According to a new report, just two weeks after the announcement that China is developing a biologically enhanced super soldier, France has joined the ranks of nations creating "bred to kill" troops.
Last week, France also gave the green light to "augmented" soldiers and some fear the super soldier could be a standard in the near future.
The French try to improve the soldiers' "physical, cognitive, perceptive and psychological" abilities. The ministry's research includes drugs to keep troops awake for long periods of time and fight stress, and even surgery to improve hearing.
Nothing new under the sun. The Nazi troops were stuffed with Pervitin, a synthetic amphetamine that allowed them to take France in just three days, without sleeping and without stopping. Today this form of "doping" simply raises the bar, and brings the super soldier to the biological level.
The new species of enhanced super soldier could make use of not only robotics or super uniforms (like the Ratnik-3 of the Russian army), but even to DNA modifications to acquire greater speed and strength.
Michael Clarke, lecturer in war studies at Kings College London (KCL), is certain of it. "We have reached the point where we could potentially manipulate people's DNA to generate extra strength, stamina and other things in them just like we do with animals," he says of the super soldiers in an interview with The Sun. "Just as it was done to select and upgrade livestock, now it can be done very precisely with humans."
Super soldier: it's human arms race.
Clarke added that super soldier research is being fueled internationally because of fears about the Chinese program.
“What everyone fears could happen in 30 years given another 10 years of development and testing,” continues Clarke. "In 30 years, the Chinese could count on troops of 20-year-old super soldiers with particular characteristics selected also through genetic engineering".
Machines in flesh and blood
A recent relationship of the International Society for Military Ethics in Europe hypothesizes among the scenarios the almost dystopian one which involves the use of bionic men capable of fighting "all the time".
"The augmented super soldier would be reduced to a bionic man who runs faster, sleeps, eats and drinks less and can fight all the time," the report said.
Sir Lawrence Freedman, professor of war studies at KCL, argues that robotics will have a greater weight in this framework. “Today's prosthetics allow what we once would have called invalids to calmly resume fighting. There are new technologies, augmented reality tools, and a lot of things that make soldiers much more effective than they were in the past. And technology is getting everyone used to managing military resources as largely sacrificial, including killer drones, autonomous vehicles and so on ”.
Although the French government claims that human rights will be respected in pursuing these results, the minister of the French armed forces Florence Parly he warned: “we must be clear about the super soldier. Not everyone has the same scruples as we do, and we need to prepare for such a future ”.
Some super soldier technologies
It is worth listing them, if only for future reference.
Brain microchips: France was given the opportunity to develop microchips to increase the capabilities of soldiers' brains.
Bionic eyes: under development in Hong Kong, offers users infrared and night vision.
Super hearing: Among the US systems of communication and tactical protection are smart earphones that increase soldiers' hearing in an almost superhuman way.
Medical implants: la DARPA, the Pentagon's research arm, is developing cyborg facilities to monitor combat efficiency.
Improved limbs: A Devcom report revealed plans to equip US super soldiers with improved limbs for increased strength.
Exoskeletons: The US military has tested an exoskeleton that can be attached to the legs of super soldiers and increase their productivity up to 27 times.
Synthetic blood: Il Respirocyte it is a special "red blood cell" that could help super soldiers not run out of breath underwater for hours.
Pain immunity: the initiative for years Persistence in Combat of DARPA aims to allow soldiers, among other things, to suppress pain for 30 days.