• Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP). Research Report No. 5.

      Davison, N.; Lewer, N. (University of Bradford., 2004)
      Two recent detailed reports, by the U.K Northern Ireland Office (NIO) - January 2004 1 and the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) - February 2004 2, provide further insights into current policy and technology developments in the U.K. and U.S. The NIO report is the 4th and final report of a U.K wide Steering Group set up by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in Summer 2000, with the objective: To establish whether a less potentially lethal alternative to baton rounds is available; and to review the public order equipment which is presently available, or could be developed, in order to expand the range of tactical options available to operational commanders. 3 In her foreword to the report Jane Kennedy, Minister of State for Northern Ireland notes that: Despite a protracted and international search for a commercially available product, we have been unable to find anything that meets the criteria of an acceptable, potentially less lethal alternative to the baton round currently in service which provides an effective capability that does not expose officers and the public to greater risk in violent public disorder.4 The NIO Report has sections looking at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) programme on the development of less lethal technologies (particularly the Attenuating Energy Projectile and the Discriminating Irritant Projectile); commercial off the shelf product evaluations and update (12 Gauge Sock Round Assessment); Water Cannon; the U.K. use of less lethal technologies (with a focus on L21A1 baton rounds, CS sprays and the Taser). The report also contains a section entitled `The Management of Conflict¿ which discusses the dynamics of crowd behaviour. For a critical response to the NIO report see that from Dr. Brian Rappert.5 The CFR report provides a strong endorsement for non-lethal weapons. A key finding states: Wider integration of nonlethal weapons 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. Incorporating 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. 6 Interestingly, in describing the nonlethal capability sets (NLCS) which have been deployed in Kosovo and Iraq, and which help to provide a continuum of force between ¿don¿t shoot¿ and ¿shoot¿ 7, the CFR seems to distinguish between NLWs (rubber balls [grenades and shotgun munitions], bean bags, riot shields, Tasers, net entanglers, and caltrops), and equipment such as flash-bang grenades, laser dazzlers, and bullhorns of which it states ¿It is important to note that these are not weapons but non-lethal capabilities¿ 8 The CFR recommends expanded deployment of NLWs in the armed services, longer ranges for non-lethal payloads using precision delivery and fusing systems, and further development of millimetre-wave area-denial system (HPM weapons such as VMADS) and the advanced tactical laser (ATL). The report also argues for the need to have a bigger Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD) or a new Non-lethal Joint Program Office (NLJPO) and for Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP) ¿ Research Report 5 (May 2004) 2 closer links with the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). In the opinion of the authors the JNLWD should also have more access into classified programmes throughout all branches of the armed services so as not to duplicate non-lethal development initiatives. To stimulate incorporation of NLWs throughout the U.S. Armed Services the CFR advocates two approaches: (1) top-down planning in the Defense department and (2) creation of demand for these [NLWs] weapons from the field as personnel gain experience with prototype equipment. 9 They argue there is a need for the top-level military and civilian leadership to be educated about NLW capabilities, not only for warfighting and peacekeeping, but also in `homeland defence in isolating a hot zone in the aftermath of a biological attack' 10. We will be referring again to both the NIO and CFR publications in other sections of this report.