The Sixth Domain: Neurowarfare, Neuroweapons, and the Future of Counterterrorism
Technological advancements have led to the development of biochemical, pharmacological, and direct energy neuroweapons that are capable of manipulating the human brain and central nervous system. Available to both state and nonstate actors, neuroweapons can be used in military operations to enhance or degrade the physical, psychological, and physiological performance of allied forces and hostile terrorists. Neuroweapons are the future of warfare and counterterrorism and terrorism operations; however, little research exists on this subject. This project aims to contribute to neurowarfare research by uncovering how counterterrorism and terrorism forces acquire and utilize neuroweapons. This project also investigates the biological, chemical, pharmacological, and engineering processes behind neuroweapons and examines how these technologies hack into and augment the brain. This paper utilizes a three-pronged methodology: peer-reviewed literature like journal articles and books; grey literature, including sources such as government reports, articles, and exposes; and real-world case studies. Results of this research suggest that neuroweapons have ushered in a new, sixth domain of war: the human brain. Findings also indicate that neuroweapons can reduce or eliminate the primary, secondary, and tertiary effects of war, including death and displacement of innocent civilians; destruction of a nation’s cultural treasures; and regression of developing nations. Finally, results support the hypothesis that populations are the new weapons of mass destruction. This project is important because it contributes to an understudied field of scholarship, forecasts future security threats, and proposes how peace-seeking forces can gain an advantage over malicious actors without inflicting collateral damage.
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