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Chapter 6
Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances


6-74. There are advantages and disadvantages in using nonlethal weapons.

  • Nonlethal weapons can be used alone, when they are backed up with the ability to use lethal force, or in conjunction with lethal force. Leaders apply ROE to determine when and where nonlethal weapons may be used. ROE should not jeopardize the right of Soldiers to protect life where necessary with lethal force.
  • Employ nonlethal weapons consistent with extant treaties, conventions, and international and national laws. Their use should be morally and ethically justifiable.
  • Use nonlethal weapons proportionately (the least destructive way to defeat insurgents) and discriminately (protect noncombatants from direct intentional attack).
  • In planning the employment of nonlethal weapons, fully rehearse the operational response to all possible reactions.
  • Anticipate, coordinate, and prepare for responses from the civil, public affairs, medical, and legal authorities as a consequence of unintended results and side effects caused by the use of nonlethal weapons.
  • Nonlethal weapons should be fully integrated with lethal weapons in order to provide a graduated response to a situation based upon the perception of the threat and use of minimum force.
  • Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without considering countermeasures to possible crowd reactions to their use.
  • Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without political-military consideration for instructions that may be given.
  • Nonlethal weapons should be employed so as to minimize friendly casualties troops.

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