Non-Lethal Weapons

The Law and Policy of Revolutionary Technologies for the Military and Law Enforcement

Non-Lethal Weapons

Too often, military and law enforcement authorities have found themselves constrained by inadequate weaponry. An emerging category of 'non-lethal weapons' carries promise for resolving this dilemma, proffering new capabilities for disabling opponents without inflicting death or permanent injury. This array of much more sophisticated technologies is being developed, and could emerge for use by soldiers and police in the near future. These augmented capabilities carry both immense promise and grave risks: they expand the power of law enforcement and military units, enabling them to accomplish assigned missions with greater finesse and reduced casualties. But they may also be misused - increasing maligned applications and inspiring leaders to over-rely upon a myth of 'bloodless combat'. This book explores the emerging world of non-lethal weapons by examining a series of case studies - recent real-world scenarios from five confrontations around the world where the availability of a modern arsenal might have made a difference.


'This book gives a clear and structured overview of the issues concerning the emergence of non-lethal weapons. The analysis of the five cases gives the reader an insight in the possible future use of these 'less than lethal' weapons in conflict situations. The citations in the footnotes give useful supplemental information. … this book is certainly a great introduction for whoever wants to acquire an insight in the subject of non-lethal weapons.' Military Law and the Law of War Review