Risk. By Barbara Rosenberg and Mark Wheelis. LA Times. Dec. 1, 2002.
 
 
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US Moves into Emerging Bioweapons Era. By Brad Knickerbocker. The Christian Science Monitor. November 4, 2002.
 
 
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United States: US Military Studying Nonlethal Chemicals. By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. November 4, 2002.
 
 
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The Moscow Theater Russian Hostage Crisis: Incapacitatants and Chemical Warfare. By The Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, November 4, 2002.
 
 
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Opiate Ends Hostage Crisis. By Lois Ember. Chemical and Engineering News. v 80( 44), p6, November 4, 2002.
 
 
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The World; Oh, What a Lovely War. If No One Dies. By William J. Broad. The New York Times. November 3, 2002.
 
 
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CWC: Experts Differ on Whether Russian Hostage Rescue Violated Treaty. By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. October 30, 2002.
 
 
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Hostage Drama in Moscow: The Toxic Agent; US Suspects Opiate in Gas in Russia Raid. By Judith Miller and William J. Broad. New York Times, October 29, 2002.
 
  bullet US Weapons Secrets Exposed. By Julian Borger. The Guardian. October 29, 2002.
 
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Pentagon Discusses Ways to Use Chemicals to Calm Rioters. By Matt Kelley. San-Diego Union-Tribune. September 25, 2002.
 
 
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US Research on Seditives in Combat Sets Off Alarms. Science. August 2, 2002. (account required for access)
 
  bullet Beyond the Rubber Bullet. By Lev Grossman. Time. July 21, 2002.
 
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Non-Lethal Weapons Kept Secret. By Debora MacKenzie. New Scientist. May 11, 2002.
 
     

Links

     
  bullet Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project
  bullet Chemical Weapons Convention - Second Review Conference - April 7 - 18, 2008
  bullet Chemical weapons history in the US, munitions, and facilities. From globalsecurity.org
 
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Introduction to chemical weapons, including non lethal weapons. From globalsecurity.org
  bullet Joint Non Lethal Weapons Project website (U.S. military)
  bullet Sunshine Project website on nonlethal weapons (no longer updated)
  bullet US Army special weapon facilities. From globalsecurity.org