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Not Non-Lethal Weapons: the Counter-Personnel Behavioral Effects Weapons Framework for Armament Engineers

Not Non-Lethal Weapons: the Counter-Personnel Behavioral Effects Weapons Framework for Armament... Behavioral effects weapons (BEW) are devices that are intended to change the behavior of their human target. The article describes the critical considerations and a framework to guide the development of BEW. Human physiology is the funda- mental basis for the theoretical framework of BEW engineering. Effectiveness of BEW starts with the physiological effects induced by stimuli or energy generated by a weapon. These physiological effects, in turn, affect target behavior. Behaviors are altered by (1) changing the motivation of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behavior and (2) changing the ability of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behavior. In addition to the thresholds for effectiveness of BEW, the limitations due to risk of signification injury (RSI) define the solution space for armament engineers. Finally, ethical considerations for the armaments developer are presented. It is hoped that the information in this article will serve as a guide for the armaments engineering community in order to fill a critical weapon capability gap. Keywords Non-lethal weapons · Armament engineering · Physiology · Motivation · Risk of significant injury Introduction IFC is more dramatically demonstrated by clashes between migrants and security forces at the border between Belarus Effective military responses to provocation below armed and Poland in the autumn of 2021. conflict recently have gained attention in the literature [1 ]. In the USA, despite establishment of DoD compo- Older terms such as “irregular warfare” and newer concepts nents with the mission of supporting NLW (or “less-lethal such as “hybrid warfare” refer to operations where adversar- weapons” (LLW)) development in the mid-1990s, several ies “use sophisticated, incremental aggression” at intensi- observers have noted a lackluster development of this class ties that fall below lethal response thresholds [2]. Non-lethal of weapons [7–11]. Several explanations have been pro- weapons or the broader more recent categories of “Inter- posed [9, 12, 13]. We propose that the very name of these mediate Force Capabilities” (IFC) are critical for enabling armaments poses an impediment to their creation. A better successful engagements in this “gray zone” [3, 4]. Because designation for the devices that fill the counter-personnel of this capability gap, non-lethal weapons as a component armament capability gap is “Behavioral Effects Weapons” of IFC are an active area of investigation by the USA and (BEW). NATO countries [2, 5, 6]. The need for counter-personnel The difference in terminology (BEW versus NLW/LLW) reflects an emphasis of what the weapon does (affect target behavior) rather than what it is not supposed to do (kill), * E. Mezzacappa especially because weapons categorized as non-lethal do elizabeth.s.mezzacappa.civ@army.mil result in fatalities. The current nomenclature implies that this class of armaments does not kill, leading to the percep- Tactical Behavior Research Laboratory, DEVCOM AC, FCDD-ACE-QE, Building 3518, Picatinny Arsenal, tion that these weapons are somehow less important than NJ 07806-5000, USA lethal weapons. Alternatively, the standard designation leads US Army Armament Graduate School, DEVCOM AC, to the erroneous belief that NLW result by simply dialing Building 3411, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000, USA down the power on “real” weapons. West Point Simulation Center, Department of Military Weapon developers, however, face challenging design Instruction, United States Military Academy, 745 Brewerton choices in these armaments. The intent of this brief article Road, West Point, NY 10996, USA Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 10 Page 2 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 is to give armament engineers a short introduction into the requirements. Following an overview, the next sections pro- concepts of engineering counter-personnel BEW. This arti- pose that engineers focus on physiological processes under- cle proposes a theoretical framework for armament engi- lying motivated adversarial behaviors. neers to organize their thoughts and efforts. The hopes are to stimulate novel methods and approaches to weapons that Overview: Measures of Performance, Measures affect the target’s functions, systems, and behavior. This of Eec ff tiveness for BEW work is based on a 14-week course taught in the Army’s Armament Graduate School, oe ff red since 2015 by scientists Figure 1 represents the possible paths through the under- and engineers from the Tactical Behavior Research Labora- lying mechanisms of the effects of BEW fires. Beginning tory (formerly known as the Target Behavioral Response with physiological effects of BEW fires, the next responses Laboratory). may interfere with capabilities or induce pain with atten- dant changes in emotion, cognition, and stress levels. Fur- ther responses relate to inducing motivational changes or Understanding the Human Factors Side behaviors to terminate the aversive stimuli. The final desired of Behavioral Eec ff ts Weapons (BEW) response is the behavior as planned by the commander’s intent. The figure also suggests appropriate measures of Human physiology is the fundamental basis for the theo- performance (MoP) and measures of effectiveness (MoE) retical framework of counter-personnel BEW engineering. for research and development and testing and evaluation of Effectiveness of BEW starts with the physiological effects BEW. For each step in the process that can be measured, induced by stimuli or energy generated by a weapon. There- metrics should be included in research and testing activi- fore, the first critical step for serious programmatic research ties. That is, measures of physiological responses, interme- and development efforts for BEW is the study of human diate psychological responses, and decrements in capabil- physiology. ity, as well as measures of operational effectiveness, should Of course, a comprehensive or even a brief survey of be recorded. If there are indeed causal relationships, then human physiology is well beyond the scope of a journal investigation into these intermediate effects can help focus article. A multitude of relevant undergraduate textbooks is weapon improvement efforts. found on bookshelves [14, 15]. The study of basic human physiology, sensation and perception, and neuroscience will BEW Targets: Behaviors provide armament engineers a broad, solid foundation to investigate approaches to BEW development. The engineer Commanders employ BEW to deny access into or out of can manage the Herculean task by identifying physiological an area, move, disable, or suppress individuals [16–18]. processes specifically related to their respective operational Therefore, BEW fires are intended to deny, move, disable, or Fig. 1 Mechanisms from physi- ology to operational effective- ness suggesting appropriate measures of performance and measures of effectiveness 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 3 of 14 10 suppress human targets. More specifically, BEW are weap- the defended goal are decreased by a perceived reduction ons intended to affect execution of adversarial behavior. in the probability of reaching the goal or a reduction in From the target’s point of view, the effects are sim- the desirability of the goal. The calculation of “resultant” ply intended to alter what the target is doing. Behaviors forces can assist in predicting the locomotion of the crowd are altered by (1) changing the motivation of the targeted or the decision to act. Assuming that all forces are taken individual(s) to perform the behavior and (2) changing the into account, when the repulsive forces are greater than the ability of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behav- attractive forces, the adversarial behavior will cease. BEW ior. Changing the motivation of the targeted individual(s) application of pain affects motivation by inducing repulsive includes (1) creating repelling forces away from protected forces to move people away from a physical goal region areas or actions or (2) creating attractive forces toward alter- (defended area). native areas or actions. Changing the ability of the targeted On a theoretical level, this motivational calculus could individual(s) to perform an adversarial behavior includes (1) be thought of as simplistic. In the case of locomotion (i.e., removing a capacity or (2) inducing another behavior that movement) to or from an area, the theoretical framework interferes with the adversarial behavior. Note that a BEW becomes practical, in terms of predicting or directing loco- that alters the ability to perform an adversarial behavior does motion (into/out of an area). That is, the area of effect or not act solely through decreasing motivation to perform the the direction from which the BEW fires are coming and adversarial behavior. That is, BEW can be designed to affect barriers that are present in the environment will constrain behavior independently of motivational effects. Each of locomotion. For example, BEW that are engineered for use these two approaches, changing motivation and decreasing in prisons differ from those for use in open fields, the former ability, is discussed in more detail in the following sections. having insurmountable barriers to locomotion, and the latter having relatively few restrictions to movement. Changing Motivation Motivational principles and the construct of irreal forces may help explain and predict unintended psychological con- Motivation is “a person’s willingness to exert physical or sequences of BEW use. For example, self-preservation is a mental effort in pursuit of a goal or outcome” [19]. BEW are readily understandable psychological motive. However, the intended to affect a target’s willingness to pursue an adver - self-preservation motive may induce confrontation instead sarial goal or adversarial outcome. Many BEW decrease of the compliance that BEW use intends. That is, targets also motivation through application of stimuli that results in tar- follow an escalation of force paradigm comparable to that get distress. Recent BEW inventories reveal an overwhelm- of the commander’s. For example, a lower power on target ing majority of BEW induce compliance through inducing may induce the desired compliance, while a higher power on pain and injury [18]. BEW lead to compliance by decreasing target may induce confrontation and retaliation (perhaps out the motivation to engage in adversarial behavior through of an irreal sense of the injustice at the inappropriate force either the application or threat of application of aversive level). Thus, consideration of the psychological contexts and stimuli, pain, and injury. However, the relationships among motivational forces should guide engineering of BEW. pain, motivation, and changes in behavior are not straight- forward [20, 21]. Therefore, motivational constructs are Decreasing Ability another critical aspect in the theoretical framework of BEW development. In order for a target person to perform a behavior, the person Although there are many theories of motivation within must be physically and mentally able to carry out the behav- behavioral science, inside the BEW community, Lewinian ior. BEW change the ability of the target to execute adver- field theory has been used to reason about motivation [13 , sarial behaviors by (1) inducing behaviors that are incom- 22–25]. A sufficient treatment of the tenets of this frame- patible with the adversarial behavior and/or (2) interfering work is beyond the scope of this article, but a relevant skel- with the physical or mental capacities needed to perform the etal summary can be presented. Critical constructs include adversarial behavior. attractive forces toward or repulsive forces away from goal regions that are real (e.g., the embassy, the police precinct) Inducing Incompatible Behaviors or irreal (e.g., honor, equality). Barriers further constrain locomotion. Barriers can be real and physical like razor Concepts from reinforcement theory could also present an wire which or irreal and psychological such as social dis- approach or mechanism through the induction of behaviors approval. In most cases, BEW present the physical barrier incompatible with adversarial behaviors [21]. The concept (repulsive forces) to the target’s real goal regions, but the of self-preservation serves again as an example. Application target’s irreal goals provide the motivation (attractive forces) of aversive stimuli may produce a motive to avoid or escape that affects compliance with BEW. Attractive forces toward BEW fires, i.e., the motive to flee. Fleeing is incompatible 1 3 10 Page 4 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 with approaching. Therefore, if the target decides to execute devices that induce tonic muscular contractions that interfere this alternative behavior of fleeing rather than approaching, with volitional muscular contractions are exemplars of this then area denial is achieved. Pain-based BEW work at least class of BEW. Tables 1 and 2 show other examples that are in some part through these processes. A caution that will more detailed. be repeated later is that engineers should never assume that This framework for BEW development supports the idea pain-based BEW will inevitably result in avoidance and of simultaneously targeting multiple physiological processes escape behaviors. Again, the relationships among pain, to interfere with an adversarial behavior. Organizing poten- motivation, and changes in behavior are not straightforward tial targeted capacities in this manner naturally leads to con- [20, 21]. cepts of BEW systems that leverage multiple approaches, whose effects may be interactive or multiplicative. The Interference with Abilities Needed for Adversarial Behavior approach provides a rationale for the combinations of ener- gies that should be pursued. An examination of the State of the Art Report for Counter- A better understanding of human anatomy and physiology Personnel Non-Lethal Weapons Technologies [18] shows will encourage novel engineering approaches to designing that the majority of BEW is pain-based and therefore works BEW. Relevant physiological processes underlying behavior mainly through motivational impacts, including inducement typically are those of processes of sensation and perception of incompatible behaviors (i.e., fleeing). However, less atten- (e.g., hearing, seeing, balance) and processes of movement tion has been given to incapacitating physiological processes (e.g., muscle movement). The neural pathways (from trans- that underlie physical and mental abilities to carry out adver- duction of external stimuli to action potentials) subserving sarial behavior. For example, for a target to remove a mine, these abilities are complex and, thus, have multiple points of that person needs to be able to see the mine to approach, and vulnerability that can be exploited by BEW. Initially, there to be able to walk. To be able to walk, the person needs to is a large literature that can be used to identify candidate be able to maintain balance, move muscles and joints, and approaches or concepts of operations of a novel BEW. Veri- have a normal functioning motor cortex. If a person cannot fication is however needed—engineers must verify through see the mine or walk toward it, or maintain balance, the test and evaluation that the technology developed affects the person cannot remove the mine—resulting in suppression function, system, capacity, and finally the targeted behavior of the mine removal behavior. If a device interferes with the in the intended manner to be considered effective. relevant individual ability, it will interfere with the down- Figure  2 illustrates the overall concept for developing stream adversarial behavior. If a weapon can deny, disable, ideas for novel BEW. Target adversarial behaviors are iden- or suppress the specific capacity or capacities (e.g., to see, to tified through capability gap documents and operational hear, to move), the weapon can deny, disable, or suppress the requirements. Human capacities that make the adversarial entire human target. Human electro-muscular incapacitation behavior possible are then explored. Finally, the anatomical Table 1 Example of identifying Targeted physiological function Targeted system Targeted capacity Targeted physiological functions that adversarial may suppress rock throwing behavior Detection Visual system Ability to see target, judge distance Aiming Sense of joint position Proprioception Capacity for body movement Bending down to pick up objects to throw Contraction Musculature Arm movement, joint movement Throwing Table 2 Example of identifying Targeted physiological function Targeted system Targeted capacity Targeted physiological functions that adversarial may deny approach behavior Rhodopsin regeneration Visual Capacity to see Pathfinding restricted area Contraction Musculature Walking, running Locomotion Otolith function Vestibular Staying upright Locomotion 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 5 of 14 10 Fig. 2 Path from physiology to operational effects structures, physiological and neurophysiological systems, considering these conditions, the goals of the weapon, and and the functions of the body that underlie the set of capaci- effectiveness. ties are identified. Possible energies, stimuli, and methods for affecting those structures, systems, and functions can then be discovered. Solution Space It is the BEW engineer’s challenge to design devices that Risk of Significant Injury effectively target and disrupt operationally relevant physi- ological functions. One of the first steps is to identify the BEW designers have an additional factor to consider that solution space that has both sufficient efficacy to be useful traditional lethal armament designers do not—risk of sig- and an acceptable RSI [27]. Analyses for armaments and nificant injury. The risk of significant injury (RSI) is the other items, such as pharmacologic agents, can be analyzed “potential of a BEW to cause direct injury requiring Health using variants of a “dose–response” probability curve. The Care Capability (HCC) Index 1 (on a scale of 0–2) or higher x-axis of a dose–response curve for a BEW will be the met- treatment, permanent injury, or death. RSI is the param- rics related to the performance of the BEW, for example, eter used to describe reversibility of a BEW as it relates to impact velocity, power on target, and decibels. The y-axis human effects” (DODI 3200.19). The HCC index aids in reflects response (actually probability of response within a determining the severity of injury and qualifies an injury population) to stimuli at that level. Like medical applica- as significant or not. Injuries of an HCC Index 1 require tions, but unlike typical lethal weapon applications, there treatment by a first responder: resuscitation, stabilization, are two curves that need to be generated for the graphs rep- and emergency care. Thus, the RSI is expressed as the prob- resenting a BEW—one for effectiveness and the other for ability of injuries of at minimum HCC index treatment level the risk for significant injury [28]. That is, application of the 1, permanent injury, or death due to BEW fire. Alternatively, power on the target can have both intended (reduced adver- the RSI for a BEW can also be expressed as the probability sarial behavior) and unintended effects (significant injury or that if any injury takes place that the injury will be qualified death). Therefore, the dose–response curves for both effec- as significant, as previously defined [26]. If a BEW has more tiveness and risk for significant injury must be included in than one mechanism for injury (e.g., auditory and visual any evaluation of a BEW. injury from flash bang devices), then the probabilities for Note that the solution space graph characterizes terminal each individual mechanism are combined. This requirement ballistics of BEW. That is, the level of energy resulting in can further complicate evaluating RSI depending on the indicated effectiveness or probability of injury is the levels interaction between differing injury mechanisms. Depend- measured at the target. The x-axis depicts, for example, the ing on the BEW, risk analysis may not necessarily end with force of impact on the skin or the power on impinging on the the initial firing. Injuries can further be exacerbated based eye or ear. Like any other armament, BEW engineering must on compounding effects of repeated exposure; in addition to take into account the internal and external ballistic factors situational factors including: how environmental conditions that result in the desired terminal ballistic properties (i.e., affect power on target, the range to target, the duration of the impact force or power on target). effect, and the time it takes for the effect to be reversed [ 18]. Typically, the optimal solution space for BEW occupies Thus, the BEW developer must evaluate the acceptable RSI the area between the two curves [28]. That is, application 1 3 10 Page 6 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 of the BEW fires dosage should be above the threshold for effectiveness but below the limit for significant injury. An idealized theoretical graph depicts sigmoidal functions where the limits dictated by risks of significant injury are higher than the thresholds for effectiveness (Fig.  3). How- ever, it is not unreasonable to assume that if real data could be gathered, the real world graphs would be much different. Further complications arise when effectiveness and risk of injury are dependent on different mechanisms measured in different units. There are also a few assumptions in the idealized graph. The first is that effectiveness is detected at levels lower than levels that inflict injury. This may not be the case. For example, in the case of blunt impact, significant damage can occur before a target ceases to advance (Fig. 4). A second assumption is that the functions are sigmoidal. This may also not be the case. For example, effectiveness may be linear or plateau at certain levels (Fig. 5), such as with the density of a fog obscurant preventing visual perception of a goal. The third assumption in the graphic is that there is only one mechanism for significant injury; this may not be the case with multimodal BEW (Fig.  6). The final assumption is Fig. 4 Significant injuries may occur at levels lower than levels show - ing effectiveness that the mechanisms underlying effectiveness and mecha- nisms underlying injury are one and the same, or coupled, addressed in the next section. graph share the same parameter. An example is an acoustic- Coupling based BEW, where lower decibels may result in the desired temporary threshold shift, but higher decibels may result in Coupling captures the concept that the mechanisms of effec- the unintended permanent threshold shift or loss of hearing. Conversely, the concept of uncoupled mechanisms reflects tiveness are the same as those of injury. In other words, the x-axis of both the effectiveness and risk for significant injury Fig. 3 Idealized solution space Fig. 5 Linear, asymptotic effectiveness 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 7 of 14 10 Fig. 6 Multiple risk of signifi- cant injury curves the concept that the x-axis of the effectiveness graph is not This guidance is especially important for novel energies the x-axis of the risk of significant injury. It may be useful and stimuli, where there may be no data with which to gen- for the engineer to aspire to the creation of devices where the erate either curve. Experimentation, then, is a critical line mechanisms for injury are independent from the mechanisms of effort in developing the solution space for BEW crea- for effectiveness. An example of such a BEW is low-lying tion. Guidelines for BEW experimentation, including human fog, which produces visual obscurant effects due to light- subjects research protections can be found in other articles scattering effects [ 29], while injury threat is due to inhala- [13, 30, 31]. tion of potentially toxic components, such as glycerin or propylene glycol. Developmental engineers may be inclined to develop BEW where ee ff ctiveness and injury mechanisms Ethical Considerations: Principles of War are uncoupled so that optimization of effectiveness and mini- and BEW mization of risk of injury can be separate problems to solve. Armament engineers developing BEW must also give atten- Data to Construct Curves tion to the ethical aspects of BEW. During wartime, par- ticipating countries are expected to follow basic principles Creation of a solution space assumes that there are data to of war in order to be effective in their fight as humanely as analyze and populate the dose–response curves. Curves are possible [32]. The five basic principles are military neces- generated by a literature search of applicable information, by sity, unnecessary suffering, proportionality, distinction, and direct empirical observation and experimentation, or through honor. These principles confirm the need for BEW, but also validated modeling and simulation techniques. A review of suggest specific design features for BEW. the literature will reveal a lack of information on the effects or risks of BEW energies on a target. It is reasonable to Principles Confirming the Need for BEW expect that there is a large medical literature on curing phys- iological deficits and very little on causing physiological The principle of unnecessary suffering, which calls for interference. Engineers are urged to look beyond the direct humanity or humane treatment even in the midst of con- BEW literature and the defense community into clinical, flict, most directly points to the need for BEW. The princi- biomedical, occupational health literatures, or other areas ple of unnecessary suffering restricts soldiers from exces- for information. However, in reading these sources, engi- sively injuring opposing forces to achieve the mission when neers should keep in mind that the factors of safety applied the same result could be obtained with less force. Obvi- in these contexts differ from that found in BEW scenarios. ously, compared with other typical weapons, the intended 1 3 10 Page 8 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 non-lethal nature of BEW is in keeping with the principle regulated. Most BEW have reversible effects that are tem- of unnecessary suffering. porary. For example, human electro-muscular incapacitation Almost as direct is the principle of proportionality. The devices were developed with the intent of creating a weapon principle of proportionality holds that the anticipated loss that is capable of disabling an enemy combatant without of life must not be excessive in relation to the advantage causing permanent injury or extreme pain. expected to be gained. BEW are touted for giving command- The principle of proportionality also provides guid- ers options for “escalation of force” [13, 15] which are in ance for soldiers in regard to collateral damage. If a soldier keeping with the principle of proportionality—with BEW, attacks a specific area, is it expected that the loss of civilian the force that can be applied may be better calibrated to fit life or property is proportionate to the mission requirements. the military need. For example, it is understood that an attack on an area with The principles of distinction and honor also demonstrate a large civilian population is generally not allowed, unless the need for further development of BEW. The principle of the area is being used by enemy forces for military opera- distinction requires soldiers to identify an enemy combatant tion. Precision control of BEW levels targeting a general accurately prior to engaging. This is a challenging principle area would assist in minimizing collateral damage and pro- to adhere to because of how our recent adversaries operate. vide our troops the appropriate amount of force for each Terrorist groups typically do not have a uniform for soldiers individual mission. An example of a BEW that has a good to identify which has made it difficult to identify them from capability of dose management is a “fogger-style” tear gas civilians. Therefore, BEW may be the preferred weapon of ejector. This BEW has a lever that allows the user to cali- soldiers when they have difficulty in telling adversary from brate the output, that is, squeeze harder for more output, or innocent. For example, the composition of a large crowd not as hard for a slower distribution in a large area. may be comprised of both bad actors and innocent civil- ians. In such a situation, a BEW may be preferred to a lethal weapon in order to mitigate innocent casualty. The Tool of Tactical Construct Method With respect to the principle of honor, countries demand a certain level of respect for their property, cultures, tradi- Required sets of physical and mental capacities to carry tions, and infrastructure. Soldiers are expected to honor this out behavior vary from one adversarial behavior to another. respect and not to upset the norm within the country where Therefore, the appropriate capacities to target will differ the conflict is taking place. Religious and traditional places according to targeted behavior and the operational scenario. of value must not be disturbed as long as it is not being This section presents a framework for identifying candidate used for military applications. BEW, with the typically low stimuli, taking into account the operational scenario. The rates of collateral damage, allow Soldiers to adhere to this framework also provides guidance in creating sensitive test- principle. ing and evaluation paradigms for research and development. A higher level tool for assisting in the development Principles Suggesting Design Features for BEW of behavioral effects weapons is the “Tactical Construct Method” (TCM). The aim of the analytical tool is to take The principle of military necessity leads commanders to into account the tactical aspects of the missions, the char- consider whether if an attack is quick and efficient in defeat- acteristics of the human targets and the desired responses, ing an enemy. A soldier must analyze the lawfulness of an and the possible technologies to affect those targets in the attack based upon many factors. For example, a BEW such specific mission [ 17, 33]. In short, the tool assists engi- as tear gas should not be utilized in areas that have small neers with thinking about the fit of the technology to the children. However, if the circumstance requires the aerosol- commander’s intent. Moreover, the TCM tools identify based BEW to save the lives of the children in the area, then tactically relevant testing situations to assess the effective- the principle of military necessity applies. Future technol- ness of prototypes and devices. That is, the exercise sup- ogy development should support customizable features that ports development of measures of effectiveness and meas- allow users to tailor fires to the scenario in order to adhere ures of performance to aid in research and development, to this principle of war. and testing and evaluation activities supporting engineer- Again, the principle of unnecessary suffering restricts sol- ing and acquisition decisions. Figures  7 and 8 show an diers from excessively injuring opposing forces to achieve outline of the tool. The initial step is to describe all that the mission when the same result could be obtained with is known about the commander’s intent for the use of the less force. It is unlawful to cause severe suffering while disa- weapon, in the specific tactical scenario, and the desired bling an enemy to prevent further fighting. It is understood outcome. Subsequent steps define the characteristics of that suffering will inevitably occur in combat; however, the the target, including the behavior that should be induced amount of suffering and how long it lasts is what should be or reduced. These steps should point to behavioral metrics 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 9 of 14 10 Fig. 7 Overview of the tactical construct method (TCM) Fig. 8 Steps of the tactical construct method that can be measured in the laboratory. These behavio- A Caution ral metrics should bear some resemblance to the targeted adversarial behavior in the field and yield operationally Engineers must be vigilant in proposing explicit underly- relevant measures of effectiveness. ing mechanisms, most especially those that involve moti- Next are the steps of identification of the technology vational channels, specifically through aversion. Case in that is most likely to affect the tactical and behavioral con- point are early claims of the effects of laser dazzlers and structs identified in the prior steps, including any safety acoustic weapons. The initial intended effects of these limitations in the use of the technology. Organized using weapons were to induce pain, aversion, and confusion in these methods, the information provides guidance on targets. Subsequent reports failed to support the claims, appropriate, iterative research and development, and test- and now these devices are billed as non-lethal weapons ing and evaluation activities for the innovation of novel functioning as communication or “hail and warn” devices. BEW. 1 3 10 Page 10 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Fig. 9 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 1–2 Fig. 10 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 3–4 Fig. 11 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 5–6 Thus, in development, engineers would do well to never The critical questions to answer are (1) “Will the BEW do assume that any energy on target actually causes the psy- the job if it does not create sufficient changes in motiva- chological state critical to the operational effectiveness. tion?” (2) “Will the BEW do the job if it does not create 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 11 of 14 10 pain, distress, or aversion?” If the answers are “No”, developmental testing requires confirmation that those effects actually occur in the target. An Example: Scrappers An example for both the TCM and MoPs and MoEs is shown from Figs. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Soldiers have reported a problem with local civilians, “scrappers”, who root through the refuse outside the base foraging for useful items that have been thrown away. Figures 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, Fig. 12 Scrapper example for the TCM, step 7 and 14 demonstrate an application to this scenario, showing Fig. 13 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 8–9, showing candidate technologies Fig. 14 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 8–9 with SS- ADT selected as the technology 1 3 10 Page 12 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Fig. 15 Scrapper example for the TCM, revisiting step 6 to arrive at MoPs and MoEs spe- cifically for SS-ADT Fig. 16 Final overview of TCM for the use of SS-ADT in the scrapper scenario Table 3 Measures and Processes Measures Metric metrics of performance and effectiveness for SS-ADT Physiological effect Heating Change in skin tempera- effectiveness ture, infra-red camera Physiological effect Pain Pain rating “Repel” reflex Behavioral observations Coding of video recording Escape, avoidance, evasion Behavioral observation Coding of video recording Inducement of emotion, cognition, stress Self-report Questionnaire Change in motivational state Behavioral observations Coding of video recording Change in motivational state Self-report Questionnaire 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 13 of 14 10 Fig. 17 Overview of BEW theoretical framework for armament engineers Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the found- the tactical, target, and technological considerations in arriv- ers of the Target Behavioral Response Laboratory and the Tactical ing at a possible candidate solution. Table  3 and Fig.  15 Behavior Research Laboratory, as well as the present and past staff. show how specific MoEs and MoPs that can be associated with testing and evaluation of the candidate solution, in this Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- case, directed mm-wave energies of the solid-state active bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long denials technology (SS-ADT). Figure  16 shows the final as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, overview TCM outline for the scrapper scenario. provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not Summary and Conclusion permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a A framework to assist in the development of novel behavio- copy of this licence, visit http://cr eativ ecommons. or g/licen ses/ b y/4.0/ . ral effects weapons has been presented (Fig.  17). The main features are an emphasis on understanding the human physi- ological and behavioral responses, relevant ethical consid- References erations, and designing a weapon with this knowledge in mind. This framework reveals possible mechanisms that can 1. Joint Chief of Staff (2018) Joint concept for integrated campaign- be leveraged and reveals the possible solution spaces reflect- ing. Department of Defense, Washington DC, USA ing known thresholds for effectiveness and limits for safety. 2. US Department of Defense Non-lethal Weapons Program (2020) Intermediate force capabilities: bridging the gap between pres- Finally, the tactical construct method has been presented for ence and lethality. Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office, aligning commander’s intent, mission context, target behav- Quantico iors, and candidate technology solutions. 3. Annati M (2019) Non-lethal weapons have an important role in For engineers, the BEW framework presents a way to the majority of current operations. Military Technology, pp 33–35 4. Votel JL (2015) Statement of General Joseph L. Votel, U.S. Army organize information to identify gaps in knowledge and Commander, United States Special Operations Command before to trace the effects of power on target through underlying the House Armed Service Committee Subcommittee on Emerging mechanisms to measures of operational effectiveness. We Threats and Capabilities hope that this work provides support to armament engineers to address capability gaps in this challenging space. 1 3 10 Page 14 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 5. Christensen KD, Dobias P (2021) Wargaming the use of interme- 22. Lewin K (1997) Resolving social conflicts and field theory in diate force capabilities in the gray zone. J Defense Model Simul social science. American Psychological Association Appl Methodol Technol 1–14 23. Mezzacappa E, Cooke G, Sheridan C, DeMarco R, Tevis K, Short 6. Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (2020) K, Reid G, Jaffery N, Riedener J (2017) A behavioral experiment NATO International Concept Development and Experimentation on the effects of nonlethal weapon parameters on crowd rock- Conference 2020 Synopsis. Norfolk, VA throwing behavior. Mil Oper Res 22(4):17–34 7. Kaurin PMS (2015) And next please? The future of the NLW 24. Cooke G, Mezzacappa E, Sheridan C, DeMarco R, Tevis K, Short debate. Case West Reserve J Int Law 47:217 K, Reid G, Jaffery N, Riedener J (2010) Topology and individual 8. Koplow DA (2015) Red-teaming NLW: a top ten list of criticisms location of crowds as measures of effectiveness for non-lethal about non-lethal weapons. Case West Reserve J Int Law 47:229 weapons (ADA633178).  Proceedings of the 26th Army Science 9. Fridman O (2015) Nonlethal weapons: a technological gap or Conference, December 2010 misdefined requirements? Joint Force Q 76(1):71–77 25. Lewin K (1946/1997) Behavior and development as a function 10. D’Agostino DM (2009) DOD needs to improve program manage- of the total situation Reprinted. Field Theory in Social Science: ment, policy, and testing to enhance ability to field operationally Selected theoretical papers useful non-lethal weapons. GAO Reports, Preceding.: p 1–64 26. Burgei W, Foley S, Pandullo M, Nass-Flores M, Fischer GL, 11. Carter BW (2016) Non-lethal weapons: a technology gap or lack Huntzinger H, Beier E, Heerema B (2017) Implementation guid- or available systems, training, and proper application. US Army ance document: properties and types of significant photothermal Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United retinal lesion injuries. Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate, States Quantico 12. Tafolla TJ, Trachtenberg DJ, Aho JA (2012) From niche to neces- 27. North Atlantic Treaty Organization Research and Technology sity: integrating nonlethal weapons into essential enabling capa- Organization (2009) RTO-TR-SAS-060 Non-lethal weapons bilities. Joint Force Q 66(3):71–79 effectiveness assessment development and verification study 13. Mezzacappa E, Cooke G, DeMarco RM, Reid GV, Tevis K, Sheri- (ADA511388) dan C, Short KR, Jaffery N, Riedener JB (2017) Effectiveness test 28. Joint Non-lethal Weapons Program (2016) Joint non-lethal weap- and evaluation of non-lethal weapons in crowd scenarios: metrics, ons program science and technology strategic plan. Quantico measures, and design of experiments. Defense Acquisition Res J 29. Mezzacappa E, DeMarco R, Reid G, Dominguez L, Moderski 24(3) I, Dyer S, Sheridan C, Jaffery N, Robinson A, Cooke G (2019) 14. Carlson NR, Birkett MA (2016) Physiology of behavior. Pearson Target behavioral response analyses for the development of delay 15. Goldstein EB, Brockmole J (2016) Introduction to perception, in munitions: obscuring fog for non-lethal anti-personnel landmines. sensation and perception. Cengage Learning, Boston Hum Fac Mech Eng Def Saf 3(1):1–15 16. Joint Non-lethal Weapons Program (2009) Initial capabilities 30. Mezzacappa E (2014) Effectiveness testing of non-lethal weapons. document for counter-personnel joint non-lethal effects J Def Model Simul 11(2):91–101 17. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (2009) NATO NLW Capa- 31. Mezzacappa ES (2020) Human subject research protection ethics bilities-based assessment (SAS-078) in the research and development (R&D) of non-lethal weapons. J 18. Metz D, Smardzewsk R, Lochner C (2019) Counter-personnel Milit Ethics 19(3):241–258 (CP) non-lethal weapons (NLW) technologies DSAIC 32. Preston SE, Taylor RS (2016) Department of Defense Law of War 19. American Psychological Association, Motivation. 3 July 2021; Manual, General Counsel of the Department of Defense Washing- Available from: https:// dicti onary. apa. org/ motiv ation ton United States 20. Short KR, Bergen MT, DeMarco RM, Chua FB, Servatius RJ 33. Yagrich K (2003) Nonlethal weapons requirements definition– a (2006) Blunt impact as deterrent: Human approach-avoidance difficult task requires a true team effort. Military Police behaviors and other stress responses studied within a paintball gaming context. In: Enabling technologies and design of nonlethal Publisher's Note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to weapons. International Society for Optics and Photonics jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. 21. Short K, Reid G, Cooke G, Minor TR (2010) Can repeated pain- ful blunt impact deter approach toward a goal? (ADA633181).  Proceedings of the 26th Army Science Conference, December 1 3 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety Springer Journals

Not Non-Lethal Weapons: the Counter-Personnel Behavioral Effects Weapons Framework for Armament Engineers

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Abstract

Behavioral effects weapons (BEW) are devices that are intended to change the behavior of their human target. The article describes the critical considerations and a framework to guide the development of BEW. Human physiology is the funda- mental basis for the theoretical framework of BEW engineering. Effectiveness of BEW starts with the physiological effects induced by stimuli or energy generated by a weapon. These physiological effects, in turn, affect target behavior. Behaviors are altered by (1) changing the motivation of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behavior and (2) changing the ability of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behavior. In addition to the thresholds for effectiveness of BEW, the limitations due to risk of signification injury (RSI) define the solution space for armament engineers. Finally, ethical considerations for the armaments developer are presented. It is hoped that the information in this article will serve as a guide for the armaments engineering community in order to fill a critical weapon capability gap. Keywords Non-lethal weapons · Armament engineering · Physiology · Motivation · Risk of significant injury Introduction IFC is more dramatically demonstrated by clashes between migrants and security forces at the border between Belarus Effective military responses to provocation below armed and Poland in the autumn of 2021. conflict recently have gained attention in the literature [1 ]. In the USA, despite establishment of DoD compo- Older terms such as “irregular warfare” and newer concepts nents with the mission of supporting NLW (or “less-lethal such as “hybrid warfare” refer to operations where adversar- weapons” (LLW)) development in the mid-1990s, several ies “use sophisticated, incremental aggression” at intensi- observers have noted a lackluster development of this class ties that fall below lethal response thresholds [2]. Non-lethal of weapons [7–11]. Several explanations have been pro- weapons or the broader more recent categories of “Inter- posed [9, 12, 13]. We propose that the very name of these mediate Force Capabilities” (IFC) are critical for enabling armaments poses an impediment to their creation. A better successful engagements in this “gray zone” [3, 4]. Because designation for the devices that fill the counter-personnel of this capability gap, non-lethal weapons as a component armament capability gap is “Behavioral Effects Weapons” of IFC are an active area of investigation by the USA and (BEW). NATO countries [2, 5, 6]. The need for counter-personnel The difference in terminology (BEW versus NLW/LLW) reflects an emphasis of what the weapon does (affect target behavior) rather than what it is not supposed to do (kill), * E. Mezzacappa especially because weapons categorized as non-lethal do elizabeth.s.mezzacappa.civ@army.mil result in fatalities. The current nomenclature implies that this class of armaments does not kill, leading to the percep- Tactical Behavior Research Laboratory, DEVCOM AC, FCDD-ACE-QE, Building 3518, Picatinny Arsenal, tion that these weapons are somehow less important than NJ 07806-5000, USA lethal weapons. Alternatively, the standard designation leads US Army Armament Graduate School, DEVCOM AC, to the erroneous belief that NLW result by simply dialing Building 3411, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806-5000, USA down the power on “real” weapons. West Point Simulation Center, Department of Military Weapon developers, however, face challenging design Instruction, United States Military Academy, 745 Brewerton choices in these armaments. The intent of this brief article Road, West Point, NY 10996, USA Vol.:(0123456789) 1 3 10 Page 2 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 is to give armament engineers a short introduction into the requirements. Following an overview, the next sections pro- concepts of engineering counter-personnel BEW. This arti- pose that engineers focus on physiological processes under- cle proposes a theoretical framework for armament engi- lying motivated adversarial behaviors. neers to organize their thoughts and efforts. The hopes are to stimulate novel methods and approaches to weapons that Overview: Measures of Performance, Measures affect the target’s functions, systems, and behavior. This of Eec ff tiveness for BEW work is based on a 14-week course taught in the Army’s Armament Graduate School, oe ff red since 2015 by scientists Figure 1 represents the possible paths through the under- and engineers from the Tactical Behavior Research Labora- lying mechanisms of the effects of BEW fires. Beginning tory (formerly known as the Target Behavioral Response with physiological effects of BEW fires, the next responses Laboratory). may interfere with capabilities or induce pain with atten- dant changes in emotion, cognition, and stress levels. Fur- ther responses relate to inducing motivational changes or Understanding the Human Factors Side behaviors to terminate the aversive stimuli. The final desired of Behavioral Eec ff ts Weapons (BEW) response is the behavior as planned by the commander’s intent. The figure also suggests appropriate measures of Human physiology is the fundamental basis for the theo- performance (MoP) and measures of effectiveness (MoE) retical framework of counter-personnel BEW engineering. for research and development and testing and evaluation of Effectiveness of BEW starts with the physiological effects BEW. For each step in the process that can be measured, induced by stimuli or energy generated by a weapon. There- metrics should be included in research and testing activi- fore, the first critical step for serious programmatic research ties. That is, measures of physiological responses, interme- and development efforts for BEW is the study of human diate psychological responses, and decrements in capabil- physiology. ity, as well as measures of operational effectiveness, should Of course, a comprehensive or even a brief survey of be recorded. If there are indeed causal relationships, then human physiology is well beyond the scope of a journal investigation into these intermediate effects can help focus article. A multitude of relevant undergraduate textbooks is weapon improvement efforts. found on bookshelves [14, 15]. The study of basic human physiology, sensation and perception, and neuroscience will BEW Targets: Behaviors provide armament engineers a broad, solid foundation to investigate approaches to BEW development. The engineer Commanders employ BEW to deny access into or out of can manage the Herculean task by identifying physiological an area, move, disable, or suppress individuals [16–18]. processes specifically related to their respective operational Therefore, BEW fires are intended to deny, move, disable, or Fig. 1 Mechanisms from physi- ology to operational effective- ness suggesting appropriate measures of performance and measures of effectiveness 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 3 of 14 10 suppress human targets. More specifically, BEW are weap- the defended goal are decreased by a perceived reduction ons intended to affect execution of adversarial behavior. in the probability of reaching the goal or a reduction in From the target’s point of view, the effects are sim- the desirability of the goal. The calculation of “resultant” ply intended to alter what the target is doing. Behaviors forces can assist in predicting the locomotion of the crowd are altered by (1) changing the motivation of the targeted or the decision to act. Assuming that all forces are taken individual(s) to perform the behavior and (2) changing the into account, when the repulsive forces are greater than the ability of the targeted individual(s) to perform the behav- attractive forces, the adversarial behavior will cease. BEW ior. Changing the motivation of the targeted individual(s) application of pain affects motivation by inducing repulsive includes (1) creating repelling forces away from protected forces to move people away from a physical goal region areas or actions or (2) creating attractive forces toward alter- (defended area). native areas or actions. Changing the ability of the targeted On a theoretical level, this motivational calculus could individual(s) to perform an adversarial behavior includes (1) be thought of as simplistic. In the case of locomotion (i.e., removing a capacity or (2) inducing another behavior that movement) to or from an area, the theoretical framework interferes with the adversarial behavior. Note that a BEW becomes practical, in terms of predicting or directing loco- that alters the ability to perform an adversarial behavior does motion (into/out of an area). That is, the area of effect or not act solely through decreasing motivation to perform the the direction from which the BEW fires are coming and adversarial behavior. That is, BEW can be designed to affect barriers that are present in the environment will constrain behavior independently of motivational effects. Each of locomotion. For example, BEW that are engineered for use these two approaches, changing motivation and decreasing in prisons differ from those for use in open fields, the former ability, is discussed in more detail in the following sections. having insurmountable barriers to locomotion, and the latter having relatively few restrictions to movement. Changing Motivation Motivational principles and the construct of irreal forces may help explain and predict unintended psychological con- Motivation is “a person’s willingness to exert physical or sequences of BEW use. For example, self-preservation is a mental effort in pursuit of a goal or outcome” [19]. BEW are readily understandable psychological motive. However, the intended to affect a target’s willingness to pursue an adver - self-preservation motive may induce confrontation instead sarial goal or adversarial outcome. Many BEW decrease of the compliance that BEW use intends. That is, targets also motivation through application of stimuli that results in tar- follow an escalation of force paradigm comparable to that get distress. Recent BEW inventories reveal an overwhelm- of the commander’s. For example, a lower power on target ing majority of BEW induce compliance through inducing may induce the desired compliance, while a higher power on pain and injury [18]. BEW lead to compliance by decreasing target may induce confrontation and retaliation (perhaps out the motivation to engage in adversarial behavior through of an irreal sense of the injustice at the inappropriate force either the application or threat of application of aversive level). Thus, consideration of the psychological contexts and stimuli, pain, and injury. However, the relationships among motivational forces should guide engineering of BEW. pain, motivation, and changes in behavior are not straight- forward [20, 21]. Therefore, motivational constructs are Decreasing Ability another critical aspect in the theoretical framework of BEW development. In order for a target person to perform a behavior, the person Although there are many theories of motivation within must be physically and mentally able to carry out the behav- behavioral science, inside the BEW community, Lewinian ior. BEW change the ability of the target to execute adver- field theory has been used to reason about motivation [13 , sarial behaviors by (1) inducing behaviors that are incom- 22–25]. A sufficient treatment of the tenets of this frame- patible with the adversarial behavior and/or (2) interfering work is beyond the scope of this article, but a relevant skel- with the physical or mental capacities needed to perform the etal summary can be presented. Critical constructs include adversarial behavior. attractive forces toward or repulsive forces away from goal regions that are real (e.g., the embassy, the police precinct) Inducing Incompatible Behaviors or irreal (e.g., honor, equality). Barriers further constrain locomotion. Barriers can be real and physical like razor Concepts from reinforcement theory could also present an wire which or irreal and psychological such as social dis- approach or mechanism through the induction of behaviors approval. In most cases, BEW present the physical barrier incompatible with adversarial behaviors [21]. The concept (repulsive forces) to the target’s real goal regions, but the of self-preservation serves again as an example. Application target’s irreal goals provide the motivation (attractive forces) of aversive stimuli may produce a motive to avoid or escape that affects compliance with BEW. Attractive forces toward BEW fires, i.e., the motive to flee. Fleeing is incompatible 1 3 10 Page 4 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 with approaching. Therefore, if the target decides to execute devices that induce tonic muscular contractions that interfere this alternative behavior of fleeing rather than approaching, with volitional muscular contractions are exemplars of this then area denial is achieved. Pain-based BEW work at least class of BEW. Tables 1 and 2 show other examples that are in some part through these processes. A caution that will more detailed. be repeated later is that engineers should never assume that This framework for BEW development supports the idea pain-based BEW will inevitably result in avoidance and of simultaneously targeting multiple physiological processes escape behaviors. Again, the relationships among pain, to interfere with an adversarial behavior. Organizing poten- motivation, and changes in behavior are not straightforward tial targeted capacities in this manner naturally leads to con- [20, 21]. cepts of BEW systems that leverage multiple approaches, whose effects may be interactive or multiplicative. The Interference with Abilities Needed for Adversarial Behavior approach provides a rationale for the combinations of ener- gies that should be pursued. An examination of the State of the Art Report for Counter- A better understanding of human anatomy and physiology Personnel Non-Lethal Weapons Technologies [18] shows will encourage novel engineering approaches to designing that the majority of BEW is pain-based and therefore works BEW. Relevant physiological processes underlying behavior mainly through motivational impacts, including inducement typically are those of processes of sensation and perception of incompatible behaviors (i.e., fleeing). However, less atten- (e.g., hearing, seeing, balance) and processes of movement tion has been given to incapacitating physiological processes (e.g., muscle movement). The neural pathways (from trans- that underlie physical and mental abilities to carry out adver- duction of external stimuli to action potentials) subserving sarial behavior. For example, for a target to remove a mine, these abilities are complex and, thus, have multiple points of that person needs to be able to see the mine to approach, and vulnerability that can be exploited by BEW. Initially, there to be able to walk. To be able to walk, the person needs to is a large literature that can be used to identify candidate be able to maintain balance, move muscles and joints, and approaches or concepts of operations of a novel BEW. Veri- have a normal functioning motor cortex. If a person cannot fication is however needed—engineers must verify through see the mine or walk toward it, or maintain balance, the test and evaluation that the technology developed affects the person cannot remove the mine—resulting in suppression function, system, capacity, and finally the targeted behavior of the mine removal behavior. If a device interferes with the in the intended manner to be considered effective. relevant individual ability, it will interfere with the down- Figure  2 illustrates the overall concept for developing stream adversarial behavior. If a weapon can deny, disable, ideas for novel BEW. Target adversarial behaviors are iden- or suppress the specific capacity or capacities (e.g., to see, to tified through capability gap documents and operational hear, to move), the weapon can deny, disable, or suppress the requirements. Human capacities that make the adversarial entire human target. Human electro-muscular incapacitation behavior possible are then explored. Finally, the anatomical Table 1 Example of identifying Targeted physiological function Targeted system Targeted capacity Targeted physiological functions that adversarial may suppress rock throwing behavior Detection Visual system Ability to see target, judge distance Aiming Sense of joint position Proprioception Capacity for body movement Bending down to pick up objects to throw Contraction Musculature Arm movement, joint movement Throwing Table 2 Example of identifying Targeted physiological function Targeted system Targeted capacity Targeted physiological functions that adversarial may deny approach behavior Rhodopsin regeneration Visual Capacity to see Pathfinding restricted area Contraction Musculature Walking, running Locomotion Otolith function Vestibular Staying upright Locomotion 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 5 of 14 10 Fig. 2 Path from physiology to operational effects structures, physiological and neurophysiological systems, considering these conditions, the goals of the weapon, and and the functions of the body that underlie the set of capaci- effectiveness. ties are identified. Possible energies, stimuli, and methods for affecting those structures, systems, and functions can then be discovered. Solution Space It is the BEW engineer’s challenge to design devices that Risk of Significant Injury effectively target and disrupt operationally relevant physi- ological functions. One of the first steps is to identify the BEW designers have an additional factor to consider that solution space that has both sufficient efficacy to be useful traditional lethal armament designers do not—risk of sig- and an acceptable RSI [27]. Analyses for armaments and nificant injury. The risk of significant injury (RSI) is the other items, such as pharmacologic agents, can be analyzed “potential of a BEW to cause direct injury requiring Health using variants of a “dose–response” probability curve. The Care Capability (HCC) Index 1 (on a scale of 0–2) or higher x-axis of a dose–response curve for a BEW will be the met- treatment, permanent injury, or death. RSI is the param- rics related to the performance of the BEW, for example, eter used to describe reversibility of a BEW as it relates to impact velocity, power on target, and decibels. The y-axis human effects” (DODI 3200.19). The HCC index aids in reflects response (actually probability of response within a determining the severity of injury and qualifies an injury population) to stimuli at that level. Like medical applica- as significant or not. Injuries of an HCC Index 1 require tions, but unlike typical lethal weapon applications, there treatment by a first responder: resuscitation, stabilization, are two curves that need to be generated for the graphs rep- and emergency care. Thus, the RSI is expressed as the prob- resenting a BEW—one for effectiveness and the other for ability of injuries of at minimum HCC index treatment level the risk for significant injury [28]. That is, application of the 1, permanent injury, or death due to BEW fire. Alternatively, power on the target can have both intended (reduced adver- the RSI for a BEW can also be expressed as the probability sarial behavior) and unintended effects (significant injury or that if any injury takes place that the injury will be qualified death). Therefore, the dose–response curves for both effec- as significant, as previously defined [26]. If a BEW has more tiveness and risk for significant injury must be included in than one mechanism for injury (e.g., auditory and visual any evaluation of a BEW. injury from flash bang devices), then the probabilities for Note that the solution space graph characterizes terminal each individual mechanism are combined. This requirement ballistics of BEW. That is, the level of energy resulting in can further complicate evaluating RSI depending on the indicated effectiveness or probability of injury is the levels interaction between differing injury mechanisms. Depend- measured at the target. The x-axis depicts, for example, the ing on the BEW, risk analysis may not necessarily end with force of impact on the skin or the power on impinging on the the initial firing. Injuries can further be exacerbated based eye or ear. Like any other armament, BEW engineering must on compounding effects of repeated exposure; in addition to take into account the internal and external ballistic factors situational factors including: how environmental conditions that result in the desired terminal ballistic properties (i.e., affect power on target, the range to target, the duration of the impact force or power on target). effect, and the time it takes for the effect to be reversed [ 18]. Typically, the optimal solution space for BEW occupies Thus, the BEW developer must evaluate the acceptable RSI the area between the two curves [28]. That is, application 1 3 10 Page 6 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 of the BEW fires dosage should be above the threshold for effectiveness but below the limit for significant injury. An idealized theoretical graph depicts sigmoidal functions where the limits dictated by risks of significant injury are higher than the thresholds for effectiveness (Fig.  3). How- ever, it is not unreasonable to assume that if real data could be gathered, the real world graphs would be much different. Further complications arise when effectiveness and risk of injury are dependent on different mechanisms measured in different units. There are also a few assumptions in the idealized graph. The first is that effectiveness is detected at levels lower than levels that inflict injury. This may not be the case. For example, in the case of blunt impact, significant damage can occur before a target ceases to advance (Fig. 4). A second assumption is that the functions are sigmoidal. This may also not be the case. For example, effectiveness may be linear or plateau at certain levels (Fig. 5), such as with the density of a fog obscurant preventing visual perception of a goal. The third assumption in the graphic is that there is only one mechanism for significant injury; this may not be the case with multimodal BEW (Fig.  6). The final assumption is Fig. 4 Significant injuries may occur at levels lower than levels show - ing effectiveness that the mechanisms underlying effectiveness and mecha- nisms underlying injury are one and the same, or coupled, addressed in the next section. graph share the same parameter. An example is an acoustic- Coupling based BEW, where lower decibels may result in the desired temporary threshold shift, but higher decibels may result in Coupling captures the concept that the mechanisms of effec- the unintended permanent threshold shift or loss of hearing. Conversely, the concept of uncoupled mechanisms reflects tiveness are the same as those of injury. In other words, the x-axis of both the effectiveness and risk for significant injury Fig. 3 Idealized solution space Fig. 5 Linear, asymptotic effectiveness 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 7 of 14 10 Fig. 6 Multiple risk of signifi- cant injury curves the concept that the x-axis of the effectiveness graph is not This guidance is especially important for novel energies the x-axis of the risk of significant injury. It may be useful and stimuli, where there may be no data with which to gen- for the engineer to aspire to the creation of devices where the erate either curve. Experimentation, then, is a critical line mechanisms for injury are independent from the mechanisms of effort in developing the solution space for BEW crea- for effectiveness. An example of such a BEW is low-lying tion. Guidelines for BEW experimentation, including human fog, which produces visual obscurant effects due to light- subjects research protections can be found in other articles scattering effects [ 29], while injury threat is due to inhala- [13, 30, 31]. tion of potentially toxic components, such as glycerin or propylene glycol. Developmental engineers may be inclined to develop BEW where ee ff ctiveness and injury mechanisms Ethical Considerations: Principles of War are uncoupled so that optimization of effectiveness and mini- and BEW mization of risk of injury can be separate problems to solve. Armament engineers developing BEW must also give atten- Data to Construct Curves tion to the ethical aspects of BEW. During wartime, par- ticipating countries are expected to follow basic principles Creation of a solution space assumes that there are data to of war in order to be effective in their fight as humanely as analyze and populate the dose–response curves. Curves are possible [32]. The five basic principles are military neces- generated by a literature search of applicable information, by sity, unnecessary suffering, proportionality, distinction, and direct empirical observation and experimentation, or through honor. These principles confirm the need for BEW, but also validated modeling and simulation techniques. A review of suggest specific design features for BEW. the literature will reveal a lack of information on the effects or risks of BEW energies on a target. It is reasonable to Principles Confirming the Need for BEW expect that there is a large medical literature on curing phys- iological deficits and very little on causing physiological The principle of unnecessary suffering, which calls for interference. Engineers are urged to look beyond the direct humanity or humane treatment even in the midst of con- BEW literature and the defense community into clinical, flict, most directly points to the need for BEW. The princi- biomedical, occupational health literatures, or other areas ple of unnecessary suffering restricts soldiers from exces- for information. However, in reading these sources, engi- sively injuring opposing forces to achieve the mission when neers should keep in mind that the factors of safety applied the same result could be obtained with less force. Obvi- in these contexts differ from that found in BEW scenarios. ously, compared with other typical weapons, the intended 1 3 10 Page 8 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 non-lethal nature of BEW is in keeping with the principle regulated. Most BEW have reversible effects that are tem- of unnecessary suffering. porary. For example, human electro-muscular incapacitation Almost as direct is the principle of proportionality. The devices were developed with the intent of creating a weapon principle of proportionality holds that the anticipated loss that is capable of disabling an enemy combatant without of life must not be excessive in relation to the advantage causing permanent injury or extreme pain. expected to be gained. BEW are touted for giving command- The principle of proportionality also provides guid- ers options for “escalation of force” [13, 15] which are in ance for soldiers in regard to collateral damage. If a soldier keeping with the principle of proportionality—with BEW, attacks a specific area, is it expected that the loss of civilian the force that can be applied may be better calibrated to fit life or property is proportionate to the mission requirements. the military need. For example, it is understood that an attack on an area with The principles of distinction and honor also demonstrate a large civilian population is generally not allowed, unless the need for further development of BEW. The principle of the area is being used by enemy forces for military opera- distinction requires soldiers to identify an enemy combatant tion. Precision control of BEW levels targeting a general accurately prior to engaging. This is a challenging principle area would assist in minimizing collateral damage and pro- to adhere to because of how our recent adversaries operate. vide our troops the appropriate amount of force for each Terrorist groups typically do not have a uniform for soldiers individual mission. An example of a BEW that has a good to identify which has made it difficult to identify them from capability of dose management is a “fogger-style” tear gas civilians. Therefore, BEW may be the preferred weapon of ejector. This BEW has a lever that allows the user to cali- soldiers when they have difficulty in telling adversary from brate the output, that is, squeeze harder for more output, or innocent. For example, the composition of a large crowd not as hard for a slower distribution in a large area. may be comprised of both bad actors and innocent civil- ians. In such a situation, a BEW may be preferred to a lethal weapon in order to mitigate innocent casualty. The Tool of Tactical Construct Method With respect to the principle of honor, countries demand a certain level of respect for their property, cultures, tradi- Required sets of physical and mental capacities to carry tions, and infrastructure. Soldiers are expected to honor this out behavior vary from one adversarial behavior to another. respect and not to upset the norm within the country where Therefore, the appropriate capacities to target will differ the conflict is taking place. Religious and traditional places according to targeted behavior and the operational scenario. of value must not be disturbed as long as it is not being This section presents a framework for identifying candidate used for military applications. BEW, with the typically low stimuli, taking into account the operational scenario. The rates of collateral damage, allow Soldiers to adhere to this framework also provides guidance in creating sensitive test- principle. ing and evaluation paradigms for research and development. A higher level tool for assisting in the development Principles Suggesting Design Features for BEW of behavioral effects weapons is the “Tactical Construct Method” (TCM). The aim of the analytical tool is to take The principle of military necessity leads commanders to into account the tactical aspects of the missions, the char- consider whether if an attack is quick and efficient in defeat- acteristics of the human targets and the desired responses, ing an enemy. A soldier must analyze the lawfulness of an and the possible technologies to affect those targets in the attack based upon many factors. For example, a BEW such specific mission [ 17, 33]. In short, the tool assists engi- as tear gas should not be utilized in areas that have small neers with thinking about the fit of the technology to the children. However, if the circumstance requires the aerosol- commander’s intent. Moreover, the TCM tools identify based BEW to save the lives of the children in the area, then tactically relevant testing situations to assess the effective- the principle of military necessity applies. Future technol- ness of prototypes and devices. That is, the exercise sup- ogy development should support customizable features that ports development of measures of effectiveness and meas- allow users to tailor fires to the scenario in order to adhere ures of performance to aid in research and development, to this principle of war. and testing and evaluation activities supporting engineer- Again, the principle of unnecessary suffering restricts sol- ing and acquisition decisions. Figures  7 and 8 show an diers from excessively injuring opposing forces to achieve outline of the tool. The initial step is to describe all that the mission when the same result could be obtained with is known about the commander’s intent for the use of the less force. It is unlawful to cause severe suffering while disa- weapon, in the specific tactical scenario, and the desired bling an enemy to prevent further fighting. It is understood outcome. Subsequent steps define the characteristics of that suffering will inevitably occur in combat; however, the the target, including the behavior that should be induced amount of suffering and how long it lasts is what should be or reduced. These steps should point to behavioral metrics 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 9 of 14 10 Fig. 7 Overview of the tactical construct method (TCM) Fig. 8 Steps of the tactical construct method that can be measured in the laboratory. These behavio- A Caution ral metrics should bear some resemblance to the targeted adversarial behavior in the field and yield operationally Engineers must be vigilant in proposing explicit underly- relevant measures of effectiveness. ing mechanisms, most especially those that involve moti- Next are the steps of identification of the technology vational channels, specifically through aversion. Case in that is most likely to affect the tactical and behavioral con- point are early claims of the effects of laser dazzlers and structs identified in the prior steps, including any safety acoustic weapons. The initial intended effects of these limitations in the use of the technology. Organized using weapons were to induce pain, aversion, and confusion in these methods, the information provides guidance on targets. Subsequent reports failed to support the claims, appropriate, iterative research and development, and test- and now these devices are billed as non-lethal weapons ing and evaluation activities for the innovation of novel functioning as communication or “hail and warn” devices. BEW. 1 3 10 Page 10 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Fig. 9 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 1–2 Fig. 10 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 3–4 Fig. 11 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 5–6 Thus, in development, engineers would do well to never The critical questions to answer are (1) “Will the BEW do assume that any energy on target actually causes the psy- the job if it does not create sufficient changes in motiva- chological state critical to the operational effectiveness. tion?” (2) “Will the BEW do the job if it does not create 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 11 of 14 10 pain, distress, or aversion?” If the answers are “No”, developmental testing requires confirmation that those effects actually occur in the target. An Example: Scrappers An example for both the TCM and MoPs and MoEs is shown from Figs. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. Soldiers have reported a problem with local civilians, “scrappers”, who root through the refuse outside the base foraging for useful items that have been thrown away. Figures 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, Fig. 12 Scrapper example for the TCM, step 7 and 14 demonstrate an application to this scenario, showing Fig. 13 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 8–9, showing candidate technologies Fig. 14 Scrapper example for the TCM, steps 8–9 with SS- ADT selected as the technology 1 3 10 Page 12 of 14 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Fig. 15 Scrapper example for the TCM, revisiting step 6 to arrive at MoPs and MoEs spe- cifically for SS-ADT Fig. 16 Final overview of TCM for the use of SS-ADT in the scrapper scenario Table 3 Measures and Processes Measures Metric metrics of performance and effectiveness for SS-ADT Physiological effect Heating Change in skin tempera- effectiveness ture, infra-red camera Physiological effect Pain Pain rating “Repel” reflex Behavioral observations Coding of video recording Escape, avoidance, evasion Behavioral observation Coding of video recording Inducement of emotion, cognition, stress Self-report Questionnaire Change in motivational state Behavioral observations Coding of video recording Change in motivational state Self-report Questionnaire 1 3 Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and Safety (2022) 6:10 Page 13 of 14 10 Fig. 17 Overview of BEW theoretical framework for armament engineers Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge the found- the tactical, target, and technological considerations in arriv- ers of the Target Behavioral Response Laboratory and the Tactical ing at a possible candidate solution. Table  3 and Fig.  15 Behavior Research Laboratory, as well as the present and past staff. show how specific MoEs and MoPs that can be associated with testing and evaluation of the candidate solution, in this Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri- case, directed mm-wave energies of the solid-state active bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta- tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long denials technology (SS-ADT). Figure  16 shows the final as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, overview TCM outline for the scrapper scenario. provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. 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Journal

Human Factors and Mechanical Engineering for Defense and SafetySpringer Journals

Published: Dec 1, 2022

Keywords: Non-lethal weapons; Armament engineering; Physiology; Motivation; Risk of significant injury

References