CNS Research Story

Police subdue a rioter. [Src: Institute for Non-lethal Defense Technologies]
Police subdue a rioter.
[Src: Institute for Non-lethal Defense Technologies]

Agents Being Researched by U.S. Government For Introduction or Improvement as NLW

Active Denial System
(a.k.a. Directed Energy Beam)
  • highly focused, electromagnetic wave beam
  • heats up top 1/64th inch of skin
  • produces intense burning sensation for duration of stimulus
  • does not actually burn skin
  • symptoms disappear when subject moves out of contact with beam
Blunt Projectiles
  • provide alternative to rubber bullets
  • include softer, flatter bullets, beanbags, sponges
  • designed to spread out impact
  • designed not to damage eyes
  • drugs that can calm an aggressive individual or crowd
  • considering psychiatric drugs, such as Prozac and Valium
  • considering "club" and "date rape" drugs, such as GHB and Ketamine
Giant Webs
  • durable, Kevlar nets
  • designed to halt vehicles, entangle targets
Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation (HEMI)
(a.k.a. Taser)
  • generates an electro-magnetic current
  • passes into body through darts, wires, or direct contact
  • causes involuntary contraction of skeletal muscles
  • body loses posture for duration of stimulus
  • products currently in use are M26 and X26 Taser
(a.k.a. "stink bomb")
  • repellent smells that quickly clear area
  • cause vomiting, disorientation
  • smells include vomit, burnt hair, sewage, and rotting flesh
Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray
(a.k.a. "pepper spray")
  • extracted from capsicum pepper plant
  • organic, FDA-approved
  • available without prescription in U.S.
  • causes severe and immediate burning upon contact with face, nose, and eyes
Sprayable Antitraction Gel
(a.k.a. Mobility Denial System)
  • creates surface 10 times as slippery as ice
  • surface impossible to drive, walk, or climb on
  • non-toxic, biodegradable
  • dries up in approximately 12 hours

Chemical Non-Lethal Weapons -- Why the Pentagon Wants Them and Why Others Don't

While some experts hail "non-lethal weapons" as a "silver bullet" forever changing the face of warfare, others point out they are only "less-lethal". Moreover, some are chemical in nature and may be incompatible with international law, particularly the Chemical Weapons Convention.

By Ingrid Lombardo, Graduate Research Assistant, East Asia Nonproliferation Program

8 June 2007


On January 27, 2007, the Pentagon demonstrated the Active Denial System (ADS) at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia. Unlike traditional weapons, the ADS does not kill or harm its targets; instead, it emits a highly concentrated energy beam that creates the sensation of unbearable heat, repelling people from its path without harming them. The release of the ADS is part of a wider effort on the part of the U.S. Department of Defense to design non-lethal weapons (NLW)--weapons that may temporarily stun, calm, or disable combatants without causing permanent injury or death. While some experts hail NLW as a "silver bullet" that will forever change the face of warfare, other experts point out that these new systems are only "less-lethal" than previous methods. Moreover, some NLW--particularly calmatives and malodorants--are chemical in nature and their use in warfare may not be compatible with international law, particularly the guidelines of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).

This paper examines NLW and the Pentagon's research into the feasibility of incorporating them into U.S. military strategy. While other countries have expressed interest in NLW, in particular the United Kingdom and Russia for law enforcement purposes, this report focuses on the consideration of NLW by the U.S. military, which is the global leader in NLW research and development.[1] In order to underscore the degree of the government's interest in NLW, this paper describes three separate Defense Department-sponsored research programs conducted by the Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate. The report then analyzes the arguments for and against NLW, providing a summary of the possible benefits and risks associated with their use in the field. Finally, the paper examines the question of whether or not the CWC allows for use of NLW in military conflicts. This study concludes that more research is needed before NLW can be safely incorporated into U.S. wartime strategy. While international law forbids the use of NLW in traditional combat situations, it does not specifically exclude the use of NLW by military for peace-keeping functions, such as mitigating hostage situations, suppressing POW riots, controlling over-anxious refugees, and maintaining order in occupied territories.

What are NLW and Who Wants Them?

According to the Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies at Pennsylvania State University, a non-lethal weapon is a weapon or piece of equipment whose purpose is to affect the behavior of an individual without injuring or killing the person. NLW are also intended not to cause serious damage to property, infrastructure, or the environment.[2] Originally, the term "non-lethal" was applied strictly to equipment and tools used by police for the purpose of riot control. However, the term has changed over time to include technologies used by both military and police to handle hostile individuals, manage crowds, control prisoners, and aid in hostage rescue.[3]

A 2003 report issued by the U.S. National Research Council indicated that NLW are under consideration by the U.S. military and law enforcement with the following purposes in mind:

  1. counterpersonnel, e.g. "controlling crowds; incapacitating individuals; denying areas to personnel; and clearing personnel from facilities, structures, or areas of operation;"
  2. countermateriel, e.g. "denying areas to vehicles, vessels, or aircraft, and disabling or neutralizing vehicles, vessels, aircraft, or equipment;" and
  3. countercapability, e.g. "disabling or neutralizing facilities and systems and denying use of weapons of mass destruction."[4]

The Pentagon is currently seeking to expand the list of non-lethal technologies at its disposal. The agents under consideration include, but are not limited to: acoustic systems that can create uncomfortable sounds; webs that can entangle people and automobiles; and non-penetrating projectiles. Also under consideration are chemical-based weapons such as malodorants (which create offensive smells that can clear an area) and calmatives (drugs that can alter the mindset and motivations of target individuals).[5] (For a list of non-lethal technologies currently under U.S. Government consideration, see the sidebar.)

A number of institutes in the United States are working on the development of NLW, including research programs at Pennsylvania State University and Monell Chemical Senses Center, described below. Both these programs include research on chemical-based non-lethal technologies.

Research Program on Calmatives: Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

The Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies (INLDT) provides research services, support, education, and training on non-lethal technology for both military and law enforcement.[6] Its overall goal is to provide military and law enforcement with the tools necessary to be more effective in their operations, especially in situations where lethal force is unnecessary.

While most of the INLDT's work is classified, some of the institute's reports have been made available through the Freedom of Information Act. One such report is The Advantages and Limitations of Calmatives for Use as a Non-Lethal Technique, published on October 3, 2000. According to the Executive Summary of that report, the purpose of the INLDT study was to: "assess the use of pharmaceutical agents as calmatives with potential use as non-lethal techniques." The report continues that "pharmaceutical agents, or calmatives, with a profile of producing a calm-like behavioral state were considered highly appropriate for consideration in the design, enhancement, and implementation of non-lethal techniques."[7] Convulsants were also considered.

Within this report, INLDT researchers identified drugs that would induce a state of mild sedation in targets but not cause hypnosis, coma, or death.[8] The compounds that were considered to have a high potential for use as NLW are listed in the table below. The report recommended the use of pharmaceutical drugs by the military and police in their operations, noting in its final conclusion that "the development and use of non-lethal calmative techniques is achievable and desirable."[9]

Table: Compounds considered to have a high potential for use as NLW [10]

Drug Class Common Names of Drugs in this Class Effect
benzodiazepines Valium, Versed Calming effect -- often used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy
alpha2-adrenoreceptor agonists Precedex Sedative effect -- often used in coordination with anesthesia
dopamine D3 receptor agonists N/A Calming effect -- often used to treat psychosis and withdrawal symptoms in users of cocaine and PCP (phencyclidine)
serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors Prozac, Zoloft Calming effect -- often used to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder
serotonin 5-HT1A receptor agonists Buspar Anxiety relief -- does not cause sedation
opioid receptors and mu agonists morphine Narcotic effect -- often used as a pain killer, produces sedation and euphoria
neurolept anesthetics N/A Hypnotic effect -- rapidly induces amnesia
neurolept anesthetic combinations fentynal (drug used in the Moscow theatre hostage crisis), Ketamine (popularly abused hallucinogenic and "date rape" drug) Neuroleptic effect -- induces state in which reflexes and muscle tone remain intact but patient is tranquilized, sedated, mentally detached, and indifferent
corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor antagonists peptide hormone Calming effect -- used to relieve anxiety and stress, particularly after seizures
cholecystokinin B receptor antagonists N/A May cause or inhibit panic, depending on compound

Research Program on Malodorants: Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In addition to studies on calmatives, the Monell Chemical Senses Center has conducted U.S. government-sponsored studies on the development of a class of chemical NLW called malodorants.[11] Searching for smells that could serve as people repellants, Monell scientists combined natural and synthesized compounds to create offensive odors such as those of excrement and rotting flesh. Using perishable food items, animal carcasses, blood, sulphur, and other ingredients, they created smells that would cause nausea, vomiting, disorientation and panic in test subjects.[12] Though Monell was able to create effective malodorants, their studies did not include designing methods for the deployment and weaponization of the compounds.

Additional Research on NLW: Joint NLW Directorate (JNLWD), Department of Defense (DOD)

The Joint NLW Directorate of the Department of Defense has been working on improving NLW technologies since 1996.[13] A 2002 report entitled An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology cites a "clear and growing" need for military options other than lethal force.[14] Among other techniques, the report calls for increased research and development on "calmatives and malodorants for controlling crowds and clearing facilities."[15] Because these weapons would be new to the U.S. arsenal, the Pentagon recognizes that the full implications of their use are not yet understood. In order properly to assess the feasibility of deploying these kinds of weapons, the JNLWD report calls for "more research to understand biomechanical and physiological response mechanisms" in target individuals and the "effects on individuals and groups associated with repeated exposure."[16] JNLWD researchers were optimistic that if the full implications of NLW, including calmatives and malodorants, could be understood, then these new weapons could become an accepted component of U.S. wartime strategy.[17] Overall, the JNLWD report concludes that "the development and deployment of more capable NLW should be given a higher priority."[18]

Why the Pentagon Wants Them -- the Case for Chemical NLW

Those supporting the development of NLW argue that their use by military and police provides certain advantages, including societal acceptance, fewer fatalities, and flexibility of response when lethal force is inappropriate. NLW could prove particularly valuable when military targets are hidden among civilian populations. According to senior officials in the U.S. military, the decreased fatalities brought about by using NLW could make the use of force more publicly acceptable.[19] Andy Mazzara, who directs the research program at Penn State, and who formerly headed the Joint NLW Program, also argued that such weapons will be recognized as "more humane" than conventional deadly force employed during the police rescue of hostages, because they can mitigate the crisis without causing death.[20] Proponents further argue that non-lethal methods, such as calmatives and malodorants, are preferable to the use of blunt trauma and other painful methods. According to the INLDT report:

"One area of consideration is that blunt trauma has an incidence of organ damage, which may include the eyes, liver, kidney, spleen, heart and brain that may be permanent or even deadly...In contrast, a pharmaceutical agent may be administered in a discrete manner to a selected individual or a drug agent may be selected with a known duration of effect."[21]

Though opponents point out that the clandestine use of drugs on the battlefield carries its own set of risks (see the section on the Dubrovka Theatre hostage crisis below), insiders speculate that this technique would still be more acceptable to domestic and international audiences than lethal force.[22]

According to proponents of the development of NLW, traditional weapons offer police few options when dealing with non-compliant individuals. The INLDT points out that law enforcement is typically restricted to the two options of threatening or applying deadly force, whereas NLW provide a "wider range of choices" and allow "police the flexibility to act appropriately when circumstances may limit the use of lethal means."[23] In a situation where law enforcement officials may be reluctant to resort to deadly force, having access to a range of non-lethal options would increase their ability to carry out their jobs.[24]

In situations in which combatants are interspersed with civilian populations, as was seen in U.S. interventions in Panama, Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia, proponents argue that a "robust capability" in the realm of NLW would aid troops operating in these types of conflicts.[25] In theory, a non-lethal weapon could be administered to incapacitate a large group of people; then forces could go in and separate the military targets from their civilian counterparts--the latter of whom would recover unharmed. Pentagon officials make the argument that this technique might have been effective in battles against Saddam Hussein's forces, which were notorious for using civilians as human shields and then blaming U.S. forces for their deaths.[26] In conflicts where civilians or hostages are interspersed with military targets, NLW could prove to be an important tool in the protection of "noncombatants, human shields, and those forced to take up arms."[27]

Further illustrating the point, a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force evaluating U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq concluded that a "wider integration of NLW into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have reduced damage, saved lives, and helped to limit the widespread looting and sabotage that occurred after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq."[28] One might also speculate as to whether NLW could play a role against insurgent fighters in Iraq that are currently destabilizing the country. On NLW in general, the CFR task force concluded, "incorporating the NLW capabilities into the equipment, training, and doctrine of the armed services could substantially improve U.S. effectiveness in conflict, post conflict, and homeland defense."[29]

Why Others Do Not Want the Pentagon to Have Them - the Case Against Chemical NLW

As the U.S. military further examines the possibilities for developing and incorporating NLW such as calmatives and malodorants into their war-fighting strategy, critics have been vigorously formulating and espousing the case against their use. One of the objections raised by opponents of NLW development is the point that NLW do not always work the way they are supposed to and that they can and do cause death.[30] A well-documented example of how NLW can become lethal was the Moscow Dubrovka Theater incident in 2002. In that now infamous case, Chechen terrorists stormed the theater during a musical performance and took over 800 hostages. The terrorists demanded an end to the war in Chechnya, and the Russian authorities negotiated with them for over two days without reaching an agreement. Russian authorities decided to pump the opiate fentanyl into the theater to incapacitate the hostages and hostage-takers alike. The move ended the siege, allowing the police to apprehend all the captors; however, the gas also caused 127 of the hostages to die from respiratory failure.[31]

Chemical NLW appear on the surface to be an ideal solution for many law enforcement and military problems; by simply dispersing the agent in the air, dangerous episodes, like a riot or a hostage situation, could be ended relatively peacefully. In practice, opponents argue, NLW would not likely perform as well as expected in most instances. One particular fear is the risk of death, particularly when using incapacitating agents, where the margin of error between knocking someone out and killing them can be very small.[32] As Robin Coupland of the International Committee of the Red Cross points out "the only difference between a drug and a poison is the dose."[33] Rendering a person unconscious is a very delicate process; it becomes even more complicated when dealing with a large heterogeneous crowd of people varying in age, height, and weight, and situated at various distances from the dispersal mechanism. Injury or death in these situations would be hard to avoid.[34] In addition to questions of dosage, others point out that the administration of anesthesia demands careful monitoring for apnea (stopped breathing) or obstruction of airway. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and the handicapped are in particular danger of suffering adverse effects from incapacitation.[35] A conflict situation is not conducive to the high level of monitoring necessary to ensure target safety.

Opponents of the development of new chemical NLW also point to the imperfect safety record of already accepted chemical technologies, such as the riot control agents tear (CS) gas and pepper (OC) spray. Chemical riot control agents are currently restricted to domestic law enforcement purposes, and are considered to be relatively benign, but their use does have its risks. A report from the U.S. Department of Justice analyzed 63 cases in which suspects that had been exposed to OC spray by U.S. law enforcement officials died afterwards in custody. According to the report, "The study of in-custody deaths concluded that pepper spray contributed to death in two of the 63 cases, both involving people with asthma."[36]

In addition to questions of safety, critics of the development of NLW for war fighting purposes further point out that the use of chemical NLW in warfare might become a "slippery slope" leading to the re-deployment of traditional chemical weapons. [37] When considering the most notorious known cases of traditional chemical weapons use in history, including World War I, Manchuria, Ethiopia, Yemen, and the Iran-Iraq war, it has been noted that they began with tear gas and escalated from there.[38] Consistent with this model, during the Vietnam War in the early 1960s, the U.S. military considered switching from CS (tear) gas to fentanyl, after attacks launched against Viet Cong officers transporting supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail often killed assisting peasants.[39] Ultimately, authorities decided against weaponizing the opiate for use in combat, but the option was considered.[40]

Opponents of the use of NLW for war fighting also argue that the use of these weapons by powers such as the United States could lead to their proliferation to other nations. Steve Wright, director of the Omega Foundation, an affiliate of Amnesty International, points out that developing these weapons is therefore "dangerous and irresponsible." According to Wright, these agents could easily fall into hostile hands and be turned against U.S. forces.[41] Mark Wheelis, of University of California at Davis, futher points out that if the United States and the United Kingdom develop and deploy non-lethal chemical weapons, these weapons will proliferate to other countries that may not choose to use the weapons responsibly.[42]

Malodorants have been singled out for particular proliferation concern. Though designed to be non-toxic, malodorants have been used as masking agents for lethal chemical weapons. In World War I, for example, noxious smells were used to camouflage mustard gas; in some cases malodorants were used to create the fear that lethal gas was being dispersed.[43] U.S. CW experts noted after WWI that "malodorous compounds" had been "useful to mask the presence of other 'gases' or to force the enemy to wear respirators when no other 'gases' [were] present."[44] If these types of malodorants were to fall into the hands of "rogue" states or terrorists groups, their use could cause significant problems for U.S. and other allied forces.

NLW and the CWC

Apart from the safety and lethality issues NLW pose, many critics also argue that the use of chemical-based NLW is in direct violation of international law--particularly the CWC. According to a 2003 editorial in the CBW Conventions Bulletin: "It is hard to think of any issue having as much potential for jeopardizing the long-term future of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions as does the interest in creating special exemptions for so-called 'non-lethal' chemical weapons."[45] Many experts have argued that use of chemical NLW for anything other than domestic riot control would be illegal under the CWC and that CW can never be used by the military under any circumstances.[46] Under this argument, therefore, the current research by the United States on weapons explicitly intended for military use and as incapacitating agents would be in violation of the Convention.[47] However, a detailed examination of the language of the CWC points to a much more ambiguous answer with regards to NLW research and development.

It is accurate to say that chemical-based NLW, such as those discussed in this paper, can be considered CW if they are a toxic chemical, even if they are not intended to cause death or injury. (For the definition of CW, see Article II of the CWC.) According to the convention, an agent is considered a toxic chemical if its effects include "temporary incapacitation;" the CWC forbids the use of toxic chemicals in warfare. Furthermore, chemical-based NLW likely fall under the CWC's definition of riot control agents, because they "produce rapidly in humans sensory irritation or disabling physical effects which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure." The CWC specifically prohibits the use of riot control agents "as a method of warfare."[48]

Since chemical-based NLW would fall under the CWC's definitions of toxic chemicals and riot control agents, they cannot be used by military forces of CWC state parties in traditional military conflicts. However, how these agents may be used by military troops serving purposes other than fighting in traditional battles is not as clear-cut. The CWC allows for the use of chemical agents for "military purposes not connected with the use of chemical weapons and not dependent on the use of toxic properties of chemicals as a method of warfare."[49] Some examples of situations in which the CWC would not specifically forbid the use of chemical agents include mitigating hostage situations, maintaining order in prisoner of war camps, distributing emergency supplies to over-anxious civilians, or maintaining a presence during the staging of civil processes such as the holding of elections, opening of schools and hospitals, or other activities that might incur a hostile response.

When looking at forces working outside of their home country that are tasked with "keeping the peace," international law generally defines the term "law enforcement" as: maintaining public order and safety during occupations; controlling prisoners of war; and peacekeeping, either under a consensual agreement between the country and the peacekeeper providers, or as authorized by the UN Security Council. [50] If agents such as malodorants and calmatives were to be used by military forces in these circumstances, it would not necessarily be in violation of the CWC. Therefore, while it may have been unlawful for the U.S. military to use devices like pepper spray, calmatives, or malodorants during its invasion of Iraq in 2003, now that the traditional combat phase of the conflict is over, occupying troops would not necessarily be forbidden from using chemical NLW to maintain order.


For several decades, the U.S. Department of Defense has conducted research into NLW. While few objections have been raised over non-chemical NLW, the chemical technologies have generated controversy. They have been opposed by many groups and individuals for reasons such as their unpredictability in real life situations, occasional unintended lethality, risk of escalation to lethal chemical weapons, risk of abuse if obtained by hostile forces, and allegations that their use by the military would constitute a violation of the CWC. Bearing in mind the health and safety factors of the use of these agents, it is clear that more research would be needed before chemical NLW could be safely deployed.

With regards to the compatibility of research and use of these agents with the guidelines of the CWC, chemical NLW, like riot control agents, can clearly not be used as part of traditional combat operations. That being said, military forces could use these agents for the purposes of maintaining order, control, and peace in controlled territories. For that reason, the on-going research of these agents by the United States and other state parties to the CWC should not be seen as a violation of the treaty.

[1] Tobias Feakin, "Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP); Research Report 3," University of Bradford, August 2001, available at
[2] "Frequently Asked Questions," Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, 29 November 2006, available at
[3] Ibid.
[4] "An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology," Committee for an Assessment of NLW Science and Technology, Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, pp. ix-x, available at
[5] "Free Executive Summary, An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology," Committee for an Assessment of NLW Science and Technology, Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, available at
[6] "Frequently Asked Questions," Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, 29 November 2006, available at
[7]Joan M. Lakoski, W. Bosseau Murray, and John M. Kenny, "The Advantages and Limitations of Calmatives for Use as a Non-Lethal Technique," College of Medicine, Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University, 3 October 2000, p. 2.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid, p. 49.
[10] Ibid, p. 16-45.
[11] "Monell in Brief," Monell Chemical Senses Center, 14 December 2006, available at
[12] Stephen Mihm, "The Year in Ideas; Stench Warfare," New York Times, 15 December 2002, p. 126; Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe, available at
[13] "An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology -- Summary," National Research Council, Naval Studies Board, National Academy Press website, November 2002, available at
[14] Ibid.
[15] Ibid.
[16] "Free Executive Summary, An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology," Committee for an Assessment of NLW Science and Technology, Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. 6, available at
[17] Ibid.
[18] "An Assessment of NLW Science and Technology," Committee for an Assessment of NLW Science and Technology, Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003, p. xviii, available at
[19] Stephen Fidler, "Military Looks Again at Non-Lethal Arms: US Armed Forces Face Legal Complications as they Explore the Use of Knock-Out Agents, Writes Stephen Fidler," Financial Times, 5 December 2002, p. 9; ProQuest, available at
[20] John J. Fialka and Marilyn Chase, "U.S. Agency Set to Issue Report on Nonlethal Weapon Science," Wall Street Journal, 1 November 2002, p. B2; ProQuest, available at
[21] Lakoski, p. 11.
[22] Ann Roosevelt, "Military Wants More, Better NLW," Defense Daily, 7 November 2003, p.1; ProQuest, available at
[23] "Guiding Principles," Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, 29 November 2006, available at
[24] Ibid.
[25] "Background," Institute for Non-Lethal Defense Technologies, 29 November 2006, available at
[26] Brad Knickerbocker, "The Fuzzy Ethics of Nonlethal Weapons; Pentagon Wants to Use Riot-Control Agents in Iraq, but Critics Say It's Chemical Warfare," Christian Science Monitor, 14 February 2003, p. 2; ProQuest, available at
[27] Ibid.
[28] Jefferson Morris, "Task Force for Major Push in Nonlethal Weapons," Aerospace Daily, 27 February 2004, p. 1; ProQuest, available at
[29] Jefferson Morris, "The Fuzzy Ethics of Nonlethal Weapons; Pentagon Wants to Use Riot-Control Agents in Iraq, but Critics Say It's Chemical Warfare," Christian Science Monitor, 14 February 2003, p. 2; ProQuest, available at
[30] Lev Grossman, "Beyond the Rubber Bullet," Time, 29 July 2002, p. 46; ProQuest, available at
[31] Tucker, Jonathan. War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from WWI to Al Qaeda. Pantheon Books, New York, February 2003, p. 384.
[32] Guy Gugliotta, "U.S. Finds Hurdles in Search for Nonlethal Gas," Washington Post, 1 November 2002, p. A30; ProQuest, available at
[33] Robin Coupland, "Calmatives and Incapacitants -- Questions for International Humanitarian Law Brought by New Means and Methods of Warfare with New Effects," for the Open Forum on Challenges to the Chemical Weapons Ban, Peace Palace, the Hague, 1 May 2003.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Barton Reppert, "Force Without Fatalities," Government Executive, May 2001, p. 47; ProQuest, available at
[36] "The Effectiveness and Safety of Pepper Spray," U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice No. 195739, Research for Practice, 01 April 2003.
[37] Knickerbocker, 2003.
[38] "'Non-Lethal' Weapons, the CWC and the BWC," The CBW Conventions Bulletin, Quarterly Journal of the Harvard Sussex Program on CBW Armament and Arms Limitation, Issue No. 61, September 2003, p.2; Nicholas Wade and Eric Schmitt, "Bush Approves Use of Tear Gas in Battlefield," Toronto Star, 2 April 2003, available at For a detailed account of the case in Yemen, see War of Nerves: Chemical Warfare from WWI to Al Qaeda, by Jonathan Tucker, Chapter Ten, p. 190.
[39] "The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis: Incapacitants and Chemical Warfare," Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Research Story of the Week, 4 November 2002, available at
[40] Ibid.
[41] Grossman.
[42] Fidler.
[43] Eric Croddy,, Chemical and Biological Warfare: A Comprehensive Survey for the Concerned Citizen, New York, Copernicus Books, 2002, p. 125.
[44] Victor Lefebure, The Riddle of the Rhine: Chemical Strategy in Peace and War, New York, The Chemical Foundation, Inc., 1923, p. 218.
[45] "'Non-Lethal' Weapons, the CWC and the BWC," The CBW Conventions Bulletin, Quarterly Journal of the Harvard Sussex Program on CBW Armament and Arms Limitation, Issue No. 61, September 2003, p.1.
[46] Fidler.
[47] Ibid.
[48] The CWC does not specifically define "warfare". For the purposes of this paper, "warfare" will be treated as a conflict between states in which an official declaration of war has been made.
[49] CWC, Article II, point 9(c).
[50] Hatch Barbara Rosenberg, "Riot Control Agents and the Chemical Weapons Convention," for the Open Forum on Challenges to the Chemical Weapons Ban, The Peace Palace, The Hague, 1 May 2003.

View previous Research Stories.

Author(s): Ingrid Lombardo
Related Resources: Chemical, Americas, Research Story
Date Created: June 8, 2007
Date Updated: June 12, 2007
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