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 Taserbeen available for use by military and security forces, such events could have been minimized or perhaps even avoided. By providing and intermediate option between dont shoot and shoot, the Task Force observes, NLW have enormous potential in the new military roles of modern 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 Harvards John F. Kennedy School of Government, and General Paul X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), former Commandant of the MarineCrops, the Task Force consists of former military officers, business executives, academics, diplomats, and congressional staff.
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.
Graham T. Allison, Paul X. Kelley
NONLETHAL WEAPONS & CAPABILITI
Council on Foreign Relations Press