Risk Characterization of Non-lethal Weapons
TERA (for the Department of Defense, under subcontract with Veridian Engineering) has developed a framework for risk characterization of non-lethal weapons. Nonlethal weapons (NLWs) are becoming increasingly important in nontraditional military operations, such as peacekeeping missions or humanitarian aid operations, where the use of lethal force may not be a desired first response for force protection. NLWs are designed to incapacitate personnel or materiel while minimizing fatalities and permanent injuries. TERA convened an expert panel, and together with this panel develop a framework for characterizing the risks from military use of NLWs. The framework follows the four steps of the National Academy of Sciences risk assessment approach (i.e., hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization). The resulting risk characterization helps decision makers to make informed choices regarding which NLWs would provide the most appropriate combination of target effectiveness and risk for particular situations. TERA is using the framework to evaluate specific NLWs.
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