Escalation of Force – Non-Lethal Effects (EoF-NLE) is the application of non-lethal capabilities that enable an individual to control a situation and execute a variety of missions while minimizing risk of significant injury and collateral damage. The definition presumes the individual’s right to self-defense and does not limit or rule out the use of lethal force.
The EoF continuum addresses the full range of response capabilities and possibilities (from non-lethal to lethal, offense to defense, and from peace to war). EoF-NLE addresses only the non-lethal portion of the EoF continuum. EoF-NLE efforts encompass a wide variety of activities and scenarios in coordination with other functions within the unit organization.
EoF-NLE actions are separated into six broad categories:
EoF-NLE can be used at both operational and tactical levels. EoF-NLE is not a mission in and of itself - it is a tool to support mission accomplishment. EoF-NLE provides options to the Commander that may permit the ability to non-lethally control or de-escalate a situation. EoF-NLE is employed both complementary to lethal force, and in mutual support of other non-lethal capabilities.
While EoF-NLE provides an option to reduce risk of injury to the potential or identified threat, lethal force may be required to protect Marine forces or civilians. Like lethal fires, non-lethal capabilities are employed in mutual support of other non-lethal capabilities to provide both offensive and defensive coverage for forces. Employment of EoF-NLE happens in a constant cycle of Observation, Orientation, Decision, and Action (OODA).
The ability to apply non-lethal force (or lethal force) is largely dependent on the time available to make a decision, the interpretation of the perceived threat’s intentions, and the means available to take action. There is no single formula or process to determine which activity or set of activities to employ (nor are activities sequential in nature).
EoF-NLE activities are depicted in the Operational View. Each mission area employs a combination of EoF-NLE as follows:
- conduct vehicle check points
- control crowd
- conduct entry control check points
- provide convoy security
- conduct cordon
- clear facilities of personnel
- conduct urban patrolling
- establish and secure perimeter
- conduct search
- detain personnel