The way to win a war? Control your soldiers’ MINDS. It sounds like a movie plot (NOTE: This special interview is just for subscribers), but it’s TRUE: The Pentagon has starting a six-year, $49 million effort to deploy extreme neuroscience and biotechnology to fight wars. And the infamous "drones" that we use in Iraq and Afghanistan may soon be put to use in civilian life. Is this the end of privacy?
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Noncombatant military personnel do not engage in direct combat with the enemy during war, but they still face trauma that elevates their risk for developing combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Noncombatants’ trauma exposure may actually put them at GREATER risk of developing PTSD than their counterparts on the front lines. While they are less likely to engage in direct contact with the enemy, they are still exposed to potentially traumatic events including mortar and rocket attacks, transporting and treating severely wounded soldiers, and processing human remains.
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The military is one of our biggest users of fossil fuels and they want to reduce costs and make units in the field less vulnerable to attacks on supply lines necessary to transport petroleum-based fuels. To do this, they have invented solar cells that soldiers can roll up like a mat, transport, and unroll in a new location to start generating electricity on the spot. It’s a matter of life or death: A recent study using data from 2007 found that the US military loses one person–killed or wounded–for every 24 fuel envoys it runs in Afghanistan. Engineer Dennis Helder says, "The bottom line is, we want to save some lives.read more

Among the rumors now leaking out of Afghanistan is a bizarre report of Taliban insurgents training monkeys and baboons to shoot at Coalition troops. Is it possible to do this?

Primate experts doubt that the story, which appeared in a Chinese newspaper, is possible. The story says that insurgents are using a reward-and-punishment system to train macaques and baboons to target soldiers wearing US military uniforms. According to the Chinese “People’s Daily,” the Taliban “taught monkeys how to use the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun and trench mortars.”
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