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But a number of government agencies, private organizations, and nongovernmental organizations have expressed concerns that calmatives and other new agents that act on the central nervous system seem to fall outside the scope of the Biological Weapons Convention or the Chemical Weapons Convention, and might be permitted under Article 11d of the latter convention, which excludes from its prohibition of toxic chemicals their use for "law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes." Yet calmatives can be lethal, as tragically demonstrated by the Russian theater hostage crisis in 2002, where many of the rescued hostages died as a result of fentanyl overdose.
By design, kinetic weapons cause blunt trauma, electromagnetic weapons bring searing pain, and calmatives render individuals unconscious.
By the best accounts, calmative agents and other nonlethal weapons may still incur a 0.5% chance of death and a 0.5% chance of significant injury.
Given the exigencies of modern warfare, it is no surprise that the world did not condemn Russia's use of a calmative agent when storming a Moscow theater in 2002, or that the 2008 Second Review Conference on the CWC could not agree on the status of incapacitating chemical weapons.
Psychochemicals and calmatives are agents that affect the central nervous system.
Nonlethal chemical technologies, such as calmatives, sticky foams, or even RCAs, offer the flexibility to effectively capture terrorists.
The application of a calmative during the October 2002 siege of a theater in Moscow illustrates the problem.
Capable of taking out enemy soldiers without killing them, calmatives were once seen as ideal from a public relations standpoint.
In addition to available stun guns, people catcher nets, and sonar devices, the JNLWD believes that calmatives hold the additional promise of providing ways to subdue large, unruly sectors of a human population by blanket sedation.
These drugs include sedatives, "calmatives" (such as hallucinogens and ketamine, a DEA scheduled narcotic), muscle relaxants, opioids (the class of chemicals in heroin), and "malodorants" (indescribably foul smelling substances).
Calmatives are part of neuroscientific technologies that might also help military organizations to collect intelligence, enhance military prowess, and degrade enemy capabilities.
"The development of this new generation of [nonlethal] weapons incorporates knowledge from the remarkable advances made in medical science; two examples are calmatives [compounds that depress or inhibit the function of the central nervous system] and eye attack lasers....