Yet More Military Human Enhancement

You’re probably all thoroughly sick of this topic, but it is what I supposedly do at work, so here’s some more.

Aside from the ethical implications of military human enhancement (medical experimentation, neurology and morality in warfare, super-soldiers etc), on little regarded question is how MHE will affect the recruiting pool.
Everybody has a different reason why the join the army, but generally you can boil it down to some combination of the following: Patriotism and the Warrior Spirit (as its referred to in various manuals.) Some people just love America, and value duty, honor, courage as the highest virtues. The second is person advancement; access to the GI bill, couldn’t get a job after graduating, what have you. The third reason is the elemental joy of taking high tech equipment and using it to blow shit up. Recruitment for the Navy soared after Top Gun, because everybody wanted to fly an F-14. There’s nowhere else in the world where you can cruise around in an armored vehicle, rocking and rolling a .50 caliber machine gun.

Military Human Enhancement alters these motivations. Enhancement technology appeals to a different group than the traditional “blow shit up” aficionados of military hardware. Depending on the exact nature of the enhancements, they might improve a soldier’s opportunities on leaving the army, be neutral, or hinder them by adding further complications to returning to civilian life, and ‘battle-mind’ capabilities that interfere with normal functioning. The transhumanist values associated with human enhancement (self-determination, immortality, and technological integration into the self), are in the direct opposition to traditional military values. Military human enhancement will transform the pool of potential recruits, with consequences for the army as a whole.

But one thing will always be true: The commercial where the Marine goes through the death-maze and fights a giant lava monster is freaking sweet.

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