Using Neuroscience as Weapon
Rapid advancements in neuroscience and its technologies have prompted renewed and growing interest in and use of these tools and methods to exert influence and power on the global stage.
The consideration of existing and emerging neurotechnological devices is a relatively new focus, with an increasing focus on brain scanning tools, directed energy, trans-cranial magnetic and electrical stimulation, and deep brain stimulation – all of which can be used in military and intelligence training, and operations.
In the United States, programs within the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Intelligence Advanced Research Project Activity (IARPA), and several branches of the military are examining ways that brain science can be employed to augment warfighters’ and intelligence operators’ performance, and alter adversaries’ capabilities with regards to key cognitive and physical tasks. Similar projects are being conducted by other NATO, Non-NATO Military Alliance (NNMA) nations, as well as North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China.
China’s Strategy to implement Neuroscience in Defence.
The Chinese government has explicitly stated its goal to achieve major market shares in the brain sciences across applications.
To be sure, the use of neuroS/T to exercise military power in kinetic operations is a concern; however, such uses are constrained, at least to some extent, by the current Biological Toxins and Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Brain sciences are viable, of value and are currently being considered and put into use in a number of nations’ warfare, intelligence and national security operations and agendas. Thats what china has done tap the potential of Neuroscience where others failed.China’s exponential increase in research and applications of neuroS/T, which is reflective, and instrumental to China’s long-term visions for potential dominance of the field in and across a range of medical, public, military and political uses to establish strategically latent, disruptive effects upon current and future balances of power.
Mass Disruption and Gene data Risk using Neuroimaging.
Use of massive data enhance the viability of information gained by neuroimaging, biomarkers, and behavioural and narrative assessments, and can increase the precision with which methods of neuroS/T can be employed to affect the thoughts, emotions, actions, and/or health and security of particular individuals or groups.
These approaches need not be used as instruments of mass destruction, per se, but rather as means of mass disruption, which can incur ripple effects in and across a range of scales .
The disruptive capabilities render them particularly valuable in non-kinetic engagements, which do not meet the defined threshold for acts of war. In this way, the non-kinetic use of brain sciences and technologies can establish plus-sum advantages for the executor and zero-sum disadvantages for the recipient.