I don't understand the visceral reaction many people have towards chemical weapons of all types. Are poison gases like mustard and VX really morally worse or different from daisy cutters by some factor inherent in their nature? I'm not sure why they would be. Sure, nerve agents can leave targets crippled for life, but so can conventional weapons. Anyway, I don't mind us foregoing the use of chemical weapons designed to kill, because we've got plenty of other weapons that can kill just as well and with less danger to our troops.
What seems misguided to me however is renouncing the use of chemical weapons that have uses other than direct killing, such as tear gas. Police forces all around the world use tear gas, but our army won't, because it's considered a chemical weapon -- that's absurd. Further, it looks like the Pentagon had been working on some cool chemical weapons with effects that can't be replicated with explosives, but we may never deploy them simply because of their "chemical" nature.
THE Pentagon considered developing a host of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops, newly declassified documents reveal.
Most bizarre among the plans was one for the development of an "aphrodisiac" chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Provoking widespread homosexual behaviour among troops would cause a "distasteful but completely non-lethal" blow to morale, the proposal says.
Other ideas included chemical weapons that attract swarms of enraged wasps or angry rats to troop positions, making them uninhabitable. Another was to develop a chemical that caused "severe and lasting halitosis", making it easy to identify guerrillas trying to blend in with civilians. There was also the idea of making troops' skin unbearably sensitive to sunlight.
Maybe the weapons didn't work (I'm skeptical of an "aphrodesiac bomb"), but if they did, these capabilities could be very useful to our military in situations that bullets and bombs wouldn't be.