A New Form of Warfare : Rise of Non-lethal Weapons

Malcolm R. Dando

In todays chaotic post-Cold War world, industrialized powers face a dilemma. They wish to deploy military forces in peacekeeping operations without incurring or causing casualties. This has led to increasing interest, especially in the United States, in the possibility of employing new hi-tech non-lethal weapons. With the inevitable political pressures, it is to be expected that a growing number of non-lethal weapons will indeed be employed. But is it sensible for the industrialized world to introduce a new form of weaponry based on its present short-term technological advantages? This study argues that deployment of non-lethal weapons could raise many difficult questions. It concentrates on the threat that they may pose to hopes of securing effective international control over the proliferation of dangerous novel weaponry. Taking potential psychochemical weapons as a particular example, the book suggests that people might well end up with a new form of warfare, but not of the benign kind that advocates of non-leathal weaponry imagine. Malcolm Dando is the author of Biological Warfare in the 21st Century.