Neurobiology: A case study of the imminent militarization of biology.,
by Mark Wheelis and Malcolm Dando., 30-09-2005, International Review of the Red Cross No 859, p. 553-572.
The biological, medical (and legal) communities should face the near certainty that unless active steps are taken to prevent it, biology will become the next major military technology, and that neuroscience — and by implication much of the rest of modern biology — will become highly vulnerable to use or abuse in entirely unintended, but clearly foreseeable, ways.
Abstract: The revolution in biology, including advances in genomics, will lead to rapid progress in the treatment of mental illness by advancing the discovery of highly specific ligands that affect specific neurological pathways. The status of brain science and its potential for military application to enhance soldier performance, to develop new weapons and to facilitate interrogation are discussed. If such applications are pursued, they will also expand the options available to torturers, dictators and terrorists. Several generic approaches to containing the malign applications of biology are shown, and it is concluded that success or failure in doing so will be significantly dependent on the active involvement of the scientific and medical communities.
The meaning of Moscow: “Non-lethal” weapons and international law in the early 21st century.,
by David P. Fidler, International Review of the Red Cross Vol. 87 No. 859, 30 Sep. 2005 pp. 525-552.
This article analyses the relationship between “non-lethal” weapons and international law in the early 21st century by focusing on the most seminal incident to date in the short history of the “non-lethal” weapons debate, the use of an incapacitating chemical to end a terrorist attack on a Moscow theatre in October 2002.
The path less regulated: Other NLW technologies and international law, page 550,
QUOTE: [ Interestingly, some “non-lethal” weapon advocacy seeks to prevent further density from developing in international legal regulation of these technologies. In November 2004, NATO’s Research and Technology Organization (RTO) recommended that, “in order to ensure that NATO forces retain the ability to accomplish missions, NATO nations must remain vigilant against the development of specific legal regimes which unnecessarily limit the ability to use NLW.” (116) The RTO (109) demonstrated no overt hostility to international law’s role vis-à-vis NLWs, for it emphasized the duty of NATO countries to review the legality of new weapons and the need to determine whether IHL adequately addresses the use of “non-lethal” weapons.(117) The desire to prevent further development of specific international legal regulation hints, however, at a concern that the debate on NLWs and international law has created momentum for, or at least serious interest in, international legal regulation of NLW technologies that threatens future military adoption and use of such technologies. ]
David P. Fidler is Prof. of Law and Harry T. Ice Faculty Fellow, Indiana Univ. School of Law, Bloomington, USA.
(116) NATO Research and Technology Organization, op. cit. (note 109), p.iii.
(117) Ibid., pp. 4-5.
(109) NATO Research and Technology Organization,
Non-lethal weapons and future peace enforcement operations, TR-SAS-040, November 2004, p. 3-6
28-05-2003, Coping with the Weapons of Tomorrow., Annual debate, jointly organized by the ICRC, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the BBC World Service - 8 May 2003
On May 8, the ICRC and the London School of Economics held their annual co-hosted debate. This year's theme: "Coping with the Weapons of Tomorrow", is very closely linked to the ICRC's "Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity" intiative. A summary of the debates has been broadcast by the BBC's Radio Four "Agenda" programme. A first panel discussed "The Ethics of Weapon Design" with particular emphasis on so-called "non-lethal weapons". Panelists were:
- Colonel (rtd) John B. Alexander, a former programme manager at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and a leading advocate on "non-lethal warfare",
- Dr. Robin Coupland, adviser on armed violence and the effects of weapons for the ICRC.
- Professor Malcom Dando, Professor of International Security at the University of Bradford; and
- General (rtd) Sir Hugh Beach, former Master of the Ordnance, the British Army board for weapon procurement.
The second panel,"Stemming the flow", focussed on weapon distribution legislation. Panelists were:
- Dr. Jozef Goldblat, former head of the Arms Control & Disarmament of the Stockholm International peace Research Institute, Peter Herby, coordinator of the Mines-Arms Unit in the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross; and
- Dr. Trevor Findlay, executive director of the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) in London.
The overall host was Professor Conor Gearty, Director of the LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights. The chair was held by radio presenter Sheena McDonald.