Defense Technology

Task Force Report No. 4

Non-Lethal Technologies

The U.S. approach to international conflicts in the post-Cold War period—how we think about them and what actions we take—is enormously affected by America's capabilities to quell them by diplomatic, economic, and military means. To date, the United States has been trapped between classic diplomatic table-thumping and indiscriminate economic sanctions on the one hand, and major military intervention on the other hand. But a new and effective middle option may emerge in the future, one that could lend weight to U.S. crisis diplomacy in situations such as the conflict in Kosovo and offer new capabilities for pressuring adversaries or fighting wars with minimal loss of life. This potential new option could come in the form of non-lethal warfare.

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