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
Joint Services Military Manual, October 2007. NLW Multi-Service Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for the Tactical Employment of Nonlethal Weapons.
US Code: BWC implementing legislation
US Code: CWC implementing legislation
By Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service, January 3, 2000 Soldier, Set Your Weapon on Stun.
Mark R. Thomas; Charles T. Clements (Faculty Advisor) Air Command and Staff College 1998 Non-Lethal Weaponry: A Framework For Future Integration.
By Joseph Siniscalchi, Center for Strategy and Technology, CSAT Occasional Paper No. 3, 1998. Non-Lethal Technologies: Implications for Military Strategy.
January 1998 USMC Joint concept for Non-Lethal Weapons.
By Cadet Joseph Suhajda, Airman and Scholar, Vol III, No 2, Spring 1997. Non-Lethal Weapons for Military Operations Other Than War.
TRADOC Pamphlet 525-73, 1 December 1996. Concept for Nonlethal Capabilities in Army Operations.
By F. M. Lorenz, Parameters, pp. 52-62 Autumn 1996. Non-Lethal Force: The Slippery Slope to War?
July 1996. Department of Defense Directive No. 3000.3: Policy for Non-Lethal Weapons.
Friday, February 17, 1995, 11:00 a.m. (EST) Attributable To: Senior Military Official Background Briefing Subject: Non-Lethal Weapons.
More documents can be found in the section on the
Original US interpretation of the BTWC
Books, Papers and Journal Articles
By Marie Chevier. Lexington Books, November 2007. Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Promise or Peril?
By Michael Stebbins. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, vol. 63, no. 3, pp 26, 2007. Agents of Suspicion.
Report of the British Medical Association, 2007. The Use of Drugs as Weapons: The concerns and responsibilities of health care professionals.
By Alan Pearson. Nonproliferation Review, vol. 13, no. 2, pp 151-188, 2006. Incapacitating Biochemical Weapons: Science, Technology, and Policy for the 21st Century.
By David A. Koplow. Cambridge University Press, 2006. Non-Lethal Weapons: The Law and Policy of Revolutionary Technologies for the Military and Law Enforcement.
By Nick Lewer and Neil Davison. Disarmament Forum. 2005. Non-lethal Technologies: An Overview.
Council on Foreign Relations, Graham T. Allison and Paul X. Kelley, Co-chairs. 2004. Non Lethal Weapons and Capabilities.
By Robert Mandel. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004. Security, Strategy, and the Quest for Bloodless War.
National Research Council, February 2003. An Assessment of Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology.
By Brian Rappert. Taylor and Francis, 2003. Non-lethal weapons as legitimizing forces?: Technology politics and the management of conflict.
By Daniel G. Dupont. Scientific American, Vol. 288, pp 17-18. Storm Before the Calm: Can Knockout Gases Really be Nonlethal?
Nick Lewer, Editor. Taylor and Francis, 2002. The Future of Non Lethal Weapons: Technologies, Operations, Ethics, and Law.
By Mark Wheelis. Issues in Science and Technology, Spring 2003. "Nonlethal" Chemical Weapons: A Faustian Bargain.
Issues in Science and Technology, Fall 2003. Responses to Wheelis Article (scroll down on page).
Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons, March 2003. Chemical Incapacitating Weapons Are Not Non-Lethal.
Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological & Chemical Weapons, March 2003. The Threat of Chemical Incapacitating Agents.
By Lynn Klotz, Martin Furmanski, and Mark Wheelis. March 2003. Beware the Siren's Song: Why "Non-Lethal" Incapacitating Chemical Agents are Lethal.
By Mark Wheelis. Pure Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 12, pp. 2247-2251, 2002. Biotechnology and Chemical Weapons Control.
Editorial. The CBW Conventions Bulletin. December, 2002. "Law Enforcement" and the CWC.
Federation of American Scientists Working Group on Biological Weapons, November 2002. Non-Lethal Chemical and Biological Weapons.
Appeal of the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 2002. Biotechnology, Weapons, and Humanity.
By Malcolm Dando. Disarmament Forum, No. 4. 2002. Scientific and Technological Change and the Future of the CWC: The Problem of Non-lethal Weapons.
By Mark Wheelis. The Nonproliferation Review. Spring, 2002. (includes a section on the problem of non-lethal weapons under the CWC) Biotechnology and Biochemical Weapons.
By Matthew Meselson. The CBW Conventions Bulletin. pp16-19, June 2000. Averting the Hostile Exploitation of Biotechnology.
Council on Foreign Relations, Richard L. Garwin, Chairman. 1999. Non Lethal Technologies: Progress and Prospects.
By John Alexander. St. Martin's Press, 1999. Future War: Non-lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century 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 - Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare. Incapacitating Agents.
By David Morehouse. Praeger/Greenwood, 1996. Nonlethal Weapons: War Without Death.
By Malcolm Dando. Brasseys, Inc., 1996. A New Form of Warfare: The Rise of Non-Lethal Weapons.
The "Soft Kill" Fallacy. By Steven Aftergood. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. v. 50(5) pp 40-45, Sept/Oct 1994.
Non-Lethal Weapons may Violate Treaties. By Barbara Hatch Rosenberg. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. v. 50(5) pp 44-45, Sept/Oct 1994.
By David Hambling. Wired, August 21, 2007. Pentagon's New Drug Weapons.
By Ingrid Lombardo. CNS Research Story, June 8, 2007. Chemical Non-Lethal Weapons: Why the Pentagon Wants Them and Why Others Don't.
By Steve Wright. The Guardian. May 24, 2007. When Drugs Become Weapons.
By Jeremy Bransten. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, January 30, 2007. US: Pentagon Unveils the Next Generation of Nonlethal Weapons.
The New Atlantis. No. 9, summer 2005, p 116-119. Shooting Not to Kill.
BBC News. January 15, 2005. US Military Pondered Love not War.
By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. April 30, 2003. ICRC says it was Muzzled on Incapacitating Weapons.
By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. April 29, 2003. Conference Unlikely to Address Nonlethal Chemicals.
By Kerry Boyd. Arms Control Today. April 2003. US Grapples with Use of Nonlethal Agents.
By David Isenberg. Asia Times. April 1, 2003. Next Up: "Non-lethal" Chemicals that Kill.
By Elisa Harris. Baltimore Sun. March 27, 2003. Nonlethal Chemical Weapons Pose Different Threat.
By Alastair Hay. The Guardian. March 12, 2003. Out of the Straitjacket.
By Paul Elias. AP News. March 2, 2003. US Tear Gas Use in Iraq may Violate Weapons Treaties.
By Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell. The Independent. March 2, 2003. US Prepares to use Toxic Gases in Iraq.
By Bill Mesler. The Nation. February 17, 2003. The Pentagon's "Nonlethal" Gas.
By Severin Carrell. The Independent. February 16, 2003. US Plans to Use Illegal Weapons.
By Brad Knickerbocker. The Christian Science Monitor. February 14, 2003. The Fuzzy Ethics of Nonlethal Weapons.
By David McGlinchey. Global Security Newswire. February 6, 2003. United States: Rumsfeld Says Pentagon Wants Use of Nonlethal Gas.
By Erik Baard. The Village Voice. January 22-28, 2003. (Discusses chemical manipulation of emotions) The Guilt-Free Solider.
By Stephen Mihm. The New York Times. December 15, 2002. The Year in Ideas; Stench Warfare.
By Barbara Rosenberg and Mark Wheelis. LA Times. Dec. 1, 2002. "Nonlethal" Weapons Put Humanity at Risk.
By Brad Knickerbocker. The Christian Science Monitor. November 4, 2002. US Moves into Emerging Bioweapons Era.
By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. November 4, 2002. United States: US Military Studying Nonlethal Chemicals.
By The Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, November 4, 2002. The Moscow Theater Russian Hostage Crisis: Incapacitatants and Chemical Warfare.
By Lois Ember. Chemical and Engineering News. v 80( 44), p6, November 4, 2002. Opiate Ends Hostage Crisis.
By William J. Broad. The New York Times. November 3, 2002. The World; Oh, What a Lovely War. If No One Dies.
By David Ruppe. Global Security Newswire. October 30, 2002. CWC: Experts Differ on Whether Russian Hostage Rescue Violated Treaty.
By Judith Miller and William J. Broad. New York Times, October 29, 2002. Hostage Drama in Moscow: The Toxic Agent; US Suspects Opiate in Gas in Russia Raid.
By Julian Borger. The Guardian. October 29, 2002. US Weapons Secrets Exposed.
By Matt Kelley. San-Diego Union-Tribune. September 25, 2002. Pentagon Discusses Ways to Use Chemicals to Calm Rioters.
Science. August 2, 2002. (account required for access) US Research on Seditives in Combat Sets Off Alarms.
By Lev Grossman. Time. July 21, 2002. Beyond the Rubber Bullet.
By Debora MacKenzie. New Scientist. May 11, 2002. Non-Lethal Weapons Kept Secret.