From the thesis abstract: "This study investigates whether the armed forces of the United States need joint doctrine for nonlethal weapons. The U.S. Department of Defense is gradually increasing its commitment of fiscal and manpower resources to the development of nonlethal technology; however, published information that provides guidance on how and under what conditions to employ the technology is scarce. In particular, joint doctrine for nonlethal weapons has not been developed. Joint doctrine is only one of several methods that can be used to provide operational commanders with guidance on the employment of an emerging technology. This study, therefore, focuses on identifying the optimum method for enhancing the combat effectiveness of U.S. military forces. Using a descriptive and qualitative analysis approach, the study examines the purpose and functions of joint doctrine; the capabilities provided by nonlethal technology in support of national military objectives; and the current status of published information relating to the operational employment of nonlethal weapons. The study concludes that joint doctrine for nonlethal weapons, by addressing a critical warfighting void, will improve the combat effectiveness of U.S. military forces. The study recommends that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff publish this doctrine by 2003 and proposes specific topics to be included."
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