The role of non-lethal weapons in "special wars"
Lynch, Gregory R.
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This thesis addresses the role of non-lethal weapons (NLWs) within missions conducted by special operations and general purpose forces in peacetime contingency operations referred to as "special wars." It takes a paradigmatic approach from the emerging debate concerning the revolution in military affairs (RMA). The specific concepts employed constitute the paradigm of control warfare. We hypothesize that, the more tenets of control warfare are applied to a mission or operation, the more effective will be any application of non-lethal weapons, and the greater the likelihood of success. The thesis defines NLWs, then focuses on the comparative analysis of two different mini-case studies of follow-on operations from the war in Panama in 1989-1990. Missions in the case studies are first analyzed with respect to the control warfare paradigm. Then, a second analysis, using quality function deployment (QFD) techniques, is used to examine the specific applicability of types of NLWs to operational tasks within these missions. The criteria used for this analysis are measures of effectiveness (MOEs) expanded along the dimensions addressed in the theoretical discussion. The finding is that employing the concepts associated with control warfare has a direct relationship to how well suited non-lethal weapons may be to application in burgeoning "special" types of wars that we shall likely face in the future.
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