DoD Policy on Non-Lethal Weapons, and Other New Directives

04.29.13 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Department of Defense has revised its 1996 directive on non-lethal weapons (NLW) to guide future development and procurement of this category of weaponry.

“Unlike conventional lethal weapons that destroy their targets principally through blast, penetration, and fragmentation, NLW employ means other than gross physical destruction to prevent the target from functioning. NLW are intended to have relatively reversible effects on personnel or materiel,” the revised directive explains.

“It is DoD policy that NLW doctrine and concepts of operation will be developed to reinforce deterrence and expand the range of options available to commanders.”

The directive does not apply to information operations, cyber operations or electronic warfare capabilities.  See DoD Executive Agent for Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW), and NLW Policy, DoD Directive 3000.03E, April 25, 2013.

Other noteworthy new or updated DoD issuances include the following.

DoD Nuclear Weapons Surety Program, DoD Directive 3150.02, April 24, 2013

DoD Counterfeit Prevention Policy, DoD Instruction 4140.67, April 26, 2013

Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Oversight (ATSD(IO)), DoD Directive 5148.11, April 24, 2013

Use of Excess Ballistic Missiles for Space Launch, Directive-Type Memorandum (DTM) 11-008, July 5, 2011, Incorporating Change 3, April 25, 2013