a Graduated Response Utilizing
and Non-Lethal Weapons
Situation: The country of Coriland has undergone civil unrest for four months. Guerrilla forces have taken three major cities and are now attacking the capitol. An airborne infantry company has been deployed at the request of the U.S. Ambassador to conduct a noncombatant evacuation operation in an uncertain, possibly hostile environment. The company has just landed on the hot landing zone (HLZ) and has begun movement toward the U.S. Embassy. Along its route, the lead platoon encounters a crowd of demonstrators numbering well over 300.
The platoon leader immediately directs his attached Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT) to broadcast the United States' intent and approved psychological message to the crowd. The crowd begins to yell louder and move toward the platoon. Realizing that the situation is beginning to escalate and the crowd is becoming a threat to his mission, the platoon leader directs his men to place their weapons at the ready and has the lead squad chamber rounds in their weapons.
The TPT immediately escalates its message to warnings. The warnings inform the crowd that U.S. forces will use whatever force is necessary to accomplish their mission and to defend themselves. An attached interpreter is finally able to start a conversation with the apparent leader of the crowd. The leader makes it clear that his people will not clear the way. They have no intention of letting the U.S. force pass. They fear that if the Americans are evacuated, their government will collapse and they will be left fearing for their lives from the guerillas.
Twenty or so demonstrators from the crowd form a line in front of the U.S. force. They are carrying axes, machetes, and clubs. The platoon leader has been constantly reporting to his higher headquarters. Higher dispatches a UH60 with an Airborne Loud Speaker (ALS) to the scene. The UH60 hovers over the crowd. The ALS broadcasts a warning to the crowd. It is specifically directed at the armed civilians. The crowd wavers, but does not disperse.
By this time, the company commander is on site. In conjunction with the interpreter and TPT, he decides to demonstrate his company's capability. He uses a non-infrared laser pointer to place a spot on a vehicle away from civilians. He has the interpreter direct the crowd's attention toward the vehicle and orders his sniper to shoot at the laser spot. The crowd immediately relents. The commander directs his force to move forward in a crowd-control wedge formation. The force eventually makes it to the objective without a hostile situation developing and no casualties.
The increased U.S. participation in contingency operations, such as stability operations in Bosnia, noncombatant evacuation operations (NEO) in Africa, and humanitarian assistance in Haiti, underscores the need to establish procedures for applying graduated military responses to situations that threaten these missions. Numerous Graduated Response Matrices (GRMs) and other products exist in the military. These products graphically portray available responses in a graduated manner. The intent is to give on-site commanders a list of options with which to control or diffuse a situation before it gets out of hand. Most threats can be eliminated without loss of life or collateral damage by effectively applying the resources available.
The Southern European Task Force Lion Brigade (SLB) developed a GRM that is beneficial to other military units facing contingency missions. It is unique because it effectively integrates non-lethal with lethal responses, all in accordance with the Rules of Engagement. This chapter addresses the requirements for a GRM, how the SLB developed its GRM, discusses each category and response, and explains how to use the GRM to conduct graduated response training.
Planning a GRM
Step 1. Identify the need for a GRM. This is done during the mission analysis portion of the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). Missions that require soldiers and units to enforce treaties or accords, protect the lives of civilians in uncertain or hostile environments, such as NEOs, or provide large-scale humanitarian assistance demand some sort of graduated response criteria to maintain order and prevent uncertain environments from becoming hostile. Not all missions require a GRM. The decision to use a GRM requires careful consideration. Once the staff has agreed that a GRM is necessary, it requires guidance from the commander regarding the response options available. Determining the appropriate responses is based on the facts, assumptions, and constraints/limitations identified during mission analysis.
Step 2. Establish a team to develop the GRM. In a recent Joint Task Force training exercise, the SLB established a GRM team. It was headed by the Fire Support Element (FSE). It also included the brigade legal officer, a psychological operations (PSYOP) representative, and a land information warfare/information operations officer. Since the GRM is designed to give commanders/leaders graduated options for dealing with both hostile and non-hostile threats to the mission, this team composition allows for target selection, application of the rules of engagement, and attack using both lethal and non-lethal means.
Step 3. Develop Targets. The FSE, in conjunction with the S2 section, developed targets for both lethal and non-lethal attack. In the case of stability operations, these targets are usually not the conventional specific point or piece of equipment on the ground. They are more situational than specific. The GRM identified situations or acts that subordinate elements could face during the mission. The example GRM in Figure 1 shows three possible situations or acts that on-site commanders could expect to encounter. From the targeting standpoint, these are groups of more specific targets.
- Riot-Control Agents.
- Tactical PSYOP Teams (TPTs).
- EW Assets.
- Civil Affairs (CA) Team.
- Information Operations (IO) Team.
- Artillery Smoke Projectiles.
- Aircraft (AH-64s, OH-58Ds, AC130).
- Riot-Control Agents.
Step 4. Staff Coordination. This is the point where the rest of the GRM team came together to complete the escalation sequence for each response. PSYOP and legal representatives were critical attendees during the escalation sequencing process. In the area of psychological operations, the TPT must exploit the effects of all responses.
Step 5. Wargame. Once the types of escalations for each potential graduated response are determined and annotated, the GRM must then be war-gamed. The staff must walk through each act or situation from the on-site commander's standpoint.
Step 6. Command Approval. Once the GRM has been war-gamed, it must be submitted to the commander for approval. This is the final check to ensure the GRM team has applied the commander's guidance correctly and met his intent.
Step 7. Distribution. The SOP dictates how the GRM is issued. The SLB issues the GRM as an appendix to the FS annex. The FSO briefs it during the operations order. The final product is also issued as a 5" x 8" (or smaller)-sized card. The GRM is printed on one side and the ROE on the other. This gives leaders at all levels a pocket-sized reference. Use caution when producing the GRM cards to ensure that they are readable day and night (not too small).
GRM training. Units should develop a GRM that covers any number of situations. It should include various responses and escalations for each response. The finished product should drive graduated response training at least down to squad level.
This training also reduces reliance on the reference card. This, in turn, allows for more rapid responses IAW the commander's guidance. The fact is that if you do not train as you are required to fight, you will suffer the consequences when the real thing occurs. For the infantry company or platoon, this type of training should be included as battle-drill training. It is truly a battle drill that troops need to be ready to execute in a contingency operation.
Proper planning and preparation lead to successful execution. Staffs at all levels must not only understand the GRM, they must also anticipate requirements within the escalated response criteria. For example, in the opening vignette, the UH60 airborne loudspeaker system would have to be launched by the SLB during different periods of the operation. Anticipating this response by making sure the aircraft and crew are ready saves time for the on-site commander.
The graduated response matrix is a valuable tool in stability and support operations. Units conducting contingency operations must be ready to employ effective non-lethal and lethal responses to control situations, maintain tactical initiative, and eliminate both hostile and non-hostile threats. Unit commanders should view this as a way to prevent uncontrolled hostile situations, save lives and, ultimately, contribute to successful mission accomplishment.
Chapter 2: Non-Lethal Weapons and Equipment
Chapter 4: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures
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