Col (rtd) John Alexander has been a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons since he created renewed interest in the field starting in 1989.
He entered the US Army as a private in 1956 and rose through the ranks to sergeant first class, attended OCS, and was a colonel of Infantry in 1988 when he retired. During his varied career, he held many key positions in special operations, intelligence, and research and development. From 1966 through early 1969 he commanded Special Forces "A" Teams in Vietnam and Thailand. His last military assignment was as Director, Advanced Systems Concepts Office, US Army Laboratory Command. After retiring from the Army, Dr Alexander joined Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was instrumental in developing the concept of Non-Lethal Defense.
Dr Alexander organised and chaired the first five major conferences on non-lethal warfare and served as a US delegate to four NATO studies on the topic. As a member of the Council on Foreign Relations non-lethal warfare study, he was instrumental in influencing the report that is credited with causing the Department of Defense to create a formal Non-Lethal Weapons Policy in July 1996. For several years, he has been a distinguished guest lecturer at the US Air Force Air University and participated in key war games when non-lethal weapons were first being considered.
Currently, he works as president of LEADS, Inc, serves as an adviser to CINC Special Operations Command and is a member of the National Research Council Committee for Assessment of Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology. He also writes independently. His current book, with foreword by Tom Clancy, is Future War: Non-Lethal Weapons in Twenty-First-Century Warfare, St Martin's Press with the sequel, Winning the War due Summer 2003.