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     MindNet Journal - Vol. 1, No. 68


     V E R I C O M M / MindNet         "Quid veritas est?"


The views and opinions expressed below are not necessarily the

views and opinions of VERICOMM, MindNet, or the editors unless

otherwise noted.

Permission is given to reproduce and redistribute, for

non-commercial purposes only, provided this information and the

copy remain intact and unedited.

Editor: Mike Coyle 

Assistant Editor: Rick Lawler

Research: Darrell Bross



Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense,

Washington, D.C. 20301-2500

July 1994


21 July 1994


SUBJECT: Draft Non-Lethal Weapons Policy

Attached is a draft DoD policy for non-lethal weapons. We are

distributing this draft broadly for information and comment.

Comments should be forwarded by 19 August to Mr. Charles Swett,

703-693-5208 (voice), or 703-693-0615 (fax).

[original signed] 

Dr. Christopher Lamb 

Director, Policy Planning


Department of Defense DIRECTIVE 

January 1, 1995

Number xxxx.xx

DRAFT: 21 July 1994

SUBJECT: Policy for Non-lethal Weapons

A. Purpose

This Directive issues Department of Defense policies and

procedures governing the role of non-lethal weapons in U.S.

national security, their acquisition, and employment.

B. Definition

Non-lethal weapons are discriminate weapons that are explicitly

designed and employed so as to incapacitate personnel or materiel,

while minimizing fatalities and undesired damage to property and

the environment.

Unlike weapons that permanently destroy targets through blast,

fragmentation or penetration, non-lethal weapons have relatively

reversible effects on targets and/or are able to discriminate

between targets and non-targets in the weapon's area of impact.

C. Applicability

This directive applies to all non-lethal technology research and

development programs, non-lethal weapon procurement procedures

programs, OSD oversight of these programs, and modes of

employment of non-lethal weapons.

Precision lethal weapons are outside the scope of this Directive.

In addition, policy governing information warfare systems is

addressed in separate channels and is not covered by this


D. Policy

1. General

In order to allow the maximum possible flexibility in the

employment of U.S. military forces across the spectrum of

conflict, it is essential that additional options short of the

use of lethal force be provided. Non-lethal weapons can make

available significant new capabilities in some circumstances to

achieve military objectives while minimizing human fatalities and

undesired damage to property and the environment. At the lower

end of the spectrum of conflict (Operations Other Than War),

non-lethal weapons can allow us to discourage, delay, or prevent

hostile actions by prospective opponents; limit escalation; take

military action in situations where intervention is desirable

but use of lethal force would be inappropriate; and better

protect our forces once deployed. Non-lethal weapons are

especially suited to operations such as peacekeeping,

humanitarian missions, and other operations short of war. At the

higher regions of the spectrum of conflict, including major

regional conflicts, non-lethal weapons can provide an effective,

reversible, or more humanitarian means of denying an enemy the

use of some of his human and material assets. They also may help

reduce the post-war economic cost of rebuilding infrastructure.

Non-lethal weapons reinforce deterrence and expand our range of

options. The presence of non-lethal weapons in America's arsenal

can strengthen deterrence by making potential adversaries aware

that the United States can thwart aggression and achieve

humanitarian aims in ways that do not entail prohibitive

political costs, thus enabling us to act earlier, more freely,

and more decisively.

A non-lethal weapons arsenal and the additional options it

provides does not negate the fact that many situations require

overwhelming lethal military force as the most appropriate means

to accomplish a mission. Particularly in situations involving

large-scale aggression by an adversary, overwhelming force may

ultimately be the best means of minimizing fatalities and

collateral damage by ensuring that the conflict comes to a rapid

and uncontested conclusion. In such cases, the roles of

non-lethal weapons are to contribute to the overall success of

the operation while helping to limit war damage.

It is understood that when employed, some non-lethal weapons may

inadvertently cause fatalities, since we will not have perfect

control over all factors. Complete avoidance of fatalities cannot

be guaranteed and should not be expected. However, non-lethal

weapons when properly employed dramatically reduce fatalities as

compared with physically destroying the same intended target.

Thus the intent is to be able to achieve military or politically

objectives while causing the minimum possible harm to personnel,

materiel, and the environment.

To the extent that non-lethal weapons reduce the likelihood of

loss of life and incidental damage to property in comparison with

conventional systems, they are not only politically and

operationally attractive options, but they are also consistent

with international law and further the professional military

responsibility to employ force proportionally and discriminately.

It is not envisioned that non-lethal weapons will supplant or

replace other classes of weapons, consume disproportionate

amounts of resources, or cause a major shift in the way wars are

fought. Rather, the intention is to allow the Department of

Defense to cost-effectively exploit non-lethal technologies in

order to provide the United States with significant strategic,

political, and operational advantages in conducting existing


2. Acquisition

A wide variety of non-lethal technologies have been suggested,

spanning a broad range of anti-personnel and anti-materiel

effects. In order to be most useful as instruments of national

policy, the highest priority should be placed on developing and

acquiring systems to support the following tasks (in descending

order of importance):

* Neutralize combatants intermingled with non-combatants

* Control crowds

* Disable or disrupt military logistics

* Disable or disrupt elements of, or the entirety of, a regional

  civil/military communications, transportation, and energy


* Disable or destroy weapons or weapon development/production

  processes, including suspected weapons of mass destruction

These tasks may arise at virtually any level of the full spectrum

of operations. This list will be reviewed and modified as

necessary by the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

In addition to the priorities listed above, only those non-lethal

weapon programs that satisfy the general requirements for

technical feasibility, operational utility, and policy

acceptability will be considered for support. Specifically, in

order for any non-lethal weapon program to receive funding, it

must be explicitly found by the Non-Lethal Weapons Steering

Committee to satisfy the following criteria:

* Contribute to the accomplishment of a task or tasks that may be

  assigned to U.S. military forces

* Be consistent with established U.S. policies including arms

  control agreements or other international legal commitments 

  that the U.S. is committed to observe

* Be technologically and operationally feasible

* Be affordable

* Have an acceptably low probability of being fatal or inflicting

  permanent disablement on personnel, and causing undesired 

  damage to property and the environment

* Could not be easily defeated by enemy countermeasures once

  known; or if they could, the benefits of a single opportunity 

  to use them in a given context would be so great as to outweigh 

  that disadvantage

* Can achieve an effect that is worth the cost of the

  intelligence support they require

All other things being equal, non-lethal weapons that show

significant promise of dual-use by U.S. law enforcement agencies

as well as by the military Services will receive higher priority

than those that do not.

Oversight authority over all non-lethal weapon development and

acquisition programs will be exercised by a Non-Lethal Weapons

Steering Committee. This committee will be co-chaired by the

Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and

Technology (Deputy Director, Tactical Warfare Programs), and the

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special

Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (Deputy Assistant Secretary

for Policy and Missions), and will consist of senior officials

from the following organizations:

* Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and



- Office of Munitions

- Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering

- Office of the Deputy Under Secretary for Advanced Technology

* Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

- Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for


  (Strategy and Requirements)

- Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for

  Policy and Missions 

  (Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict)

- Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for


  (International Security Policy)

* Office of the Comptroller of the Department of Defense

* The Joint Staff

* The Military Services

* Defense Nuclear Agency

* Other Defense agencies (as determined by the co-chairs)

In addition, representatives of other U.S. Government departments

or agencies may be invited to participate in Steering Committee

discussions. These organizations may include, but are not

necessarily limited to, the Department of Justice, the Department

of Energy, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the Environmental

Protection Agency.

The Non-Lethal Weapons Steering Committee will conduct an annual

review, phased appropriately with respect to the POM cycle, of

all non-lethal weapon programs, in order to provide oversight and

guidance. This committee will have the authority to initiate,

direct changes in, or terminate these programs, in order to

ensure that the priorities and criteria listed above are

enforced. In so doing, any validated military requirements

presented to the committee will be duly considered. The

Comptroller of the Department of Defense will issue Program

Budget Decisions implementing the decisions of the committee. The

committee will also have the authority to task the Services to

undertake such studies and analyses as are needed to support its


The Non-Lethal Weapons Steering Committee will adopt terms of

reference, issue an annual Non-Lethal Weapons Master Plan, and

issue security and classification guidance for non-lethal weapon


A Non-Lethal Weapons Working Group will assist the Non-Lethal

Weapons Steering Committee. This group will consist of officials

from the organizations represented on the Steering Committee, and

will undertake activities as directed by that committee. The

Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and

Technology will assure that funding is available to support these

bodies, and that all members of both bodies are cleared in a

timely manner into any and all non-lethal weapon development and

acquisition programs.

The Joint Program Office will support the Non-Lethal Weapons

Steering Committee, by providing studies, analyses, and

recommendations as directed by that committee. Its charter will

be modified as necessary to provide for this role. The Non-Lethal

Weapons Steering Committee will ensure that the costs of

necessary support provided by the Joint Program Office and other

sources are met.

The Military Services will develop and acquire weapons specific

to their particular mission area or expertise, and will develop

and implement doctrine, employment concepts, tactics, training,

and logistic support for fielded non-lethal weapon systems.

3. Employment

In developing policy for specific cases of current or planned

military operations, officials from the Office of the

Undersecretary of Defense for Policy will ensure that options for

use of applicable non-lethal weapons are given due consideration.

This will include making the President aware of such options, as


Any direction given regarding the conduct of U.S. military

operations to employ non-lethal weapons will not restrict

self-defense measures by our forces to non-lethal means. Although

our forces might be allowed to employ only non-lethal weapons to

achieve mission objectives in some cases, they will in all cases

be allowed to use necessary lethal force to protect themselves

from deadly threats.

In order to improve the military effectiveness and deterrent

value of non-lethal weapon employment, full consideration will be

given to appropriate psychological operations before, during or

after that employment.

Non-lethal weapons can be employed either alone or in conjunction

with lethal weapons.

When a plan to employ non-lethal weapons in a specific case is

submitted for approval, it must be explicitly stated to all

concerned that some fatalities might inadvertently result.

Non-lethal weapons may be employed to achieve a variety of

objectives, including, but not necessarily limited to, the


* Neutralization - to make an adversary's assets useless

* Denial - to deny an adversary the attainment of his ends

* Control - to eliminate an adversary's ability to control his

  assets, and/or to seize control of them ourselves

* Limit escalation - prevent an increase in the scale or

  intensity of a conflict

* Enticement - to help persuade an adversary to act in a way 

  that is congruent with U.S. interests

* Demonstration - to display U.S. resolve or concern, but 

  without crossing the threshold of lethal force or significant 


* Countermobilization - to retard or frustrate mobilization of an

  adversary's military forces in order to provide more time for

  diplomatic actions or for deployment of U.S. or allied military

  reinforcements to the area in question

* Interdiction in ambiguous situations - were we suspect that

  activity inimical to U.S. interests is underway and would like 

  to take steps to frustrate it but where we may not have 

  convincing intelligence confirming our suspicions

* Highly specific attack - where the target is proximate to a

  significant non-military asset that must not be damaged under

  any circumstances, such as a religious, cultural, or 

  historical symbol

* Synergism - to accelerate and intensify the effects of lethal

  measures, used in conjunction with non-lethal systems weapons

The term "adversary" is used above in it broadest sense,

including those who are not declared enemies but who are engaged

in activities we wish to stop. This policy does not preclude

legally authorized domestic use of non-lethal weapons by U.S.

military forces in support of law enforcement.

Commanders of combat organizations will incorporate options for

use for fielded non-lethal weapon systems into their contingency

plans as appropriate.

4. Additional Policy Guidance

Requests for policy guidance on non-lethal weapons matters not

addressed in this Directive should be forwarded to the Office of

the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and

Low-Intensity Conflict (Deputy Assistant for Policy and


E. Public Affairs Guidance

Information provided to the public and the media should be in

keeping with the policies put forth in Section D.1 of this

Directive. Authorization for release of specifics about the types

of non-lethal weapons in our arsenal or under development, or the

circumstances in which they would be used, will be considered on

a case-by-case basis by OUSD(P) or by the Non-Lethal Weapons

Steering Committee, as appropriate.

Public affairs statements should emphasize that although the use

of non-lethal weapons us intended to avoid fatalities and

collateral damage in the course of achieving mission objectives,

some fatalities or collateral damage could inadvertently result.

It is important that the public understand that just as lethal

weapons do not achieve perfect lethality, neither will

"non-lethal" weapons always be capable of precluding fatalities

and undesired collateral damage.

F. Effective Date

This Directive will become effective upon signature.

William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense

Comments on this draft should be forwarded to Mr. Charles Swett,

OASD(SO/LIC) 703-693-5208 (voice) 703-693-0615 (fax)


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