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The DoD Non-Lethal Weapons Program develops and fields Intermediate Force Capabilities between presence and lethal effects in support of the Joint Force.

Transform the National Security Enterprise by mainstreaming the planning and employment of Intermediate Force Capabilities to arm the Joint Force with the fullest range of capabilities in support of National Security objectives.


The Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program stimulates and coordinates non-lethal weapons requirements of the U.S. Armed Services and allocates resources to help meet these requirements. The Commandant of the Marine Corps serves as the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Agent.

Located at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office serves as the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program Executive Agent's day-to-day management office.

The U.S. Armed Services work with the combatant commanders and the executive agent through a joint process to identify requirements and coordinate the planning, programming and funding of non-lethal weapons research, development and acquisition. Within the Department of Defense Non-Lethal Weapons Program, the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office and the Services fund science and technology, research and development, as well as test and evaluation for non-lethal weapons.

Recent Articles

Sept. 12, 2022


On August 25, the US Department of Defense announced sweeping changes to help minimize civilian casualties in war. The “Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan,” or CHMR-AP, followed the botched drone strike in Afghanistan in August 2021, which killed ten civilians. Following this tragedy, a flurry of investigations exposed the hidden costs of the US drone program and pushed Congress to demand more accountability for collateral damage during military operations.

Sept. 7, 2022

Report to Congress on Navy Shipboard Lasers

This report provides background information and issues for Congress on shipboard solid state lasers (SSLs) that the Navy is developing for surface-ship self-defense. The Navy’s proposed FY2023 budget requests continued research and development funding for these efforts.

Aug. 28, 2022

Pentagon’s Plan to Reduce Civilian Harm May Not Work in Future Conflicts, Experts Say

The Pentagon’s Civilian Harm Mitigation and Response Action Plan released Aug. 25 details nearly a dozen objectives creating institutions and processes to reduce the likelihood of civilian casualties. But critics say the plan’s objectives may do more harm than good, creating extra layers of bureaucracy for planners and operators to navigate, and that it won’t work in a large-scale conflict.

Aug. 24, 2022


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has provoked a belated immune response to Moscow’s political warfare campaign to subvert democracy and exploit systemic weaknesses in Europe and the United States. To be sure, there were attempts to halt or roll back the Kremlin’s efforts before the invasion, particularly after Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia and the 2014 annexation of Crimea. It was, however, only after the invasion that countries moved purposefully to close off the broader avenues that had, hitherto, largely remained open.

Aug. 23, 2022

Welcome to the Future: U.S. Navy Destroyers Are Getting Lasers

Though the laser weapon system is not powerful enough to damage other ships, it could be a substitute for a close-in defensive weapon system and is powerful enough to disable small boats and drones.

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