The supersoldier, the military transhuman: enhanced humans developed specifically for combat requirements. While the supersoldier may seem like the stuff of fiction, the US military have been perfecting their troops for years, starting at the basic level of psychological conditioning. In WW2 combat, faced with taking a human life, about 80% of US troops deliberately missed their target or froze completely. Now, the modern soldier fighting in Afghanistan fires upon their enemy almost 100% of the time.
The US military research group DARPA is currently researching how to further advance the human warrior. The drug modafinil allows helicopter pilots to fly for forty hours and still function the same way they would with a normal night’s sleep. Propranolol may be used as a drug to prevent PTSD — although some are concerned that it would also inhibit a soldier’s ability to make moral decisions. Silenttalk* is a mind-to-mind communications system that can already allow soldiers to control machinery with their minds, and is intended to allow soldiers to predict “pre-speech”: thoughts. DARPA is also currently researching the digestive system, to see if it is possible to create a soldier who can survive by eating warzone foliage, eliminating the need to carry food.
This extends far beyond the military. Just as LASIK eye surgery, like many projects developed by DARPA, became part of everyday life, so to will enhancing the development of the human being. “We can’t wait for these technologies to be just dumped in our lap, what we have to do is start figuring out what we should do, not what we can do…because this is coming at us real fast.”
*The official DARPA project page for Silenttalk has been deleted