Non-Lethal Weapons and Force-Casualty Aversion in 21st Century Warfare

Chukwuma Osakwe, Ubong Essien Umoh


Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) such as humanitarian intervention in peacekeeping operations have been the main arguments for the development and deployment of non-lethal weapons. Such weapons which are spin-offs of the current Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) seek to reduce human casualties in warfare by reducing deaths and neutralising bloodshed. This constitutes a great leap-backward from the destructive arsenals of previous centuries. Previous studies have examined the motivation for the use of non-lethal weapons as being influenced by deterrent capability, civil policing, riot control, and stability and peace support operations. The support for the development and deployment of non-lethal weapons to avert casualties in warfare has been left in relative neglect. This paper argues that the most significant military utility of non-lethal weapons in warfare in 21st century lies in Force-Casualty Aversion (FCA).

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