“Leonard Rubenstein is at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a member of the AAAS Committee on Scientific Freedom & Responsibility.
The potential of neuroscience, pharmacology and other scientific fields to develop new kinds of non-lethal weapons has brought both excitement and dread. Potential weapons include chemical agents that can lead to unconsciousness or hallucinations, optical weapons such as lasers that are disorienting or blinding, acoustical weapons that can affect bodily functions, drugs that alter affective status, and forms of energy that cause pain without damaging tissue. The excitement derives from the potential to gain intelligence and to use these tools to affect the memory, perceptions, and affective status of enemies. Some proponents believe they will be especially helpful in asymmetrical warfare in heavily-populated areas, lowering the risk of death to civilians.”