Conventional Warfare has been replaced by hybrid threats and unconventional tactics. Should we expect a super soldier army from the world’s militaries soon?
Here are five considerations that show us what the enhanced soldier of tomorrow might look like.
The words “mad science” and “super soldier” stir particular emotions in me that most people would recognize as childlike wonder.
I always wanted to be the bad guy in the movies; since I was never quite athletic, it was the geniuses that appealed to me the most.
One thing that most evil geniuses make use of is an army, and the best armies were always the ones with some kind of scientific aberration applied to them.
Whether it is cloning or chemical treatments that dull pain and remove fear, the super soldier shock troops of the bad guy always represented the largest and most numerous hurdles that the hero had to overcome.
Which brings us to the topic of the day: What will the super soldier of the future look like?
To start answering that question, I have put together a few top secret files that show us different considerations for the super soldier of tomorrow.
Feel free to peruse them, just don’t get any crazy ideas for world domination afterward.
Super Solider File #1: Closed Experiment Archives
History is full of well-documented events that have changed the course of civilization. What it’s not so full of is information on clandestine CIA experiments, save for one notable exception: Project MKUltra.
See, back when everyone and their mother was experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs, so was the CIA.
Of course, the mind-altering effect these covert projects and human trials were looking for was more along the lines of mind-control, but what isn’t so clear is if these projects or the government agencies behind them truly ever found the cognitive control that they were looking for.
To be fair, this doesn’t mean that absolutely nothing was learned.
Recently, a team of researchers at the University of Sussex reanalyzed medical records reflecting the same psychoactive drugs found in MKUltra, and this team did find something entirely new: Judging from the team’s research, mind-altering drugs are also magnetic-field altering.
Specifically, the magnetic field within the psychoactive brain was found to be heightened, with an increase in neural signal diversity (a measure of higher brain function).
Perhaps the function enhancement of the psychoactive brain can be used in a more controlled way. Or further enhanced by technology to create a hyper-aware but easily controlled mental state.
Scarier still, how do we know that it already isn’t?
Super Solider File #2: Mental Acceleration Enhancements
Next up is the mental accelerators. Also known as Amphetamines or ‘Speed’.
From WWII to the war in Afghanistan, stimulants have been used to keep soldiers alert and on the move.
During the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, amphetamines were viewed like a strong cup of coffee and were also consumed by civilians, professionals and even children.
Later, after testing doses on medical officers, it was discovered that at high doses, the drug reduces both fear levels and the need to sleep – making it the perfect drug for soldiers.
The drug was then distributed officially among the German troops, and as a result, German troops beat both French and British soldiers to the French border after marching for three days straight.
Drones and other automated technologies help monitor war zones and operational environments in real time today, making the need to stay awake constantly in the field less demanding.
However, high doses of amphetamines also stimulate the most primitive portion of our brains and subsequently, the “fight or flight ” response. rugs designed specifically to augment aggressive behavior are not completely out of the question.
Therefore, drugs designed specifically to augment aggressive behavior are not completely out of the question.
Super Solider File #3: Accelerated Information Extraction
In today’s hustle-and-bustle world, who has time (read: mental discipline) to go through the lengthy process of learning a martial art?
Why can’t we just learn Kung Fu like Keanu Reeves did? Plug a computer into your head and BOOM. You know things.For all we know, our brains are as complex as space is big.Click To Tweet
While we do have some inkling of how big space is, we have yet to understand how complicated our minds are.
But, we are learning and one thing we’re figuring out is that learning may not be all in our heads.
Scientists at DARPA have discovered that the peripheral nervous system (or PNS) may be capable of ‘downloading’ information, in a manner of speaking.
The PNS is used to connect our brain with our various organs, so it is often utilized in a number of bionics (which may also be good for the super soldier, but that’s for another article).
According to BigThink, that system may also be useful for something called Targeted Neuroplasticity Training (TNT).
TNT uses mild electric shocks to specific nerves in order to facilitate learning, which you can read more about here. It’s all still very experimental, mind you, but it is interesting in a science fiction kind of way.
Especially when you ask yourself how growth-accelerated clones could be made functional.
Speaking of clones…
Super Solider File #4: Soldier Replacement Therapy
Let’s face it: Cloning is the holy grail of militaristic mad science.
I could destroy the world with a moon laser, sure.
But, if I actually wanted to dominate the world, then there is nothing better than unending legions of highly-skilled shock troops.
Failing that, any number of bio-engineered marvels will suffice, but I see them as mere stepping stones.
Still, Synthetic Biology has the benefit of actually existing in today’s world, and has enormous potential for the near future.
Synthetic Biology refers to a growing field of science that looks to add a little engineering to the study of biology, which is something that debatably unethical and definitely interesting.
You can learn more about the field here, and I would if I were you because the potential applications could change what it means to be human. Oh, and down the line, they may lead to cloning a human being.
Super Soldier File #5: Orbital Research Stations
What is a little bit of mad science without a top-secret laboratory in space?
All you need is the ability to go to space and something top-secret enough to put there.
Strictly speaking, anything can be hidden somewhere in orbit around the planet, and finding such a thing is harder than finding a literal needle in a haystack.
For that matter, even if you could find it, it may be moving so fast that you can’t safely retrieve it.
In fact, some government agencies may already be doing so.
We reported recently that the U.S. military spacecraft X-37B entered orbit around the planet, stayed there for a couple of years, and came back– all without much information being divulged to the general public about what was happening while the craft was in space.
Ostensibly, the experiments were most likely designed to test experimental multi-use space vehicles and risk reduction for the same, but the public knows next to nothing about what those experiments actually entailed.