• Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP). Research Report No. 6.

      Davison, N.; Lewer, N. (University of Bradford, 2004)
      New non-lethal technologies (weapons and delivery systems) continue to make the news, both for their civil and military applications. Technologies which were considered to be in the realm of science fiction a few years ago, are now beginning to undergo field trials or, in some cases, are being deployed with police and soldiers on active service. As this, and our previous reports have highlighted, the development of acoustic weapons (Long Range Acoustic Device) and microwave weapons (Active Denial System) have proceeded rapidly as have advances in robotic, unmanned vehicles for the delivery of both lethal and non-lethal weapons. We repeat our concern that there is a danger of these new non-lethal technologies being `rushed¿ into service (1) without thorough testing for harmful health effects, (2) without a deeper consideration of civil and human rights, (3) without full discussion of their impact on arms control treaties and conventions, and (4) without further study of their social and cultural impact. Since many such weapons will have a rheostatic capacity along the non-lethal to lethal continuum, it is important that weapons developers and manufacturers, and those charged with the responsibility of using them, are held clearly accountable and have transparent rules of engagement. Of particular concern are a new generation of biological and chemical weapons. With respect to the health impact, NATO has a panel working on NLW human effects, the Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) Panel 073, which is due to report later this year (2004) on the Human Effects of Non-Lethal Technologies.1