chapter  12
24 Pages

Incapacitating Agents

Used in a military context, incapacitation means the inability of personnel to perform an assignedduty. For the purpose of thismanual, incapacitationmeans the inability to perform any military task effectively and implies that the condition was achieved via the deliberate use of a nonlethal weapon. Incapacitating agents differ from other chemical agents in that the lethal dose is theoretically many times greater than the incapacitating dose. Under normal battlefield conditions, they do not pose a serious danger to the life of an exposed individual and do not produce any permanent injury. The military does not consider the use of lethal agents at sublethal doses as incapacitating agents. Military incapacitating agents are third and fourth generation chemical warfare agents

that became popular during the ColdWar. Incapacitating agent BZ (C12-A001) and two key components necessary to synthesize BZ, 3-quinuclidinol (C12-C022) and benzilic acid (C12C023), are listed in Schedule 2 of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). In addition to military-specific agents, materials in this class encompass a wide variety of commercially available medicinal dugs that interfere with the higher functions of the brain such as attention, orientation, perception, memory, motivation, conceptual thinking, planning, and judgment. They produce their effectsmainly by altering or disrupting the higher regulatory activity of the central nervous system. Incapacitating agents are relatively easy to isolate from natural sources or to synthesize.

Several agents are clandestinely synthesized and used as recreational drugs. For information on some of the chemicals used to manufacture military incapacitating agents, see the Component section (C12-C) following information on the individual agents. Although relatively easy to disperse, it is difficult to effectively control the dose received by the target population and prevent fatalities. Incapacitating agents have been stockpiled by numerous countries and there have been

unverified reports that they have been utilized on the battlefield. In addition, they have been employed by police and special forces as a way to end hostage situations (e.g., the September 2002 counter terrorism raid on theMoscow theater). These operations have met with mixed success.