Future Military Dominance and Human Enhancement Technology for Soldier Resilience

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August 28, 2017 | Originally published by Date Line: August 28 on

Developing soldiers who are resilient to physical and psychological injury and illness is an enduring military challenge that will continue to be encountered in the future operating environment (FOE). The intent of this paper is to present a sample of emerging human enhancement (HE) technologies that may contribute to soldier resilience by enabling soldiers to recover quickly from injury and illness, or to avoid injury and illness altogether. Enhancements for soldier resilience can come in many forms. Some examples are: advanced therapeutics or medical devices to more effectively treat illness or injury; emerging technologies to identify and alert soldiers to potential threats; and sophisticated machinery that modifies soldier capabilities to reduce the risk of injury. Considerable interest in HE technologies has been generated in part because they are so wide-ranging in their contributions to soldier resilience. As a result of this significant interest, science and technology advancements for HE are progressing rapidly and many new technological solutions that contribute to soldier resilience can be expected to emerge in the future. We conclude by presenting a case for the importance of identifying potential ethical issues with the use of HE technologies for soldier resilience as a way to facilitate their timely adoption by the military as the technologies become ready for use in the FOE.