Drugs for Uncle Sam

by wjw on August 31, 2007

In my last post, I referenced drugs. Which are bad for you, right?

Unless they’re good, patriotic drugs used to enhance our soldiers and disable— sorry, “calm”— our enemies. In which case they’re terrific drugs!

Here’s an article from the Herald-Tribune on the militarization of medicine.

“We could also see troops going into action with chemically-heightened aggression, as well as resistance to fear, pain and fatigue. It is not science fiction to suggest that we might see military pharmacology that can remove feelings of guilt or post-traumatic stress. The economic temptation is strong: five times more soldiers suffer mental than physical wounds in war.”

This follows a cautionary article from the British Medical Association.

“The most prominent of these concerns relate to whether:
• drugs, when used as weapons, fulfil the definition of either a chemical weapon, or a biological
weapon or both
• a drug can be used as a weapon for law enforcement without violating the CWC
• promoting the notion of using drugs as weapons for law enforcement might lead to weakening
the norms and laws prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare
• the prohibitionon the use of any drug as a method of warfare also applies to peace-support
missions mandated under the UN Charter
• the use of a drug as a weapon is incompatible with human rights principles such as the right to
life, the positive obligationof states to protect life or the general prohibition on cruel, degrading
or inhuman treatment
• the norms of international humanitarian law, which protect wounded combatants and those
wishing to surrender, could be undermined
• in situations where combatants are mixed with civilians, the use of drugs as weapons could
undermine the prohibition of indiscriminate attack.

I remember when I wrote about this stuff back in the Eighties, it was science fiction.

It’s a brave new world coming, that’s for sure. Chemically enhanced Beta-Minus soldiers charging into battle at the behest of the Alpha-Plusses in Washington.


Synova September 8, 2007 at 6:38 am

What use is a soldier with heightened aggression?

I suspect that this is still mostly science fiction.

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