McCreight

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Protecting Our National Neuroscience Infrastructure: Implications for Homeland Security, National Security and the Future of Strategic Weapons: 

Protecting Our National Neuroscience Infrastructure: Implications for Homeland Security, National Security and the Future of Strategic Weapons Robert McCreight, DPA Adjunct Professor George Washington University Institute of Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management January 2007

Opening Thought: 

Opening Thought “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue an enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Neuroscience-- Why Worry?: 

Neuroscience-- Why Worry? “ One salient issue that must be addressed is the question of whether we will allow the potential attack and manipulation of our free will and mental energy to take place while we permit neuroscience research to plow ahead and tackle every conceivable aspect of our brain’s functions and capabilities simply to advance the cause of science and better health. We must confront the basic questions associated with an astoundingly new capability to externally redirect or alter our thoughts, emotions, actions and ideas.” RMcCreight

Our Chief Concern: 

Our Chief Concern Scientific research, concept development, examination of bioethical issues related to enhanced mental health and considerable long term funding support has been ongoing for several years in the broad area of neuroscience. Have we adequately analyzed and discussed the dual-use implications of neuroscience, particularly its various military applications, and the extent to which operational safeguards and societal controls are needed to manage or control its most destructive weapons outcomes or debilitating systems?

Central Issues: 

Central Issues Protect the sovereignty of the mind Foster wider discussion of neuroscience Examine what nations have already done Understand military applications/goals Know the dual-use implications Ensure that neuroscience is examined for both its beneficial effects and those which are potentially dangerous or harmful

Paths of Inquiry: 

Paths of Inquiry Identify and distinguish legitimate research Seek global transparency on neuroscience Invite public discussion of military applications Establish ethical groundrules and standards Consider scientific accountability systems Global declarations of military research “what is at stake…the brain, the soul, the self?”

Neuroscience Infrastructure: 

Neuroscience Infrastructure “…neuroscience is a multidisciplinary field tied to: mental health; improved mental processing; the healing or restoration of neural networks; to enrich and decode brain biochemistry; to decipher brain functions and interrelated systems; to understand brain structure and relationships to the central nervous system; and discern possible breakthroughs in cognitive imaging, thought processes, perception and relative operational dimensions of intellect and emotion. Neuroscience also examines the implications of recent brain imaging techniques for understanding the cognitive processes involved in moral reasoning, meditation, prayer, healing, spiritual experience and the internalization of religious beliefs. “ Jonathan Moreno—”Mind Wars”

Neuroscience Infrastructure: 

Neuroscience Infrastructure How do we protect our minds, thoughts, ideas? How do ensure adequate privacy safeguards? What has neuroscience achieved already? What are the future directions of neuroscience? How do we advance legitimate mental health research while averting military exploitation? Who are the guardians of neuroscience? What agencies, experts or institutions are best equipped to control dual-use research?

Global Implications: 

Global Implications Many nation states have conducted both legitimate and military-related neuroscience research [future R&D continues] There are no binding international norms or rules to govern legitimate research There are no rules or mechanisms to regulate, halt or delay military research in neuroscience We have no protections or safeguards unless we take steps to insist on them.

Key Question: 

Key Question What assurances do we have that all future neuroscience research both here and globally, not just 80% or 90%, is devoted exclusively to helping brain functions, extend mental health, find cures for neurological diseases and enable better mechanisms for understanding the principles and operations of neurobiology?

Areas of Concern: 

Areas of Concern mind control and all associated coercive, chemical and humiliation techniques the mind as weapon developing all neural and cognitive aggressive potential the mind-machine interface and exploitation of enhanced cyborg robotics unlocking hidden mental weakness or vulnerabilities for psychotronic exploitation development of biochemical injections/gases affecting neural functions expressive thought-wave weaponry and psychokinetic powers devising mass hysteria stimuli and mass halocinogenic projections passive trigger assassins in the ‘Manchurian Candidate’ mode mass euphoria, fear, ataxia or similar behavior induced by sound/light/energy perceptual manipulation to sustain illusion of peace, security, safety

Impact on Security: 

Impact on Security We cannot yet estimate the overall impact of applied neuroscience research in military areas to our national security and how it might affect our conduct of homeland security. Legitimate concerns arise over both the offensive and defensive implications of any useful military neuroscience methodologies developed by any other country and what reasonable actions make sense for the U.S.

Biochemical Manipulation Of Thoughts and Behavior: 

Biochemical Manipulation Of Thoughts and Behavior Research tradition in this concentration Ambiguity under CWC and BWC treaties Availability and utility will likely expand No national or universal rules and safeguards Standards and guidelines of limited effect Policymakers, legislators, scientists and the public must insist on more information and improved transparency about activities

Strategic Warfare: 

Strategic Warfare Effective neuroscience weapons could significantly affect and redefine existing concepts of strategic warfare Unless measures are taken to halt existing military research into neuroscience we may face new categories of weapons before 2020 held by several nations both friendly and hostile Given more than 45 years of military investment in neuroscience thus far by several countries, despite limited results, we can expect some variety of weapons to emerge within 10 years

Neuroscience Weaponry and Homeland Security: 

Neuroscience Weaponry and Homeland Security How do we establish security parameters? How do we assess actual threats? Can we expect terrorist use of neuroscience? What institutions and measures can be exploited to establish reasonable safeguards? How will the public be protected? Is this an immediate threat? Or long term?

Final Observations: 

Final Observations What threats—real, exaggerated or imagined do we actually face in terms of actual neuroscience weaponry? Is it immediate or decades away? If we are developing possible neuroscience weapons should they be kept secret like other advanced military systems and platforms? What role should the public and political leaders play in providing oversight or controls over the complete arena of dual-use neuroscience? If an array of future neuroscience weaponry evolves among many states worldwide are we more secure or less secure? Why?

Final Thoughts: 

Final Thoughts Deepen public awareness of neuroscience Get legislators to hold hearings and examine the full range of activities Open dialogues on the subject between scientists, legal experts, ethicists and the public Examine the immediate and long term consequences of neuroscience activities linked to hostile, exploitive or military use

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